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CHS music students finish first in vocal competition

  • Pictured are some of the Chester High School vocal music students that competed in the IHSA State Solo and Ensemble Contest, earning a first place award in Class C. With the students is Steve Colonel, Chester High School Band and Choral director.

    Pictured are some of the Chester High School vocal music students that competed in the IHSA State Solo and Ensemble Contest, earning a first place award in Class C. With the students is Steve Colonel, Chester High School Band and Choral director.
    Jim Beers Photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing Writer
updated: 4/16/2017 9:58 AM

Chester High School entered a total of 84 solo and ensemble performances at the recent IHSA State Solo and Ensemble Contest at Carterville High School.

Chester students brought home a total of 47 superior ratings, 33 excellent ratings and four good ratings. CHS scored 183 points, narrowly edging out Iroquois West High School (177) and Carrol High School (174).

"This is the third year in a row that we have finished first in the vocal competition," said CHS Band and Choral Director Steve Colonel. "Last year, we finished third overall in the state in Class C competition.

"The kids are determined to do even better this year."

Points are awarded based upon ratings earned at the State Solo and Ensemble Contest. Division I ratings earn six points and Division II ratings earn three points.

"CHS is currently sitting in a tie for third place overall in the IHSA Music Sweepstakes Competition with 357 points," Colonel said. "Our students will likely add to their sweepstakes total points when they compete in the IHSA State Organizational Contest on Friday at Nashville High School."

Two of the CHS instrumental and choral students - Justin Steele (four superior ratings, two excellent) and Mitchell Colonel (six superior ratings - particularly stood out for CHS.

Judges rate each student's performance based on a variety of criteria. Solo performances are judged on tone quality, intonation, rhythm, technique, interpretation or musicianship, diction, scales and other performance factors such as personal appearance, poise, posture, conduct, facial expression, and the choice of music being performed.

Small ensembles or groups of students can also perform at the solo and ensemble contest. Duets, trios, quartets and other larger ensembles are qualified to perform for a rating.

Ensembles are judged based on slightly different criteria including choice of literature, appropriate appearance, general conduct of the performers and memory.

Division I (or Superior) ratings earn 36-40 points and are considered to be outstanding in nearly every detail.

Division II (or Excellent) ratings earn 28-35.9 points and are considered to be excellent with only minor effects.

Division III (or Good) ratings earn 20-27.9 points and are considered to be a good performance, but lacking finesse and/or interpretation.

Division IV (or Fair) ratings earn 12-19.9 points and are considered to have basic weaknesses. Finally, Division V (or Poor) ratings earn 8-11.9 points and are considered to be unsatisfactory.

Of the 25 Chester ensemble performances, the students earned 15 "Superior" ratings and 10 "Excellent" ratings.

Of those 25 ensembles, nine were instrumental ensembles while 16 were vocal ensembles.

The 13 Superior ensemble ratings included the five instrumental ensembles of Bachman (clarinet); Liefer (mixed woodwinds); Colonel (trumpet, brass choir) and Stehl (trombones).

There were also 10 vocal ensembles that earned "Superior" ratings - Doiron (bass), Bert (treble), Elsea (treble), Rose (mixed), Richards (treble), Liefer (mixed), Simcock (mixed) and Elsea (mixed), Everding (treble) and Simcock (treble).

There were also nine ensembles that earned "Excellent" ratings. Instrumental ensembles were Elsea (saxophone) Williams (flute) and Liefer (clarinet).

Vocal ensembles with "Excellent" ratings were Junger (treble), Stehl (Bass), Liefer (treble), Asbury (treble), Vasquez (treble), Roes (flute)and Shinabarger (mixed).

There were 59 solo performances for the day from Chester students. Of those, Chester earned 32 Superior ratings, 23 Excellent ratings and four Good ratings.

Of the superior ratings, 15 were voice solos while 17 were instrumental solos. The 15 Superior vocal solo ratings were Caitlin Elsea, Justin Stehl, Steven Ehlers, Ronin Doiron, Trent Doiron, Hailey Asbury, Jacob Wingerter, Cassie Everding, Kylie Liefer, Brooke Frazer, Jackie Hopkins, Ellen Blechle, Jenna Bierman, Garrett Welker and Mitchell Colonel.

The 17 instrumental solo Superior ratings were Grace Stec (clarinet), Jessica Handel (flute), Gwen Sterrett (flute), Mitchell Colonel (trumpet), Lance Bohnert (trumpet), Zach Zappa (trumpet), Destiny Williams (flute), Nate Rains (French horn), Justin Stehl (trombone), Avery Sebastian (clarinet), Kylie Liefer (clarinet), Chett Andrews (tuba), Cody Wahl (tuba), Steven Ehlers (saxophone), Montana Rose (flute), Caitlin Elsea (alto saxophone) and Jacob Wingerter, alto saxophone.

Of the 23 "Excellent" ratings, 10 were instrumental and 13 were vocal. The 10 instrumentals were Nate Rains (piano), Logan Colvis (flute), Brianna Baughman (clarinet), Abby Myers (trombone), Garrett Welker (trombone), Dayton James (trombone), Chris Schwier (alto saxophone), Cassie Everding (alto saxophone), Brittany Zahringer (clarinet) and Vanessa Inman (clarinet).

Vocal 13 "Excellent" ratings were Avry Sebastian, Lance Bohnert, Andy Bryant, Montana Rose, Malary Vasquez, Jacob Hoffman, Kayla Simcock, Destiny Williams, Brittany Zahringer, Katy Liefer, Faye Hathaway, Jaci South and Ciontae Monroe.

There were four "Good" ratings - Bailey Wahl, vocal solo; Bree Mollet, vocal solo; Jadi Richards, bass clarinet solo and Elyzabeth Mitchell, bass clarinet solo.