The time has finally come. After two years of waiting and cancellations, district music has returned for members of Marian’s performing arts department. This year, vocal and instrumental ensembles, as well as soloists, performed at Ralston High School for a ranking on their overall performance. Most years students have had to compete during Field Week or on Field Day, this year was no exception.
This year’s featured ensembles included the Select Women’s Choir and Concert Choir directed by Ms. Reddel, and a Mixed Wind Ensemble directed by Mrs. Dickes. Many students in these ensembles competed for the first time due to the past two years of cancellations. “I’m playing a quartet called ‘Minuet’ with the other flutists, and then I’m performing a solo called ‘Gavotte’” senior flutist Lauren Ali said. Every performance had been planned far in advance and practiced to the point of near perfection.
With the competition coming so quickly, ensembles practiced as much as possible for their performance. “We started preparing three weeks ago, and sometimes we go in the morning to practice with Mr. DiBlasi,” Ali said. The Select Women’s Choir began preparing for the competition back in August, learning three songs: “As the Deer Pants,” “Metsa Telegramme,” and “Servants of Mary.” The Concert Choir also began preparing in August with their song “I Believe.”
Along with the challenges of preparation for the competition came the stress of having to compete during Field Week. All ensembles had a scheduled performance time during this extremely demanding week. In fact, Marian had to petition organizers of the event to abstain from scheduling ensembles on Friday of that week. “It’s kind of stressful because I’ve had to put in more time outside of school,” Ali said. Despite the stress of keeping up with one of Marian’s most sacred traditions, all ensembles performed well at the competition.
With a performance at 3:40 on Thursday, April 21, the Select Women’s Choir was given a superior ranking of 1 in the Large Treble Ensemble category, and on April 23, Concert Choir was given a rating of 2 in the Small Vocal Ensemble category. Vocal soloists Shelby Gerken and Gabby Roche both received ratings of 2 for their performances. Instrumental ensembles and soloists were all given scores between I and II. Senior Lauren Ali was able to end her last year with an excellent ranking of II for her performance on the flute.