On June 1st, 11th grader Emily Strenski and 12th grader Emily Richardson competed at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Contest. Strenski, playing the trumpet, brought home a gold medal for earning a division one “superior” rating. Playing the xylophone, Richardson received a division two “excellent” rating for her performance.
Both girls practiced constantly, working hard to earn the highest award they could. To be able to advance to state, they had to memorize their solos, which could last as long as six minutes or two pages. Strenski even practiced at least a half hour every day in the weeks leading up to the competition. With her gold medal, the trumpet player knew her hard work had paid off.
“Practicing helped solidify the solo in my memory and
allowed me to put my own style on certain parts of the song,” Strenski said. “Honestly, everyone was telling me that a one at region level is equivalent to a three at state, so I was really aiming for at least a two.”
Throughout the school year, the players did not go unnoticed by Band Director Karen Brunker, who nominated them for the honor as Texas Music Scholars. This award is given to students with outstanding qualities in scholastic merit, musicianship and citizenship in their
school and community and
is not an easy accomplishment. Last year, fewer than 2,100 students received it.
These outstanding band members received four state awards between them, ranging from a gold medal to a statewide award. Their hard work has reflected great accomplishments upon themselves and the music program at Archer City High School.
“These girls did a great job at state!” Band Director Brunker said.