Solo and ensemble is an event held at a Cheyenne high school every April where music students from around Wyoming gather to critique their vocal performance.

Students from around the state are presented with the unique opportunity to have professional vocalists teach the student personally how to better their musical skill.

Each student is able to participate in three ensembles each year, one solo and two ensembles. An ensemble is a group of people that can go from as little as two group members to four members, which is the maximum people allowed in an ensemble.

This year there were about twenty students who attended the event during school hours.

Students at Laramie High School are given pre-arranges to excuse them from class work as they are gone for the entire day. However, students who have failing grades or teachers who require the student’s attendance are ineligible to participate.

If the student has already signed up, but is ineligible, or cannot attend the event, they are required to pay a $10 fine as a consequence of backing out.

The day is filled with watching others perform and learn how to improve the student’s vocal skills.

Students are expected to bring their own lunch or money from home to buy it. Students use this opportunity to meet students from around the state and learn from each other how to improve.

Participants are expected to have memorized the chosen music by the time they perform.

The students who participate learn their music by getting together outside of class or during free periods.

Although Choir Director Donna Solverud does her best to support the students attending the event, she is unable to set aside much class time to practice, as she has to teach concert pieces to her class as well. 

Solverud does, however, encourage students to use their free time to practice as well as see her outside of class for help.

Pianist, Laurie Cox, plays a big part in getting the students ready for their performance as well.

Cox learns every song for the students and uses her own time to practice with them. Cox teaches and practices with students after Solverud has deemed them ready to practice without using music sheets

Every year there are new and reoccurring judges that attend the event to critique the student vocalists.

The scoring is based on a one to four scale, one being the highest a participant can score and four being the lowest.

In the past Solverud has had on of the highest scoring students from each class sing for the final concert in May.

The event isn’t only educational, but also a valuable opportunity for students who desire to “letter,” as points can be earned by participating in outside of the classroom music performances or by singing solos at concerts.

Lettering is an award to students for their proficiency in different school subjects, such as academics, sports, or music.

The letter given to the student for their accomplishments is fabric and can be displayed or worn on letterman’s jackets.