Lancers perform at WSMA


Neha Ajjampore

Gwen Rian (’20) practices her class A piano solo in preparation for Solo and Ensemble

Neha Ajjampore, Activities Editor

Over 100,000 young musicians compete annually in WSMA (Solo & Ensemble), a festival held by the Wisconsin School Music Association that represents every county in the state. This long-held tradition helps students build musicianship and performance skills while teaching the importance of disciplined rehearsal. Students are also able to compete in many different events, spanning across all types of music, including wind, percussion, and string, as well as vocal.

Solo & Ensemble took place on March 10 at Wisconsin Hills Middle School, in which hundreds of students from Elmbrook Schools participated. From eight o’clock in the morning until late in the afternoon, back-to-back events of all kinds were performed in front of and scored by a judge. One could practically see the nerves and stress coming off of the performers. “My mouth got really dry when I was playing, and my stomach was turning. I was so scared that I was going to mess up,” says Lauren Roskopf (‘20), who was part of a flute quartet. Playing in front of a judge who is constantly watching you while writing multiple comments down is bound to bring on some anxiety.

On the other hand, one of the most favored elements of WSMA Solo & Ensemble is the independence of it all; students are given the freedom to choose their own class—that is, the level of the piece. Madeline Consiglio (‘20) stated that she enjoyed “…the fact that I was able to go out and pick my own piece of music to learn and be able to work on and perform it.” Still, as she says, it’s tough to coordinate times to practice with the whole ensemble and play under pressure.

Nonetheless, all of the participants put forth their best effort and several came back with high scores. Jacob Tan, a sophomore who played a classical guitar solo, says, “I got my song two weeks before the competition, and I practiced as much as I could while trying to balance my other activities. I’m very happy with my results.” Tan ended up receiving a one-star (the highest possible score) and will be taking part in State Solo & Ensemble Festival in April. He is among the 100 events from Brookfield Central to advance to state level competition.