Caitlin Hale: state piano honoree

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Caitlin Hale, a junior at Switzerland County High School, recently earned a gold medal for her piano solo in Level One of the District Solo and Ensemble Contest – qualifying her for the state competition.

She is the first Switzerland County music student in school history to qualify for the state competition at its highest level.

Caitlin Hale has played piano for the past eight years, and drives 45 minutes to Greendale, Indiana for a half-hour lesson each week. For the past eight years she has gone to Indiana University in Bloomington for a piano judging event; and there she has participated in several different categories, including: patriotic/folk songs; hymns; piano solo; piano composition; sight reading; and piano theory.

“I picked songs in my skill level, and I play them in a room with a judge and you get a certain amount of points each year,” Caitlin Hale said. “The points add up over the years and go towards earning trophies. The trophies get bigger each year.”

Caitlin Hale has earned six trophies at the Indiana University competitions; and also earned honorable mention for a song she wrote in the piano composition category – just missing out on having her work published in a music book.

At Switzerland County High School, Caitlin Hale participated in the 2008 Solo and Ensemble Contest as a sophomore; earning a silver medal for her Level One song – Mozart’s “Sonata in C”.

Also last year she earned the “Chopin Award” for her accompaniment of the Switzerland County High School choir. She is looking forward to accompanying high school choir students at the competition again next year.

This year at the District Solo and Ensemble Competition for music students; Caitlin Hale earned a gold medal on her Level One song; and then advanced to the State competition – where she again earned a gold medal.

“The song I played was called ‘Deux Arabesques’, which was written by the French composer Claude Debussy,” Caitlin Hale said. “Solo and Ensemble was a very rewarding experience, and although I can’t advance to state again, I am looking forward to going back to the district for my senior year.”

Caitlin is the daughter of Richard and Jenny Hale of Patriot.