WARREN, Mich. (March 15, 2019) – Senior Dominic Balice has a busy weekend planned.
The De La Salle Collegiate percussionist will compete in Saturday’s State Solo & Ensemble Festival at Chippewa Valley High School. The festival is sponsored by the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association.
Balice qualified for the festival by performing – and earning a first-division rating – on his snare solo in the district finals in early February.
“He will be judged by an adjudicator and they’re going to rank his solo,” De La Salle music teacher Michael Szczegielniak said. “He’s going to perform a snare solo which is two and a half minutes long, roughly. He’ll be performing some sight reading, which is where they will put some brand new music in front of him that he’s never seen before. He’ll have a minute to look at it and then he’ll play it as perfect as he can. Then he’ll do some rudiments which are some basic snare drum patterns at various speeds to check out his skill.”
According to the MSBOA website, soloists in grades 10 through 12 must perform Proficiency Exams which include scales and sight reading. Students and ensembles that are chosen for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (Honors Band, Orchestra, Soloists and Ensembles) come from the highest-rated events at the State Festival.
It’s been an exciting month for Balice, who carries a 4.339 grade-point average and ranks seventh among 187 students in this year’s senior class. Last weekend, he qualified for the International DECA competition by becoming a state champion in the Entrepreneurship category. He will represented De La Salle next month in Orlando, Fla.
Balice is enrolled in De La Salle’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and is a distance runner on the Pilots’ track and field team.
“Dominic is amazing,” Szczegielniak said. “He’s been in my percussion section for four years. He came in as a freshman and he does everything. He plays quads in the marching band, he plays drum kit in the jazz band and he plays every percussion instrument in the concert band and he’s a section leader. He’s a great kid, a smart kid who does everything the right way.
“Everything he does he’s disgustingly talented, and I mean that in a good way.”