Liberty to Send 14 Students to State Solo and Ensemble

Among the 14 students are six soloists and four ensembles from both band and choir

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Sarah Downs

Senior Maya Angeles is the only band soloist to advance to the MSHAA State Music Festival after receiving an "Exemplary" rating at the MSHAA District Music Festival on Friday, March 8.

Chasteanne Salvosa, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Out of nearly 100 Wentzville students to qualify for the MSHAA State Music Festival, Liberty will send 14 of their very own musicians and singers to the University of Missouri-Columbia on Friday, April 26.

Within the 14 students being sent to state solo and ensemble are six soloists and four ensembles from both band and choir, that received “Exemplary” ratings at the MSHAA District Music Festival, held at Fort Zumwalt East High School on Friday, March 8. From choir, juniors Emily Gann, Wesley Nichols, Dylan Taylor, sophomores Emily Grant, Alyssa Place, Michelle Yoder and freshman Michael Gannon will represent Liberty at state solo and ensemble. And from band, senior Maya Angeles, juniors Lamonya Lathon, Dylan Nordmann, Elaine Amery, Henry Roos and sophomores Aadi Kadam and Kailey Cain.

The MSHAA rating system has undergone several changes in the past few years, but the most notable being the switch from the number to the “Exemplary/Outstanding” system. With the number system, where one rating is the best and a five rating is the worst. In order to qualify for state, students must receive an exemplary rating on their performance, which is equivalent to a one according to the number system.

Ms. Kennedy
Many Liberty students who auditioned for the St. Louis Suburban District Honor Choir will advance to the MSHAA State Music Festival.

Junior Elaine Amery has gone to state every year and has felt the effects of the different rating systems throughout the years. She earned a one rating at state with a piano solo her freshman year, and a silver, which is equivalent to a two rating, with her trombone trio ensemble in her sophomore year. This year Amery heads to state with her trombone trio ensemble, playing “Slippery Gentlemen” by Harold L. Walters.

“You get there and every school from every district is in the lunchroom and everyone has their instrument out and everyone’s playing. It is very chaotic and loud and distracting. It’s really hard to focus, but that’s where everybody warms up,” Amery said of arriving at districts.

And despite the rain and the difficulty with finding parking, Amery advances to state with high hopes for trombone trio.

For junior Henry Roos, who is one-third of the Slippery Gentlemen trombone trio, has also attended state once in the past, earning a silver rating with a trombone trio. As a junior, he’s not required to participate in solo and ensemble but says he got into competing due to the opportunity of forming the perfect trio.

“The reason I got into it was that I have two good friends that I play trombone with and I know that I’m semi-decent at it too, so I just tried it to try and compete,” Roos said.

The MSHAA State Music Festival will be held at the University of Missouri – Columbia on Friday, April 26, where 14 hopeful Liberty musicians and singers will be performing their hearts out for another “Exemplary” rating.