Instrumental music students from several Michigan City Area Schools took part in the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) solo and ensemble contest on Jan. 28 at Kankakee Valley Middle School, with nearly 50 receiving gold and silver ratings.
Four students from Michigan City High School earned gold ratings on music of the highest difficulty level and will now advance to the ISSMA State Solo and Ensemble competition at North Central High School in Indianapolis on Feb. 25. These students are Sophia Barczak, Emray David, Kyra Krachinski, and Ashley Sparks. During the ISSMA event on Jan. 28, Krachinski received gold ratings on piccolo, flute, and baritone saxophone; Barczak was rated gold in two clarinet categories; Sparks received gold for mellophone and silver for oboe; and David was rated gold in alto saxophone and tenor saxophone. Sparks, Krachinski, and Barczak also received gold for a trio ensemble. Other MCHS students who received gold ratings include Josh Pratt (bass clarinet), Athena Roberts (oboe), Yarnikqwa Crume (clarinet), Alexis Gresham (flute), Jada McKendree (clarinet), Torey Morris (bass clarinet), Makenna Nowatzke (alto saxophone), Zoe Brooks (baritone), Vivian Taylor (tenor saxophone), and Jaiden Sledd (multi-tom drum).
MCHS students receiving a silver rating include Isaac Yanke (alto saxophone), Alaina Kotaska (baritone), Zac Hogan (trumpet), Cameron Mishler (trumpet), and Daniel Kohn (trumpet). Zoe Brooks, Emray David, Yarnikqwa Crume, and Vivian Taylor received a gold rating for their quartet, while two other quartets received silver (Jay Symons, Zac Hogan, Zoe Brooks, and Alaina Kotaska; as well as Emray David, Makenna Nowatzke, Isaac Yanke, and Vivian Taylor). A trio comprised of Torey Morris, Jada McKendree, and Makenna Nowatzke received a gold rating.
Ten students from Krueger Middle School received a gold rating. They include eighth graders Damien Cope (trumpet), Abby Killingbeck (alto saxophone), Alex Marroquin (alto saxophone), and Taylor Wilkins (flute); and seventh graders Damani Edgington (flute), Ella Galindo (flute), Lily Marshall (clarinet), DeAundria Nelson (clarinet), Abby Shanks (clarinet), and Connor Vandenbergh (trumpet).
The following Barker Middle School seventh graders received gold: a clarinet trio of Makenzie Beal, Acasia Berry, and Leah Pollock; a saxophone quartet of Thomas Dombkowski (alto saxophone), Hannah Parkinson-Kilbourne (alto saxophone), Jaxon Human (tenor saxophone), and Cullen Hunnicutt, (baritone saxophone); Jacob Perez for a trombone solo; and Charlotte Wildfang (percussion) for bell kit solo.
Seventh grader Aaron Fisher of Barker Middle School received silver for a trombone solo. The following eighth-graders from Barker received gold: Reylynn Corley (percussion) for a snare drum solo; Rihanna Fisher (clarinet), Makayla Sardon (clarinet) and Jaelynn King (alto saxophone) for a woodwind trio; and Olivia Hughes for a horn solo. Fisher and Sardon each also received gold for clarinet solos.
Michigan City Area Schools band teachers Frank Gast, Parker Sterling, and George Olson attended the January ISSMA competition with the students and helped them prepare.