Soloists make their way to perform at UT

Janet Nava, Reporter

The winners of the Regional Solo and Ensemble Contest competed at The University of Texas at Austin on May 30. With junior Rachel Cernosek earning a rating of 1, the Outstanding Soloist rating. Cernosek took first place and senior Griffin Northcutt won second at the third level of the Solo & Ensemble contest on May 11, which led them to the regional contest.

“When I found out that I won, I was in disbelief,” Cernosek said. “Because my brother won last year, it was really weird and amazing to finally step out of his shadow. Then after that, my parents took me to get ice cream even though I had an AP test the next day, so that was really exciting to do.”

To get to the finals, the competitors had to go through three stages of the Solo and Ensemble contest. At the first level, the majority of the band passed, then in the second round it was narrowed down to eleven soloists which then became three finalists in the contest. The contest had the entire band participate and perform the solos they have been preparing since summer 2014.

“The hardest part about the contest was practicing for it,” sophomore Chris Knox said. “I love performing and I always have, it was hard to force myself to practice. Other than that, the contest was really fun and really cool to be a part of.”

Others who also participated had the chance to  perform at Georgetown High School for the contest.

“Performing at Georgetown was really cool,” junior Tegan Burgess said. “We got to perform in front of some really important judges, like the music directors from Vandegrift High school and the music professor Dr. Thompson from Texas Christian University. Performing in front of them was really fun and to see some of the band’s major role models was amazing.”

The Solo and Ensemble contest is a UIL competition and ties into the Young Solo Artist Contest. Because she won the contest Cernosek received a $300 worth in scholarship money.

“It was really cool to win, I didn’t really expect to it because I actually had memory slips while playing my solo,” Cernosek said. “I for sure thought I wouldn’t get it, so winning was really amazing and I was jumping in my seat.”