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Students Hit the High Notes in ABC Music Festival


This year, 86 students took part in Principia’s 41st annual ABC Solo & Ensemble Festival. Enjoy these clips of the Principia musicians above.

Students from Principia School, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, and MICDS in grades 5–12 shared their talents with the community in a variety of instrumental and vocal arts performances. Principia’s student musicians once again came away from the event earning honors—for Best Percussion Ensemble, Best Percussion Solo, Best Brass Ensemble, and Best Brass Soloist in both Middle and Upper School divisions. Of the 41 Principia entries, 31 earned an Exemplary (I) rating, and 10 earned an Outstanding (II) rating. 

Founded in 1981 by Principia Band Director Jerry Barnes, this celebration of music brings together student musicians from other St. Louis-area schools. Each year, the festival awards a “best of” to soloists or ensembles whose performances showcase musical excellence. Students in choir and band spend all of January preparing their pieces in their ensembles and are judged based on tone, quality, blend, intonation, articulation, etc.

The ABC Solo & Ensemble Festival provides a wonderful opportunity for students to step up and lead while honing their skills and confidence in performing arts. Many rehearsals for ABC are student-led, and students are encouraged to take initiative in preparation for their performances.

Upper School Band

Best Percussion Solo: Luc Savoye
Best Low Brass Solo: Zachery Proctor
Best High Brass Solo: Noah Omondi
Best Percussion Ensemble: Schauman Percussion Trio (Derek Schauman, Noah Hess, and Ekenedilichukwu Ani)
Best Brass Ensemble: Merrik Russo, Melody Pierce, Noah Omondi, and Zachery Proctor

Middle School Band

Best Percussion Ensemble: Holser Percussion Trio (Josh Holser, Beckett MacDonald, and Eli Morse)
Best Brass Ensemble: MS Brass Quintet (Reid Schauman, Ben Schmit, Rehema Oyugi, Yanahni Hatwaizika, Viraat Chakravartula)


This year, 16 Middle School choir students sang in small ensemble groups for the festival. All of the groups received a (I) “exemplary” rating: Nora Berdeaux-Webster, Maggie Flowers, Somer Gray, Amelie Kaiser, Valentina Lizarazo, Sydney Mau, Benjamin McCord, Ilaria McManus, Issac Ogilvie, Anna Scott, Cora Shedd, Hazel Stewart, Liz Tillman, Wallace Wang, Peyton Webster, and Paris Zumbrunnen

“Students not only sang beautifully but also practiced real-world skills. They learned how to perform under pressure, and take a project from beginning stages to a polished form,” said Middle School Choral Director Joy Floyd.

Ongoing Events

Select Middle School students will again be presenting their solo/ensemble performance at Central Methodist University’s Music Festival on Friday, March 4, along with a performance by the Middle School band. Upper School students will be preparing their performance for the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) district solo and ensemble contest on Saturday, March 12, at Parkway Central High School. Performances earning an “exemplary” rating at districts will have the honor of performing at the state level in April on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.