Musicians sweep solo and ensemble ratings at districts, anticipate performing at state

Musicians sweep solo and ensemble ratings at districts, anticipate performing at state
Musicians sweep solo and ensemble ratings at districts
Photo by Emily Franke
Photo by Emily Franke

Over 100 musicians travelled from RBHS to Mexico High School to perform for the district solo and ensemble festival on Saturday. For this festival, musicians learned and rehearsed either solo or ensemble pieces outside of school and prepared to perform before a judge, who would give them a rating. Junior Sarah Freyermuth, who has participated in the festival for the last three years, performed a vocal solo, vocal ensemble and a piano solo after weeks of practice.

“Choral solos and ensembles are rated on a one to five scale, one being the best,” Freyermuth said. “One is considered superior and two is still considered excellent, so both are really impressive. It takes a one to get to state.”

Similarly for band and orchestra, a one rating is required to continue on to perform at the state festival on May 1. At Saturday’s festival, head band director Steve Mathews said, 33 soloists and ensembles performed, 19 of which earned a “one” rating and will go on to perform at the state solo and ensemble festival. This high success immediately followed the district large ensemble festival, at which both bands received “unanimous one” ratings, he said.

For some students, this year was the first year they were able to participate in the festival. For freshman Stephanie Zhang, this festival differed from the Central Methodist University music festival she participated in during middle school because the district festival determined whether or not a performance could go to the state level.

Zhang, who earned a one on a flute quartet, plans to continue working. Freyermuth also received a one rating on all three groups she performed in.

“In preparation for state I’m going to keep practicing two times a week with my ensemble and I’m going to keep practicing as much as I have been on my solos,” Freyermuth said. “I’ll focus on the comments the judges left me to further improve my pieces.”

By Emily Franke

About The Author

Emily Franke, an adolescent prodigy, holds a broad spectrum of talents. When she's not acing her AP tests, she's a flutist in the prestigious Rock Bridge Marching Band, or perhaps playing a rough game of lacrosse. Also, she is a rescuer of the black kittens Bon Qui Qui and Shaniqua which she cares for like a good mama cat would do. She bakes like nobody's business, putting any iron chef to shame. Her incredible writing on Bearing News fascinates the world. Keep an eye on this one, folks.

Related posts


  1. Sarah

    This is so great for Rock Bridge! I remember going to the CMU music festival in middle school and it was always the highlight of the year. Seeing show choir at the spring assembly this morning for the first time proved to me how serious they are about this!

  2. Abby Kempf

    I think it’s great that the fine arts are so heavily promoted and celebrated at RB. Many studies show involvement at fine arts throughout high school increases a student’s cognitive thinking abilities along with helping to achieve in other curricula such as math.

  3. Tylee

    Wow this is amazing! A really nice thing to see so many talented students that go here! The musicians must have had to put numerous hours of practice in to do so well! Being able to go to CMU and be one of the few that scores a one is just great!

  4. Jenna

    Congratulations to all the ensembles! We saw a few perform today at the assembly, and it realyl blows me away that Rock Bridge houses so much great talent.

  5. Rachel Forrest

    I’m so impressed with the musicians here at RBHS! I love to watch them preform and enjoy what they are doing. We have an amazing preforming arts group here and I cant wait to see what they do in the future.

  6. Ronel Ghidey

    I’ve attended many different music festivals and competitions in the past and I understand how hard it is to achieve the scores that they’ve been awarded with. It’s crazy to think about how talented people at our school are!

  7. Nicole Schroeder

    I have gone to both the CMU music festival and the District Solo and Ensemble festival with a small ensemble in the past, so I know how hard everyone had to work to get such great ratings. I’m impressed with all of the band and orchestra students that performed from RBHS– they did great!

  8. Grace

    It is so impressive that students here at RBHS are so talented involving the arts! Learning to play an instrument and controlling vocals is already difficult, but to score one’s and two’s in competition is so cool!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *