Choir & Band Bring Home Medals From State

Solo and ensemble had strong performances at the State Music Festival


courtesy of LHS Activities

Choir and band competed at Mizzou recently at the State Music Festival.

Grayce Page, Reporter

Several students recently competed at the State Music Festival on April 30, in which high school musicians from around Missouri perform for judges and receive medals. Band students brought home a silver medal and a bronze medal, and choir students brought home four gold medals and two silver medals.

Students have been practicing their pieces for many months.

Junior choir singer Anna Wright, placed gold in her solo performance placed gold as a part of Schlattman Ensemble,

“And it’s really, really rewarding after all of our hard work for coming in like very early hours in the morning every single week,” Wright said.

Starting in January, choir director Mr. Datz had the students come into school 30 minutes early or 30 minutes after school to help critique their abilities and be ready for their competition in April.

“It means a lot to see all of the hard work paying off, Mr. Datz was really, really helpful,” Wright explained.

Kent Masten, a senior in band, spoke about how much effort he put into his work.

“It took months of work,” Masten said. “Because piano solos have to be memorized, I started working on my pieces for districts in March, in November, or even before then.” According to him, being a pianist really makes the musician focus on many aspects including memorization, technical skills, etc. He also discussed the different types of pieces that were performed.

Masten said “romantic era pieces require a sense of musically and performing with emotion, whereas classical era pieces require technical skill.”

Grace Edney, a singer, said that she practiced every week, before school or after school.

“We kind of just ran through the songs and learned them together,” she said.

Singer Cassie Tarrant mentioned that there was a lot of practicing specific parts of their songs.

“It was a lot of perfecting,” Tarrant said. “And a lot of like little things like ‘oh you said one word kinda wrong, gotta fix it.’”

Tarrant also discussed her personal struggles while preparing for her performance.

“For me, it’s hard to keep a consistent dynamic level, cause they usually want you to be louder than you are, and so being able to do that and also signing kinda high in my register was tough.”

Another challenge choir members faced was how they had to sing in other languages that they aren’t familiar with, including German, Spanish, Latin, and French.

“My voice is changing a lot so I had to figure out where to go in it,” Tarrant said. “And memorization, oh my goddess, the words. I was singing it in Italian for one of them, and I was like ‘I don’t know what these words are.’”

As you can see, band and choir takes months of preparation, with learning how to use their own talents to their advantage. It’s a lot of work, but with the right amount of effort and passion, it can be done.

“I hope to spread the word about choir and make it welcoming for everyone,” Edney said.