Pleasant Valley’s success at IHSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival

Natalie+Murphy%2C+Christine+Lyon%2C+Charity+Jensen%2C+Emily+Johnson%2C+Madison+Wells%2C+Rachael+Lyon%2C+and+Annie+Warner+stand+together+after+completing+their+ensemble+at+the+IHMSA+Solo+and+Ensemble+Festival.
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Pleasant Valley’s success at IHSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival

Natalie Murphy, Christine Lyon, Charity Jensen, Emily Johnson, Madison Wells, Rachael Lyon, and Annie Warner stand together after completing their ensemble at the IHMSA Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Natalie Murphy, Christine Lyon, Charity Jensen, Emily Johnson, Madison Wells, Rachael Lyon, and Annie Warner stand together after completing their ensemble at the IHMSA Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Michael Murphy

Natalie Murphy, Christine Lyon, Charity Jensen, Emily Johnson, Madison Wells, Rachael Lyon, and Annie Warner stand together after completing their ensemble at the IHMSA Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Natalie Murphy, Christine Lyon, Charity Jensen, Emily Johnson, Madison Wells, Rachael Lyon, and Annie Warner stand together after completing their ensemble at the IHMSA Solo and Ensemble Festival.

Azariah Courtney, Editor in Chief

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On April 6, 2019, members of Pleasant Valley choral department participated in the IHSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival that took place at Davenport West High School.

This year, there was a total of 116 submissions: 2o more than the previous year in 2018. Of these submissions, there were 43 ensemble performances and more than 80 solo performances.

The process leading up to the festival was fairly orderly; every member in choir is required to attend. Whether it be by random assignment or choice of the students’, students were to participate in ensembles, duets, or solos.

Students and judges alike partook in a very eventful, busy day. Judges listened to different performances every seven minutes from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm with only an hour lunch break.

Meg Byrne, choral director at Pleasant Valley, was in charge of the students participating in the event. The individual performances of the students are important to look at, as well.

Byrne discussed the different types of performances at the festival. “Each performance consists of up to six minutes of music, usually done through two contrasting pieces. Singers mostly perform classical works, often in other languages,” said Byrne. “ All vocal performances are done from memory.”

At the end of the day, the six centers each gave an award to the best soloist or ensemble. This year, Pleasant Valley was awarded with five of the six Best of Center awards; the sixth award was not given out to any soloist or ensemble.

Senior Jimmy Guest was awarded one of these centers for his solo performance. Sisters Christine Lyon, a senior, and Rachel Lyon, a sophomore, were awarded for their duet performance.

Seniors Madison Wells and Christine Lyon were awarded for their duet performance; Wells, Lyon, Alex Jungers, and Alex Boyd, all seniors, were awarded for their mixed quartet performance.

Lastly, Wells, Charity Jensen, Christine Lyon, Rachel Lyon, Emily Johnson, Natalie Murphy, and Annie Warner were awarded for their treble ensemble.

Byrne spoke about the PV Choir’s success at the Solo and Ensemble Festival. “

As far as compared to last year or years past, this is the fourth time in the past five years in which Pleasant Valley vocalists have been awarded the Outstanding Musician awards in all but one center.”

— Byrne

,” Byrne stated.

“These awards not only reward the outstanding vocalists that we have at Pleasant Valley, but they also show the great leadership and hard work that our students demonstrate.”

Wells, now a senior, reminisced on her last IHSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival. She said, “We [the treble ensemble] all were in Leading Tones together, and this was our last time performing as a group so it was a very special moment.”

The success of Pleasant Valley choir has at the festival was extremely notable for the choral students.. “It was so amazing that we took five of the six centers,” said Wells. “It is such a proud feeling to be validated in something you love to do.”