Laura Ryle | Reporter
History has been made this past weekend as two of Avon High School’s competing orchestras earned gold with distinction at the Indiana State School Music Association contest on April 13.
The Intermezzo and Philharmonic Orchestras left a mark at Monrovia High School last weekend, being the only two groups from that location to place a gold with distinction, a title that indicates a group obtained a perfect score on their performance. The Philharmonic Orchestra was also able to obtain a perfect sight-reading score. The Indiana State School Music Association contest, better known as ISSMA, is a state competition where bands, choirs, and orchestras all ranging from middle school to high school perform in front of a panel of three judges and showcase all of their many talents to place for a medal.
Concertmaster of the Philharmonic Orchestra, senior Sheridan Rosene said that one difference she noticed with this year’s competition and last year’s was their performance on sight-reading. However, Rosene also saw a bit of a difference in herself as a violinist.
“ISSMA has helped me become a more confident player and a better leader throughout the years,” Rosene said.
Senior Intermezzo violist Maddie Louie said that she has also noticed a difference in herself as a player to be more committed and hardworking.
“ISSMA has made me an even harder worker than I used to be and it has shown me what true dedication is and looks like,” Louie said. “It has also helped me come together with some of my closest friends.”
Louie said that this year was also special for her because she played her last ISSMA performance in front of her very first orchestra director who happened to be judging her group.
“This year was special not only because it was my last year but [because] my first orchestra teacher, Mr. Powell, was there judging and I was able to show him how much I’ve grown musically,” Louie said.
Senior Intermezzo bassist Jacob Farrar said that for him, being his last year to participate in ISSMA, it was an emotional experience knowing it was his last time.
“It just kind of emotionally hits you that this is your last contest, and when it’s all said and done you look around and ask yourself, ‘what now?’” Farrar said. “I will definitely miss it all, of course not the sight-reading, but the whole experience I will miss.”
Rosene also said that she won’t miss the sight-reading portion of ISSMA, but she will definitely miss the feeling you get when finishing a contest performance.
“I will definitely miss ISSMA because I like the adrenaline that comes it and the feeling that comes after finishing an energetic performance,” Rosene said.