On Saturday, February 25, members of the Marietta High School Band traveled to the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant to compete in the District Solo and Ensemble Festival.

In order to participate in the contest, students learned solo and small group music in addition to their regular band responsibilities. Every student from Marietta who participated in the contest qualified for the OSSAA State Contest.

“That these students are willing to take on more work and sacrifice some of their weekend time is huge,” said Eric Gallaway, Director of Bands for Marietta Public Schools. “They all have many activities, work schedules, and family responsibilities, so the extra effort is appreciated and crucial to the success of our program.”

Students participating in the festival and receiving superior ratings on ensembles were Troy Berry, Trenton Hedgecock, Bryan Tucker, Jack O’Neal, Dayne Kiser, Alex Santibanez, Vanessa Hernandez, Brianna Robles, Jada Kiser, Rian Gray, Samantha Cooper, Colours Starsick, Rebekah Alberda, Kaelin Miller, and Rachel Smee.

Alberda, Miller, and Smee performed in two ensembles, earning superior ratings for both.

Students performing solos and receiving superior ratings were Emma Chaney, Starsick, Alberda, Miller, and Smee.

Additionally, Jack O’Neal performed a solo on which he received an excellent rating.

Marietta’s bands are under the direction of Gallaway and Assistant Director Jake Rhodes.

The students will travel to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater April 18 to compete at the State Instrumental Contest.

In addition to the festival competition, Starsick auditioned for scholarships and has been notified that she will receive at minimum $2,000 per year from the Southeastern band program. Gallaway expects that Starsick may see additional scholarship monies from auditioning for choral scholarships.

“Mr. Rhodes and I are just incredibly proud of these kids,” Gallaway said. “It’s always good to see your students recognized and rewarded for their hard work.”.