Berlin hosts Solo & Ensemble


Reese Nowicki

Choir Director Lisa Utecht is fixing how loud the Acovax singers’ microphones are as they sing “Turn on the Radio,” by Mark Oakley, and “Kaleidoscope Heart,” by Sara Bareilles. Both pieces are class A, and will be performed at Solo & Ensemble.

Reese Nowicki, Reporter

Berlin High School will host Solo & Ensemble on Saturday, March 5. Solo & Ensemble is an individual or group of students performing a song for a group of three judges. Once finished judges provide constructive feedback.

Choir Director Lisa Utecht, Band Directors Ben Ruetten and Tricia Walheim are all preparing ahead. Utecht is preparing her two biggest groups by making sure they have got all their music rehearsed and to see what are some of the gray areas they need to work on. Acovax and Encore are the two biggest groups Utecht has. They are the elite singing groups that require an audition.

“Personally, I have to set up an accompanist for the kids and make sure they get time with their accompanist to work, and help out any kids that need it. I have my big groups Acovax, Encore and Show Choir that I have to prepare for performances,” Utecht said.

Other students are also rehearsing for what is going to be coming their way, and some of the kids are doing more than one performance for the judges. 

“Music teachers will be looking at how far you are on your piece. If they think that you can get it to a good level, and if it’s good enough, then they send you,” sophomore Jenna Tuinstra said.

After students perform, they are given a placement.

“Judges sit there and listen to the performances and they write on a judge form and give the kids some feedback. Then give the kids a score and they rank them either anywhere from first, second, third, fourth,” Utecht said.

The classes are labeled according to the degree of difficulty of the music.

 “There are the class levels. The easiest is class C, then there is class B which is a little more difficult, and the most difficult is class A. If the kid does really well and the judge gives them a starred first then they can go on to state level.”

Solo & Ensemble is optional so not every music student has to join.

“Students that are really good at music, or anyone, can choose to do Solo & Ensemble; they can just sign themselves up,” junior Spencer Goettl said.