Band Students Showcase Their Skills in UIL Solo and Ensemble

By Srilekha Cherukuvada, Dreamcatcher Editor in Chief

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  • Freshmen Emily Liu and Jessica Hao pose during their warm up in the cafeteria.

    Photo By Photo Courtesy of Westwood Warrior Band

  • Sophomores Abigail Dewhirst, Srilekha Cherukuvada, Emily Tran, and Elin Park pose during their warm up before competing.

    Photo By Photo Courtesy of Westwood Warrior Band

  • Sophomores Sanjana Kumar, Srilekha Cherukuvada, and Abigail Dewhirst, and freshman Jessica Hao pose for a picture before performing their solos.

    Photo By Photo Courtesy of Westwood Warrior Band

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Band students performed and competed at the annual UIL Region 26 Solo and Ensemble Contest on Saturday, Feb. 23. This contest determined what score students would receive and whether they would advance to state. Students who advanced to state will perform for a judge at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest (TSSEC) in June.

“UIL Solo and Ensemble seemed like something that was really far into the future, but it came and went really quickly and I’m glad I got to experience it,” Jessica Hao ‘22 said. “I was really nervous at first, but after I played I felt really good about my performance and the work I had put into this contest.”

As it was not a required event, only the students who felt they were ready to compete attended. Solos, unlike ensembles, had to be memorized unless they were on the no memory required list in order to be able to advance to state. Once arriving, students headed to the cafeteria to warm up and then to their performance room to perform for a judge.

“Competing in contests like these never get any easier. I was nervous that I wouldn’t make state, even though I did last year,” Sanjana Kumar ‘21 said. “However, today I was reminded that the most important part of participating in competitions is trying to express, to the best of my ability, the work I put into practicing the pieces I perform. After performing, I felt a sense of relief and gratitude to all of the people who have pushed me to keep working towards my goals in music.”

Results were displayed on a rolling screen on the cafeteria and were updated every hour. After tabulating the results, students received judge’s comments during class with their official and final rating.

“It was a really unique experience, and it really tests your skills at playing your instrument. I don’t think it matters how the results turned out, it’s how hard you worked and this event gives you a chance to demonstrate those efforts,” Emily Tran ‘21 said. “In the end, everybody tried their best and did well regardless of if they got a good score or not. They should really be proud of how far they’ve become ever since they started playing their instrument.”

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