Performers strive to excel in District Music competition

FHS hosted the annual District Music competition for local students and other area schools on April 11-12. Performances took place in the Burkley Fine Arts Center and in various classrooms.


Konnor Hasselbring ’21 and Isaac Robertson ’19 play side by side in a brass quartet that also featured Joshua Robertson ’21 and Tayler Shellhase ’19. Judges evaluated individual performances and small groups in classrooms as opposed to the fine arts center. Photo by: B. Novotny

Among the participants were Fairbury’s own Crimson Elite, vocal choir, jazz band and concert band. Students could also perform individually or in smaller groups. All entries were evaluated in multiple categories on a point scale in which the lowest score, 1, was an “Excellent” rating. Competing musicians kept this number, among other motivators, in mind leading up to the event and moments before performing.

“Every Wednesday I would practice my vocal piece, and my mallet solo I practiced a lot during extra time in Band,” Hailie Nicholson ’21 said. “For my vocal piece, a lot of time at home went into making it better. We also rehearsed our band and choir pieces in class almost every day. [Before performing] I usually think about the fact that I need to give it my all for not only myself, but for our seniors and music teachers.”

The judges were not the only individuals paying close attention to the entries. Many students critiqued themselves and made mental notes regarding next year. Jordan Tracy ’21 reflected on her work in multiple performances.

“In jazz band I could’ve done better, and my duet I could’ve definitely done better on,” Tracy said. “But I’m still proud of myself for at least trying more instruments and being in a duet.”


Crimson Elite members Taylea Mills ’19, Jaelle Johnson ’20, and Dakota Gladson ’19 attempt to earn 1 ratings from the judges. The three pictured members also performed in at least one other entry last Thursday and Friday. Photo by: M. Lierman

For many, stand-out memories came alongside learning the results of the scoring. Students expressed their feelings in different ways when earning a scorecard with 1 ratings in almost every or every category.

“My favorite moment had to be when choir found out we got all ones,” Nicholson said. “Jayson [Klaumann ’19] was immediately searching for Mr. [Joseph] Fitzgerald to give him a hug that he had warned him about before we performed.”

The music department will be on public display again on Tuesday, May 7 for the Spring Concert.