Solo-Ensemble is an annual gathering of both instrumental and vocal students to compete. This happens once a year in a region, and then the best go on to state. I suppose that if you're good enough at state, you go on to nationals, but I don't know anyone who has made it there. I've never actually made it to state, so I can't tell you just how stiff competition is there (though I've heard some of the pieces are spectacular). Actually, this year was the first time I sang a piece that is dubbed to be hard enough to go to state, if performed well enough.

The Solo-Ensemble songs are ranked from 'A' to 'C'. 'A' being the hardest, 'C' obviously being the least hard. In my seventh grade year, I sang a relatively simple 'C' duet with another student. We managed to pull off a '3' ('1' being the best, '4' being the worst). That was alright with me, as at that time I didn't really care much about what rating I got.

My eight grade year I did another 'C' duet with a slightly less competent student. I think we got a two, but I can't remember for certain. I guess that even though the person I sang it with was more than a little tone deaf, I had the bigger part, so I guess I drown him out or something.

My Freshman year I figured I was ready to step up a level and go for a 'B' solo. The kid I sang my last duet with wanted me to sing another with him, but I knew I would do better without, so I ditched him. I generally try to be as nice as possible, but even I have to draw the line somewhere. As it turned out, he chose the same song as me anyhow, so I ended up practicing with him most of the time to help him. I got a '1' last year, and it inspired me to new heights.

This year I tried my luck at a class 'A' song. I was only really shooting for a '3' or better. Surprisingly, I got a '1'. Not good enough to go to state (you need a 1*), but I didn't mind at all. I knew that I had done fairly well, and my judge told me that I did the best job, dynamically, out of everyone he had seen all morning.