Music department finds success at Regionals

Sophia Comas, Sports Editor

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Saturdays are supposed to be relaxing, lazy, hang-out-with-your-friends kind of days right?

Wrong. For the Manhattan High music department, it was busier than ever with a day packed of performances and competition within the Regional Solo and Ensemble Festival held by the Kansas State High School Activities Association on Saturday.

MHS orchestra, choir and band were all competing in the festival against 13 other schools and over 800 total entries in both individual and group contests. Of those entries, MHS had 69, 47 of which received a superior one rating.

“I thought it went very smooth and was a successful day,” Joel Gittle, department chair, said. “It was a great day for MHS.”

According to Gittle, parent volunteers led by the Performing Arts Support Group made the day both effective and efficient, helping performers focus on playing their absolute best.

For instrumental students, there was an extra challenge added to their plate because they couldn’t rehearse in class. Because of that, students had to trust in the other members of their groups to make sure they played well together.

“For ensembles, we practiced our music by ourselves first then we met with the ensemble to put the piece together,” Josh Brandt, junior, said. “Many ensembles didn’t have time to meet in class so it was important to schedule rehearsals outside of school as well.”

Choir students had more luck as they were able to practice their music in class, rehearsing about a month before they had to actually perform them in front of judges. However, it was gratifying for everyone to know their work payed off.

“[I felt] pretty great,” Coleman Todd, junior, said. “It’s nice to know you’re good at the thing you spend lots of time on. We did really well.”

Although there were a few setbacks, the performers are proud of their achievements and are pleased that nothing seemed out of the ordinary when they performed.

“I thought things throughout the day went as expected,” Gittle said. “There were some outstanding performances but all our students did a great job.”

The entire department will be spending the rest of their time since the festival to prepare themselves for state on April 27 where they hope to have any kinks worked out before hand.

“I think there were a lot of things that we could’ve done better in the pieces we played but thankfully there’s time to improve before state festival,” Brandt said. “I’m so proud of everyone at MHS who participated.”


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