On Saturday, March 5, Loyola’s Honors Orchestra took 2nd place (159 points) in state at the IHSA Class AA Strings Solo & Ensemble Contest. This annual contest gives high school music students an opportunity to perform instrumental solos and ensembles for a juried rating. Loyola’s 2nd place finish marks the first time in school history that the strings received such a high distinction!
Students prepared solos, small ensembles and large ensembles to perform before a judge. The judge rated the students based on criteria such as tone quality, rhythm, pitch, expression, diction and skill. Students were then placed into categories based on their objective score. All participants received feedback detailing their strengths and any areas for improvement. High schools were ranked based on the combined scores for all the solos, small ensembles and large string ensembles.
Reavis High School (Burbank, IL) hosted the competition and over 1,700 students from around the Chicagoland area participated. The Class AA division of the IHSA Solo and Ensemble Contest features all the participating high schools in the state that have a student enrollment over 2,000 such as Loyola Academy.
The strings are led by Director of Orchestras Mr. Patrick Rustandi and Mr. Sean McQuinn, guitar ensemble instructor. Also participating in this event was the Loyola Academy Guitar Ensemble and Choir, directed by Mrs. Margaret Metzger '13, which placed 8th in state!