For the first time, the Grayslake Central choir and band will switch from the IHSA solo and ensemble competition to a home competition with North on Feb 20. This switch is primarily aimed to help students receive more feedback and improve in musicality skills. The home competition will hopefully offer criticism that focuses on one area of growth for the participating students.
The choir director, Michael Gutierrez, and band director, Dom Bertino, are in charge of all choir and band practices and. They, along with North’s choir director, Paul Nielsen, are taking the lead on the back out of IHSA competition.
“The IHSA has rules about how many entries they can have. There are only a certain amount of solos and ensembles they can do. If we do it in house, which we are doing with our district, we can choose a wide variety of music that they [the students] want to do and probably more interested in” said Gutierrez.
While the teachers have high hopes for the new switch, music students seem to have differing opinions on the matter.
“I don’t really care about it. I mean it’s nice to have a little competition, but it’s not like ‘ooh I’m so excited’, it’s just a plain rivalry” freshman Caleb Jasper explains.
“I think it’s more of a good opportunity for people to win more trophies. And if there is more people competing then it’s harder for people to win awards.” Freshman Kaede Kazuno explains.
The differences in judges can also prove to be worthy for the artists and musicians
“When you go to the IHSA solo and ensemble contest you don’t interact with any of the judges they just give you a score on a piece of paper with sometimes very vague comments that can be taken in a few different ways. Part of what we are doing is getting rid of that, so we will have a couple of other high school judges so other high school choir directors from our area come and give one-on-one feedback with them so it’s not just scores” Gutierrez says.