Farwell sent Liz Schaeffer, Sara Wilkins, Jayzman McJames and Rebecca Holley to Roscommon the first weekend in February to participate in MSBOA District 9’s Solo and Ensemble Festival. Each person performed a solo for the judges in exchange for 5 minutes of comments, suggestions and critiuqe from a professional who plays the same instrument as the student. The students are also then given a rating and possibly a medal. All of the Farwell students earned the best rating available on Saturday on their main instrument. Rebecca Holley also played a second solo on a instrument she picked up just for pure enjoyment and she earned the second best rating for that extra work.Mr. Shimmons, Farwell’s Band Director, spends a little time working with each of the students in preparation but the majority of the work is done by each student, outside of class time. This is an “extra” that each student has to take responsibility for themselves. Mr. Shimmons is very proud of the commitment and dedication to perfecting a piece of music like this. It takes hours of practice to work out the technique and musical problems each solo. Not only does each solo take work but these students have proven that they had the musicianship to play more than just notes from a piece of paper. They went beyond that and created music. Since these students all earned a Division 1 rating they have qualified to participate at the State Festival as well, Rebecca Holley on Tenor Sax, Jayzman McJames on Clarinet, Liz Schaeffer on Flute and Sara Wilkins on Clarinet. Congratulations.