Row 1 = Elvira Gamez, Teresa Perez-Poe, Kirstin Sparkman, Corynn Martin, Crysten Ivy Row 2 = Laura DuClus, Christen Guiterrez, Jazmine Reddic, Leah Warren, Steven Le Row 3 = Anne Lansford, Chance Adams, Briana Rosas, Destiny Osteen, Angelica Collier Row 4 = Chase Scott, Stephen Shihpp, Jeremy Witt, Zach Garcia, Cody Chapman (not pictured: Clay Kitchens)Last Saturday the Sweetwater High School Mustang Band participated in the UIL Region Solo and Ensemble Contest at Abilene High School. Sweetwater earned more solo medals than any other AAA, AA or A school at the competition. Twenty student musicians made 1’s on their solos.

In order to advance to the State Contest, students must earn a superior (first division) rating on a class one ensemble (Class 1 is the most difficult music list), or on a memorized Class 1 solo. Sweetwater had students advance to state.  Advancing soloists were Crysten Ivy, who memorized the Clarinet Concerto by Stamitz, Chase Scott, who memorized Improvisation and Caprice by Bozza for alto sax, and Steven Le, who memorized Mozart’s Concerto #3 for French horn.  Students who also advanced to state on their class 1 ensembles included Clay Kitchens – trumpet, Stephen Shipp – trumpet, Laura DuClos – euphonium, Steven Le – French horn, Corynn Martin – clarinet, Vanessa Perez-Poe – clarinet, Cysten Ivy – clarinet, and Kirsten Sparkman – clarinet. The UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest will be held in

Additional first division solo winners were Christen Gutierrez – flute, Jasmine Reddic – flute, Corynn Martin – clarinet, Elvira Gamez – clarinet, Destiny Osteen – bass clarinet, Chance Adams – alto sax, Annie Lansford – tenor sax (class 1), Ethan Spear – tenor sax, Clay Kitchens – trumpet (class 1), Stephen Shipp – trumpet (class 1), Briana Rosas – trombone (class 1), Cody Chapman – trombone, Angelica Collier – euphonium, Laura DuClos – euphonium (Class 1), Jeremey Witt – percussion, Leah Warren – percussion, and Colton Scott – percussion.

Judge comments on Crysten Ivy’s solo performance included “Absolutely beautiful sound – awesome! Technique is excellent.”  Laura DuClos judge critiques “Wonderful sound. Your tone and articulation are outstanding.”  Comments on Briana Rosas’s performance were “You should be very proud of playing so well! What a great tone! Awesome job!”  Jazmine Reddic’s judge commented “Nice, warm flute sound! Beautiful job today!”  Christen Gutierrez’ judge said “Your vibrato is already very expressive. You have the potential to be great!”

Piano accompanists for the Sweetwater Band soloists were Martha Taylor and Bonnie Walters. The UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest will be held in Austin on May 28. The Sweetwater Middle School Band solo festival will also be held in May. --Dr. Ross Grant