Middle-school student musicians compete in person, virtually
(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- May 4, 2021) — Fine arts had to get a little creative to ensure as many middle-school students as possible had the opportunity to participate in the annual Solo & Ensemble competition this weekend. The nearly 1,000 participants took to Zoom, performed live or submitted pre-recorded pieces for this year’s competition.
“It is an important milestone for any musician to be able to prepare and perform in this situation,” said Mark Saenz, instrumental music facilitator. “A student performing by themselves or in a small group is a tremendous accomplishment and one that we at EPISD Fine Arts choose to celebrate.”
The competition drew 935 students through the three options provided.
“This is an awesome number and big testament to how hard our fine arts music teachers continue to work to impact our students lives,” Saenz said. “We were so proud of our teachers for preparing these students under the most difficult of situations. We felt our students needed this outlet to celebrate this accomplishment and give them something positive to work for.”
Solo & Ensemble helps students grow as musicians, which has been proven to improve overall student academic achievement.
“Experiences like these build up a student's confidence allowing them to feel they can achieve whatever they want by setting goals and working for them,” he said. “Our hope is all students and parents in EPISD see the value in making music a part of their students’ lives. Just like PE and sports, participating in the long-term study of the arts is essential to building a well-rounded student who is prepared for the challenges of the real world.”
Story by Reneé de Santos Photos by EPISD Fine Arts