UIL Solo/Ensemble

Chloe Snyder, Writer

The UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest will take place on February 2, 2019, showcasing the hard work of singers to the judges at Plano High School. Every year, the contest takes place to reward those with musical skill.

“People who take part in Solo and Ensemble gain experience singing alone or with a small group for a table of judges, and I think that the performance can help students sing with more confidence,” Kylie Martin, 2021, said.

Current participants are preparing for the contest with hard work, practicing songs and working out their singing ability.

“For any future or current Solo and Ensemble participants, I feel that constructive criticism is key. Sing your song for your voice teacher or choir director, and use their advice to build upon your current knowledge and skill,” Martin said. “They are the experts, after all, so they will be able to give you personalized advice and tips on how to get even closer to receiving a perfect score.”

A common way of practicing for many singers is to listen to the original tracks of their songs and go over the inflections in their music to achieve the most benefit.

“You get to pick your own music so pick music that fits your vocal range,” Myles Dudley, 2021, said.

The selection of pieces that are available for students are all difficult to some extent, some being in other languages such as French or Italian. However, every student interested in growing as a musical artist is encouraged to try.

“If you choose to do a solo, performing in front of judges may help you overcome your stage fright and vocal experience. The process of practicing the music while incorporating small musical details, such as dynamics, can also help you improve your overall singing technique,” Martin said.

The biggest tips for prospecting singers is to practice, pay close attention to details and have fun.

“Work on your song daily, perhaps sing through it several times per day. Memorizing the song three weeks before the performance would be helpful,” Choir Director Glen Miller said. “Singing in front of a mirror or for your friends would also help. Work diligently to be sure the musical parts are learned well for accurate performing for the judge.”

The stress of contest can be daunting for some, but with the proper guidance and support, nearly anyone should be able to sing their piece with confidence.

“Each singer should give it their very best, and trust that their hard work will pay off, and not be concerned too much about the outcome (the judges’ opinion of the performance),” Miller said.

In the future, there will be more UIL Solo and Ensemble Contests for choral students, so anyone looking into it should considering entering in the future. It is not a competition, therefore each contestant will be judged separately from the others.

“I think anyone who is performing at contest should be focused on giving their best effort, but it is important not to stress!” Martin said. “If you don’t get a perfect score, it isn’t the end of the world. The most important part is to enjoy yourself, and enjoy the experience.”
Luck goes out to those performing on February 2!