Back in Business — Solo Ensemble Contest 2022


Noelle Buehrer

After a hiatus of two years for our singers and three years for our instrumentalists, solo ensemble contest returned for 2022. Each year (with the exception of pandemic season), Prep’s bravest musicians travel to perform in front of judges. There, they receive feedback as well as a rating of either fair, good, excellent, or superior. Students are judged on factors such as rhythm, intonation, interpretation, etc. Students who earn an excellent rating receive a certificate and those who achieve a superior rating receive a certificate and a medal.

This year, on February 14th, a dozen Prep singers traveled to Paynesville for contest. Chamber Choir was up first, consisting of Noelle Buehrer ’22, Jade Ostendorf ’22, Kai Martinson ’22, Sophie Nelson ’23, Sadie Kraft ’23, Levi Van Heel ’24, and Lincoln Vix ’24. The group performed the piece “Music’s Echo,” for which they received a superior rating. Also receiving superior ratings that night were soloists Sylvia Johnson ’22, Kayla Okonu ’22, Noelle Buehrer, Jade Ostendorf, and Kaidance Stephens ’25. All other performers received excellent ratings: Lukas Uhlenkamp ’22, Sadie Kraft ’23, Levi Van Heel ’24, and Anthony Heroux ’25.

Instrumental solo ensemble took place two weeks later, February 28th, at Eden Valley Watkins. The Jazz Band intended to travel and play, but decided at the last minute to sit this one out. Plenty of other students went, playing solos, duets, and small ensemble pieces. Impressively, nearly everyone received superior ratings! The clarinet ensemble went first, made up of Jaedyn Nydeen ’22, Clara Schleper ’23, Vanessa Paulson ’23, and Lincoln Vix ’24. The group kicked off a string of superior ratings. The evening continued with solos from Finch Pfannenstein ’22, Noelle Buehrer ’22, Cambel Shepherd ’23, Vanessa Paulson ’23, Miranda Louis ’24, Lincoln Vix ’24, Owen Schleper ’24, and Liam Spychala ’25, all of whom received superior ratings except for Owen, who received an excellent. Finch also played two duets, one with Lincoln and one with Cambel.

After years of having their talents confined to the Prep school, our musicians were finally able to hit the road and be recognized for their hard work.