Band students flying solo in next round of UIL competition


Kennedy Williams

Moving onward in the UIL competition season, each band student has been perfecting their solo which they will perform in February and April. For many students who were previously online, the solo contest will be an entirely new experience.

Grant Milleson, Staff Reporter

Often performing as part of a much larger group, band students are going solo as they prepare for the next UIL competition

“The goal for students doing the Solo contest is to push themselves as individual musicians,” assistant director of bands Cecily Yoakam said. “Preparing solos for contests teaches students how to prepare harder music on their own, outside of a traditional band setting. It gives them a chance to grow confidence and experience new challenges.”

For their audition, students select their own music based on various difficulties, and prepare it on their own for the auditions in February or April.

“When choosing a solo, I tried to find music that I thought had the most meaning,” sophomore Shivansh Tiwari said. “Every composition is unique, but there are some pieces that just click with me. Students benefit from the solo contest by finding new ways to express music. Getting rid of that fear of performing alone is also a vital skill in today’s world.”

Additionally students are able to perform their music twice, or even learn a new solo due to the two auditions times.

“The differences between the solo contests in February and April are very few, “Yoakam said. “Both are UIL contests, which means students have an opportunity to compete for UIL rankings. Performing in the February contest, students can move onto the State Solo & Ensemble Contest in the summer where they will compete with students across Texas. In April, students are not eligible to move onto the State Contest, but the requirements for their solo are the same.”

Junior Zeke Rubio plans to slowly work on his solo with his private lesson teacher.

“I am preparing in a band by taking notes during lessons about each line in the music,” Rubio said. “I then played the song from beginning to end. I am very confident in my practicing habits and techniques learned from my private lessons teacher.”

For Tiwari, despite being a sophomore, the process will be a new experience and one that he is looking forward to.

“My goal is to learn as much as I can from my solo contest,” Tiwari said. “Being online last year, I don’t feel I was able to take in the entire experience of this competition. Being there in person would definitely help me much more, and I’m ready to get started!”