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87 MPS students earn highest scores at Solo and Ensemble Festival and advance to State competition

A harpist prepares to go before a judge at the WSMA District event.Eighty-seven Milwaukee Public Schools students are advancing to the Wisconsin School Music Association’s State competition, after their strong performances at the WSMA District Solo and Ensemble Festival. The competition was Saturday, March 2, at Rufus King International High School. 

More than 400 MPS students from 17 schools performed as soloists or in ensembles in classrooms throughout the school. They played wind, string, and percussion instruments, and sang as soloists and in duets, trios, and choirs. It was a full day for the musicians; the festival goes from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. 

“The WSMA Solo and Ensemble Event held at Rufus King has grown each year since we returned to being able to make music together following the pandemic,” said Sharie Garcia, the MPS district music curriculum specialist and the manager for the festival.  

Schools represented were Academia de Lenguaje y Bellas Artes (ALBA), Bay View High School, A.E. Burdick, Fernwood Montessori, Golda Meir, Rufus King International High School, MacDowell Montessori, Maryland Avenue Montessori, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Milwaukee Parkside School for the Arts, Milwaukee School of Languages, Marshall High School, Pulaski High School, Reagan College Preparatory High School, Riverside University High School, Victory, and Whitman.  

The advancing students received the highest rating, a score of 1*, or one star. Another 13 students from Bruce Guadalupe School, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Brookfield Academy, and University School Milwaukee who competed Saturday also will advance to State. 

Judges gave the students feedback after their performances, in spoken comments and in writing.  

“Students, teachers and families should be very proud of their accomplishments,” Garcia said of the MPS musicians. 

The WSMA State Competition will be held in April at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

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Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager

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