Dear Band Students,
The annual Howard County Solo and Ensemble Festival will be held on Saturday, February 1st, 2020 at Long Reach High School from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. (The snow date is February 8th.) The festival is an opportunity for instrumental music students to perform a solo with piano accompaniment, or in a small group ensemble such as a duet, trio, quartet, etc. Students will have ten minutes to perform their music before an adjudicator, and they will receive verbal and written feedback about their performance. Each soloist and ensemble will have a specific performance time, so the time commitment is minimal, but the times are determined by the organizers of the event. (We can, however, request an AM or a PM time for an event if necessary.)
I encourage all of my students to participate. Here is what you need to do:
1. Decide to perform a solo with piano accompaniment, or in a small group ensemble such as a duet, trio, quartet, etc. Solos should generally be reserved for those in private lessons, as very little in-school time will be available for solo coaching. You can register for a maximum of three events.
2. Pick music that is suitable for your level of playing, and appropriate for an adjudicated festival. I can help choose music, or if you study privately your instructor can assist with that. You might wish to refer to the State List of approved solos/ensembles as a reference, and it can be found here: https://www.mmea-maryland.org/lists. If you wish to receive a grade for your performance, you must choose your repertoire from the state list. You also must prepare the entire piece unless it specifically says something like “choose two movements” or “movement I or III.” Students who earn a grade of “I” (superior performance) will be eligible (though not required) to attend the State Solo/Ensemble Festival.
3. Most solos have piano accompaniment, and I need the name of your accompanist with your registration. A list of accompanists is available in the Band Room. Soloists will also be required to play a chromatic scale, and one major scale (up to 4 sharps/4 flats).
4. Fill out the registration form (attached) and return it to me, along with a check for your performance fee(s), by December 2nd. The fee for a solo is $10, and the fee for an ensemble is $5 per member.