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WAWM Hosts District Solo & Ensemble Music Festival

On Saturday, February 25, 2023, students from area schools participated in a Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) sanctioned District Solo & Ensemble Music Festival hosted at West Allis Central High School. During the festival students performed vocal and instrumental solos, duets, trios and small ensembles before an adjudicator.  There were 12 performance sites, over 400 events performed during the day by 507 student musicians.
Photo: Lane Pops Strings, Mary Pat Michels, director (Courtesy: Amber Corrao)
Students from Central, Nathan Hale, Dottke, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lane, and West Milwaukee as well as six neighboring districts were at the festival.  According to West Allis-West Milwaukee School District Orchestra Director and Music Coordinator, Mary Pat Michels, “It is an honor to host this event. We are always excited to welcome students from all over southeastern Wisconsin.  Everyone works hard to prepare and we’re proud of our results!  I am especially grateful to my music teachers who helped with planning and logistics, for our WAPD that supports us during the day, and that Dr. Lexmond was able to come visit and experience the event first hand.”
WAWM Medal Totals:
West Allis Central High School earned 57 gold & 59 silver for a total of 106 medals
West Allis Nathan Hale High School earned 163 gold, 43 silver & 2 bronze for a total of 208 medals
Frank Lloyd Wright Intermediate School earned 127 gold, 27 silver, & 15 bronze totaling 169 medals
Lane Intermediate School earned 88 gold, 14 silver, & 3 bronze totaling 105 medals
West Milwaukee Intermediate School earned 8 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze for a total of 12 medals
Note: Dottke’s medal count is included with Hale & Central as those students are dual-enrolled.
The District Total Medal Count was 443 gold, 146 silver, 33 bronze equalling 611 medals.
Photo: listening to a friend outside of his performance site (Courtesy, Cori Plier)
Qualifying for the State Festival at Cardinal Stritch ~ May 6, 2023:
West Allis Central High School: 15 events: 14 solos & 1 ensemble
West Allis Nathan Hale High School: 38 events: 27 solos & 11 ensembles
The following students will perform solos at State at Cardinal Stritch University on May 6, 2023.
From Central Band:
Anika Schwartz (alto saxophone solo)
From Central Orchestra:
Jessica Sheets (viola solo), Shaelynn Smith (violin solo), Jessica Sheets & Ethan Pawlak (viola duet)
From Central Choir: 
Cameron Jenkins (vocal and musical theater solos), Iris Musack (vocal and musical theater solos), Ethan Pawlak (musical theater solo), Alex Sheremeta (vocal and musical theater solos), Harrison Stauffacher (vocal and musical theater solos), Eleanor Szalacinski (musical theater solo), Italia Zuniga (musical theater solo) 
From Hale Band:
Flute Ensemble, Clarinet Quartet, Saxophone Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble
From Hale Orchestra:
Brae Bigelow (violin & viola solos), Gavriilia Fyrogeni (bass solo), Anna Koney (violin solo), Aria Kuenzli (violin solo), Ella McGinley (viola, cello, bass, & jazz improv solos), Ava Roberts (jazz piano solo), Bailey Slade (bass solo), Hayden Stringer (viola solo), Luke Swirth (violin solo), Liam Thoen (cello solo), Max Wallace (cello solo).  Brae Bigelow & Liam Thoen (violin/cello duet), Brae Bigelow & Hayden Stringer (violin/viola duet), Brae Bigelow, Ella McGinley, and Liam Thoen (string trio)
From Hale Choir:
Brook Buchholz (Vocal solo), Brooke Crowley (vocal solo), Asialiana Grootemaat (musical theater solo), Olivia Gross (vocal and musical theater solos), Clara Haass (musical theater solo), Samyiah Harper (vocal solo and musical theater solos), Kaya Hernandez-Schoof (musical theater solo), Robin Krajewski (musical theater solo), Spencer Ours (vocal solo), Michael Scrip (vocal solo), Hale Madrigal Ensemble, and three small ensembles.
Photo: Hale Jazz Band, Kristi Wicihowski directing (courtesy: Cori Plier)

The Solo & Ensemble Festival Program for which WSMA is most well-known draws in more than 100,000 students each year, representing every county in the state of Wisconsin! “I still have my Solo & Ensemble medals” is a statement regularly heard by WSMA staff from generations of festival participants who take pride in this long-time tradition, which creates memories and skills for life. Through the Solo & Ensemble experience, students learn the discipline of rehearsal, are challenged to advance their musical skills, perform in front of an audience and adjudicator, and receive feedback on their performance. Those that perform at the highest level (Class A) at a WSMA District Festival have the opportunity to receive a 1* (one-star) rating which advances them on to State Solo & Ensemble Festival. Each year over 32,000 students (11,000+ events) qualify at district festivals to perform at State Solo & Ensemble festival making this event one of the largest of its kind in the nation. These students represent the student talent and high quality of music programs in Wisconsin’s schools.