This past Saturday, March 16, the Hamilton High School Band program sent 15 events to the MSBOA State Solo & Ensemble Festival at Portage Northern High School. In order to qualify, the events needed to earn an overall 1st Division Rating at District Solo & Ensemble Festival a little over a month ago. The events that participated include:

  • Evan Talsma- Alto Sax solo
  • Caroline Johnson- Tuba solo
  • Ethan Csapos- Clarinet solo
  • Drew Van Houten- Trombone solo
  • Evan Talsma, Josh Bush & Tristan Patch- Saxophone trio
  • Annika Johnson- French Horn solo
  • James Andersen & Ricky Towne- Trombone duet
  • Alyssa Frank, Kenzie Pelletier, Alyssa Bittner, Bri Carpenter, Evan Talsma- Woodwind quintet
  • Avery VanDerMeulen, Annika Johnson, Drew Van Houten, Joey Oppenhuizen, Tyler Michielsen- Brass quintet
  • Joey Oppenhuizen- Trombone solo
  • Alyssa Frank- Flute solo
  • Alyssa Weber- Flute solo
  • Ella Oppenhuizen & Leah Elkins- Flute duet
  • Karley Riddle & Libby Bickel- Trumpet duet
  • Tyler Michielsen- Trumpet solo

Of the 15 events that participated, 11 earned a 1st Division Rating and 4 earned a 2nd Division Rating! 

Some events did such a great job that they earned state-wide recognition. This is extremely rare and a very, very high honor. These include:

  • Caroline Johnson and Evan Talsma were nominated to participate in the State of Michigan Outstanding Soloist competition for their solo performances.
  • Evan Talsma, Josh Bush and Tristan Patch were nominated to participate in the State of Michigan Outstanding Ensemble competition for their saxophone trio performance.
  • Caroline Johnson was selected to be a member of the State of Michigan Honors Brass Chamber Ensemble. This means she was one of the top 3 tuba performers in the entire state of Michigan!

The Outstanding Soloist Competition will take place at Eastern Michigan University on Friday, April 5th.

The Outstanding Ensemble Competition is done by recording over the course of the next two weeks.

The State of Michigan State Honors Brass Chamber Ensemble as well as the winners of the Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Ensemble competitions will perform at the MSBOA Spring Honor Showcase at Western Michigan University on Friday, May 10th.

"This is by far the best showing at State Solo & Ensemble Festival that Hamilton has ever had since I've been here and I couldn't be more proud of ALL of our young musicians who took part this past Saturday," said band teacher, Joe Herrick.

Way to go, Hawkeyes!