Recently, I’ve written about Lexie’s accomplishments. She competed in the school spelling bee, and the following weekend her robotics team rocked their competition, earning third place in Core Values and advancing to the finals in March.

Jase is not as competitive as Lexie. Last year, his orchestra teacher encouraged all students to compete in the district solo and ensemble competition. Doing so would give them an automatic 100 on their next test. Jase opted not to do it.

Afterwards, I encouraged him to consider doing it the next year. Well, guess what. Next year is now and the competition was the first weekend of February. And not only did Jase sign up for a solo, he also signed up with a friend for the ensemble competition.

His instructor suggested pieces for both competitions. For the ensemble, Jase planned to play the suggested piece. But for the solo, he asked his tutor for a suggestion. His tutor recommended he do the piece they were currently working on – Musette by Bach.

So, for weeks he practiced both pieces at school and at home and worked on his solo with his tutor. When it came time to register for the competition, his friend’s parents didn’t pay the fee so Jase was reassigned to another group for the ensemble. He was now part of a quartet.

As the competition approached, Jase began to get nervous. They were to show up thirty minutes before competition time, but his ensemble chose to arrive even earlier to get in more practice – and perhaps calm their nerves.

There were nine judging rooms with solos or ensembles going in every five minutes – all day long. Jase’s ensemble was supposed to compete at 10:45 a.m. with his solo at 11:05 a.m., but the judge was running early so he was done with both by 10:50 a.m.

We left the school with him feeling pretty confident that he would get an outstanding on at least his solo. The scores are a 1 for superior, 2 for outstanding and a 3 for good. A superior means you get a gold medal and an outstanding gets a silver medal. Jase wanted those medals.

After lunch we went back to see if they had posted the scores. And he got a superior rank on both his solo and his ensemble! We were all thrilled.

And the competition has given him some additional confidence. He now has a new goal which is to get in Honor Orchestra for next school year. Honor Orchestra is the highest orchestra they have at his school. Tryouts are this spring so guess he had better start practicing.

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