Virtual Secondary Solo Festival

Dear Band Families,

The Semester 1 Virtual Howard County Secondary Solo Festival is coming up soon, and I am recommending that EVERY Band student participate! It will take place via Zoom on Saturday, January 30, 2021 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. The fee will be $10 per soloist, and $10 per ensemble member. You will register yourself, and that needs to be done between November 9th and December 11th. There will be a second Festival in the late spring, but that date has not yet been determined.

This festival is an opportunity for instrumental music students to perform as soloists or in small ensembles. Students will have 10 minutes to perform their music before an adjudicator and will receive verbal and written feedback on their performance. I know that many of you have participated in a Solo/Ensemble Festival in the past, and obviously things are going to be different this time, so please read on..…

Some solos are unaccompanied, but if you choose to play an accompanied solo, there are three possibilities regarding the piano part:

  1. Live piano accompanists must be members of the performer’s household.

  2. You can hire a pianist to make you a recording of the accompaniment to your solo. A list of accompanists in our area is attached.

  3. If your solo appears in the SmartMusic library, I might be able to make you a recording of the accompaniment. Please COMMUNICATE WITH ME before committing to this option because there are some practical limitations that we should discuss.

If you choose to prepare an ensemble, all members of your group must be in grades 6-12 and they all must come from the same household.

You may receive a RATING for your solo or ensemble performance only if you choose music from the Maryland state list, which can be found online at If you play something that does not appear on the list, you will receive comments but no rating (a perfectly acceptable option, in my opinion). A .pdf image of your music must be provided for the adjudicator with all measures numbered, or a penalty of one rating will be applied. You will be asked to have the scan of your music ready to go on your device, and to share your screen with the adjudicator when asked. You may perform in up to THREE events, and a separate registration form will be required for each event.

The SOLO registration/payment form can be accessed here, starting on November 9th:

The ENSEMBLE registration/payment form can be accessed here, starting on November 9th:

This is an entirely new format AND registration system for the S/E Festival. If you have any questions, let me know and we’ll try to figure out the answers together!


Mr. B.

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