MOSES LAKE — Three to four hours per day.
That’s how much Moses Lake High School sophomore Stephanie Foryan practices the flute.
And it’s what she needed to score “superior,” and be a category winner, at the Regional Solo Ensemble Festival competition in Wenatchee the last weekend of January and first weekend of February.
It’s also good enough to go on the state competition organized by the Washington Music Educators Association in Ellensburg in late April.
“I felt I could have been better,” Foryan said. “You can always do better.”
Foryan was one of nine MLHS division winners in the North Central region, which stretched from Warden north all the way to the Canadian border — a competition which brought together soloists and small performing groups from music programs across the region.
“It’s stressful,” Foryan said about the competition itself. “You’re going against so many people, and they are all so very talented.”
“Especially the flute section,” said sophomore Landin Hamann, a French horn player and first alternate.
“It’s tough to win with more common instruments,” added Chris Heteltvedt, a junior and alto saxophone player who also scored “superior” and, as a division winner, will go on to the state competition as well.
It’s one of the reasons Hamann said he picked the French horn — “Not many people play it,” he said.
All three high school musicians have been playing for several years, and all three have been working hard on this competition, though Hamann admitted he wasn’t rehearsing at home anywhere near as long as Foryan’s three to four hours.
“It was cold and I didn’t want to bring my instrument home,” he said.
But they will all keep working as the state competition nears. Both Foryan and Hetletvedt will continue to hone the piece they picked for the regional contest, while Hamann said he intends to find something else to perform.
“I’m going to pick a new piece,” he said. “But I’ve got to give it a lot more attention.”
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.