Solo & Ensemble

High School District Solo and Ensemble Festival @ Brighton High School

January 24 & 25, 2020

Registration and Fees are due October 15, 2019

Solo and Ensemble 2019-2020 Information

Solo and Ensemble Event Registration Form

High School STATE Solo and Ensemble Festival (location TBD)

March 14, 2020


Solo and Ensemble Festival is presented by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association. This is an opportunity for students to prepare solos and and small ensembles to perform for an adjudicator for a rating. Participation helps to develop musical independence and musicianship. One of the great benefits to participating in solo and ensemble festival is the opportunity to choose music that is specifically suited to you an your ability. Many students also enjoy preparing and performing music with their friends.


Each student or group of students is evaluated by one judge and rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest rating possible. Students or groups that earn a rating of 1 (or "Superior") are qualified for State Solo & Ensemble Festival which is held in March. The basic structure of State Solo & Ensemble Festival is the same as District, but the students are held to a higher standard. 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. Performing in this ensemble is a tremendous honor and a memorable experience. Participating students that earn a rating of 1 or 2 at District or State Festivals are eligible to receive medals.


  • All events must have and ORIGINAL copy of the music. If the event is a solo, all you need is the solo part. If the event in an ensemble, you must have and original SCORE.
  • Music purchased from the internet must show proof of purchase.
  • Music downloaded from the internet that was not purchased must be in the public domain (copyright expired).
  • All events must be a minimum of two minutes in length and should not exceed six minutes.
  • All ensembles must have all parts covered (a quartet cannot play quintet music), and may not double parts (a quartet cannot play trio music with two people playing the same part).


  • Your event must perform for a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of six minutes. If you are stopped for playing too long, it does not affect your rating. If it is less than two minutes, you will not receive a rating.
  • You must provide an original score for the judge or you will not be given a rating.
  • Measures must be numbered on the judge’s score (neatly in pencil).
  • Write the performer name, event time, and school name at the top of the score.
  • An event is not required to perform ahead of the appointed time, but you may perform early if there is an opening. If you do play early, make sure you are well warmed-up.
  • Report to the warm-up room at least 30 minutes prior to the performance time. If you have a conflict due to an accompanist or events are scheduled too close together, make sure you tell the warm-up chairperson in each section. The chairperson will try to fit you in another time slot, but you must tell the warm-up chairperson. Please be patient.
  • Wait in your room for your piano accompanist.
  • Mr. Dudzinski will be working at the performance site. If you have an emergency, he will be in the MSBOA headquarters (media center).
  • Ensembles should tune carefully in the warm-up room. Give your music score to the performance room chairperson when you walk into the room. When you enter the performance room, play a few notes to get an idea of how the room sounds. Then play a tuning note with the piano (if a piano is being used). Wait for the room chairperson to announce your event. It is a nice touch to introduce yourself and announce the piece and composer that you will be performing. Relax, make eye contact with your piano accompanist (or ensemble) and start.
  • Do not bother the judge after your performance. Wait quietly for the judge’s remarks (if they offer any) or to be dismissed by the room chairperson. Put you instrument away and wait quietly in the hall for your rating. The room chairperson will return your music score, post your rating outside the door in the hall and give you a medal card (for a I or II rating only).
  • Medals are included in your entry fee. Only one medal card is given for ensembles, so you should go together to receive all the medals.
  • The cafeteria will be open for the duration of the festival.
  • You will receive the judge’s comment sheet on Monday after the festival.
  • Do not leave any personal items unattended at any time.
  • Dress nicely; it DOES impress the judge. Don’t forget to smile and have fun!!