Monday, May 14, 2018
The Wisconsin School Music Association’s annual Solo & Ensemble Festivals are the highlight of the year for student musicians. At the district level, student vocalists and instrumentalists strive to advance to the state level. At the state festival, gold medals are the top prize. What could be better than a gold medal?
“At State, judges are allowed to nominate students they thought were the best of the State festival,” explained Milena Walker from Riverside High School. “From those nominations, they select students for Exemplary Performances. These are the best of the best – a huge honor.”
This year, a total of 12 solos and ensembles were named Exemplary Performances by judges at the state level.
Milwaukee High School of the Arts
Vocal Jazz Ensemble
Ronald Reagan High School
Lauren Barta – Alto Vocal Solo
Casimir Riley – Eflat Baritone Saxophone Solo
Kaitlyn Rian – Trumpet Solo
Alexander Walker – Broadway Vocal Solo
Natalija Walker – Soprano Vocal Solo
Madrigal Vocal Ensemble
Riverside University High School
Ty'Johnna Gardner - Broadway Vocal Solo
Morgan Kruger - Soprano Vocal Solo
Rufus King IB High School
Mystique Evans – Cello Solo
Maya Grosser and Josue Koenig – Violin Duet
Emma Shenkenberg – Oboe Solo
A standout among these honorees is Natalija Walker, who earned exemplary recognition four years in a row for her vocal solo. “I have not heard of any students winning that many times in the entire state,” said Walker. “This is an amazing achievement.”
MPS students are enjoying expanded access to arts programs this year during the MPS Year of the Arts. Congratulations to these dedicated, talented musicians!
Photo: Natalija Walker