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The Print

Fallston Shows Up and Shows Out for Solo and Ensemble

Featured from left to right; Sara Dorsey, Jenny Phillips, Arianna Hernandez, Amanda Dorsey, Noah Walter, Izzy Tarantola, Lillian Johnson, Graham Gainey, Joey Patalon, and E.V. Freeman. (Courtesy of fhs_courgarband Instagram)

Six of Fallston High School’s band students participated in Solo and Ensemble this past weekend. Lillian Johnson, Izzy Tarantola, Sara Dorsey, Amanda Dorsey, Arianna Hernandez, Jenny Phillips, Noah Walter, E.V. Freeman, and Joey Patalon all were given a superior score in various groups and solos. 

Just like golf, the lower the number, the better the score. The best score a group could get is a one, which is called “superior,” then “excellent,” “good,” “fair,” and lastly, five points called “poor.” 

Solo and Ensemble is open to any combination of instruments as long as you pick a piece that works for the group. Picking from various books, each group can pick what to play to show their strengths or pick a higher level to challenge themselves. 

Lillian Johnson and Izzy Tarantola played “Rondeau” by Jean-Joseph Mouret on trumpet. This was Tarantola’s first year participating and ended up loving it, saying, “I am definitely doing this next year, and hopefully as an annual thing!” Both girls have played together since eighth grade, making it easier to understand each other’s strengths. “We both got the feel of the piece quickly and were able to work together to balance each other out,” said Tarantola. After their performance Tarantola noted “it was less nerve-wracking than [she] thought.” Both girls appreciated hearing the comments, even if it was an intimidating experience. “It was nice to get some feedback in a smaller group setting,” said Johnson. 

Sara Dorsey and Arianna Hernandez on clarinet, and Jenny Phillips on trumpet played “Dance” by Sperontes. This is the group’s first time playing together, but each of them has participated in Solo and Ensemble in the past. “It’s fun playing in a small group because it challenges you to find the right balance between instruments,” said Dorsey. Even before practicing the piece all together, the group “understood one another’s strengths and weaknesses from playing together in band, and in previous solo and ensemble performances,” said Phillips.  

E.V. Freeman played “Nocturne” on clarinet by Luigi Bassi. This was Freeman’s second year playing in Solo and Ensemble saying, “It allows me to get critique and help me improve as a musician.” Before being scored, Freeman confessed she was extremely nervous, but her nerves were put to rest when she was given only praises. 


Sara Dorsey also played “Scherzo in C Minor” by Paul Koepke on clarinet. Sara Dorsey has participated in Solo and Ensemble for six years, starting in fifth grade. “I participate in Solo and Ensemble because it’s fun preparing a piece and performing it,” said Dorsey. “The feedback you get from the judge is also extremely helpful.”  

Graham Gainey and Joey Patalon played “Minuet” by J.S. Bach on trumpet. This was both of their first times participating in Solo and Ensemble. Gainey originally was going to sign up alone but decided to open it up to a duet. “It was a pretty relaxing and fun experience even though it was early in the morning,” said Patalon.  

Amanda Dorsey, on flute, and Noah Walter, on saxophone, played “Waltz” by Brahms. “You don’t often hear the flute and saxophone instruments together, so the sound was very unique,” said Walter. Dorsey added saying, “We had to change a lot about how we played the piece for the balance between the instruments to fit…but the outcome of the piece made it worth it.”  

Amanda Dorsey also played “Andalouse” on Flute by Émile Pessard. This was Dorsey’s fourth year participating in Solo and Ensemble, and said, “I enjoy it because I get feedback on my individual performance and skill, as opposed to the band as a whole.” Confident throughout this entire process, Dorsey said she “put [herself] into the piece and brought the notes to life. 

Another congratulations to everyone who played this past weekend and good luck in May at States! 

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About the Contributor
Arianna Hernandez, Staff Reporter
Arianna is the sportswriter for Fallston High School’s The Print. Being a three-season athlete, she is practically born for this role. Arianna runs cross country, swims, and hurdles in the spring. During the summer, Arianna was graced with Taylor Swift’s presence, especially with her bonus song, “The Story of Us.” Other than concerts, Arianna worked as a Head Lifeguard all summer and volunteered at the famous Tabitha’s House. Arianna is a part of a variety of honors societies and is a part of Girls Who Code and the Robotics Club at Fallston. 
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