Center Middle School Orchestra
Solo & Ensemble Contest Information
Tanya Rogers, Director - firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT IS SOLO & ENSEMBLE CONTEST?
Our school is a member of the Greater Cleveland Instrumental Solo & Ensemble Contest Association, which sponsors a competition for its member schools. This year Hillside Middle School will host the contest on Saturday, March 21st, 2015. This contest provides an opportunity for our students to perform solos and ensembles (from groups of 2 to 25 players) and compete against a rating system developed by the Ohio Music Education Association. This contest is optional to students since an entry fee is required. The fee helps to pay for piano rental, tuning and hiring judges.
Students who receive a rating of 1 (Superior) or 2 (Excellent) will receive a medal. Medals will be presented at the Spring Pep Rally or Xtreme Awards Assembly in the Spring.
WHO CAN ENTER THE CONTEST?
Any student who is currently enrolled in band or orchestra may enter the contest. Pianists not in band or orchestra can play a piano solo if they accompany another soloist. You can pick up an application form from Miss Rogers and they will be available on Miss Rogers’ website. Enter your information, print, and bring to school with a check for your entry fee payable to Center Middle School. You must return the form and entry fee to Miss Rogers by Friday, February 13th. If you do not have your ensemble/solo music chosen yet, list the title as “TBA.”
WHAT MUSIC SHOULD I PLAY
Students entering the solo competition must be taking private lessons and should ask their private instructor for an appropriate solo. (Pop music is not acceptable) Your teacher should select a solo with piano accompaniment. Ensembles may select music from the Center Music Library, private teacher or purchase their own literature. If the ensemble selected is written with a piano accompaniment, the piano part must be performed. Ensembles written without accompaniment are suitable and easier to rehearse since there are not any worries with finding accompaniment. Some private teachers confuse our contest with the OMEA contest. There is no required list of music for our contest.
HOW MANY EVENTS CAN I ENTER?
A student may enter more than one category (event), but may not play twice in the same event. For example, a student may not play two violin solos, but may play a violin and piano solo. The same rules apply to ensembles. You may not play two duets of the same category, but you could play a trio and a quartet. Maximum of 4 events per student.
WHEN DO WE PRACTICE?
Soloists should start working on their solo now and should secure the services of piano accompanists. Soloists should prepare their solos on their own time and ensemble members should prepare at home as well so that after school and before school time can be used for group rehearsal. If ensemble members are in the same music class, they will be given a limited amount of time to rehearse in class. Miss Rogers is available before and after school to work with students. Please sign up in advance. All ensembles are required to meet with Miss Rogers at least twice and they must give final permission for the ensemble to perform.
HOW DO I FIND A PIANO ACCOMPANIST?
Piano teachers, college students and piano soloists are all possibilities. The piano should be a professional adult. Mrs. Foky is also available for a limited number of students. Students must contact Mrs. Foky if they are interested in her accompanying them.
Although the accompanist is not judged, it is advisable to get someone that is familiar with these contests. A nervous and unprepared accompanist can cause even the best soloist to lose their place in the music. Be prepared to pay someone at least $30-40 to play. This will usually cover the rehearsals and the performance. The accompanist should come to the lesson at least two weeks or more before the performance so that the soloist has time to make any necessary corrections before the performance.
ARE THERE ANY PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS OR RESTRICTIONS?
Pop music is not appropriate for this event. Questions about music type/style ask Miss Rogers well in advance. All soloists will be asked to perform scales as part of the final rating. Scales must be memorized. Scales will be selected from the following list.
Solos should be at or below a students’ performance ability. Teachers should not select a piece to “challenge” the student, but one that they will feel confident and comfortable performing for a rating and feedback.
7th grade solos scale list:
C, F, Bb, Eb, G, D, A and a chromatic scale
8th grade solos scale list:
C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, G, D, A, E and a chromatic scale.
Ensemble players and accompanists will not be asked to play scales. Solos and ensembles will be limited to six minutes playing time. If your selection is longer than six minutes your teacher must make cuts in order to stay within the time limit
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ENTER THE CONTEST AND THE APPLICATION FORMS?
For each solo, the fee is $9.00. The ensemble fee is $5.00 per person. The money is due by February 13th. Make all checks payable to Center Middle School.
Fill out forms on line print and bring to school with check payable to Center Middle School
See additional packet.
HOW DO WE GET TO CONTEST?
Students must provide their own transportation.
WHEN DO WE PLAY AT CONTEST?
You will be scheduled for a ten-minute performance sometime between 8:30 –12:00 or 1:00 – 5:00pm. Breakfast, Lunch and snacks will be available in the school cafeteria for purchase. There is no guarantee your solo and ensemble(s) will be scheduled together, and you are required to be there at least 20 minutes before you perform. Part of the contest experience is hearing others perform. Plan to listen to several solos and ensembles in the event you enter. See how they compare with you and other Center students.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE RATING?
Most ratings are posted twenty to thirty minutes after the performance.
WHAT ABOUT THE MEDALS?
All students compete against a rating system, not against each other. Ratings given are I, II, III, IV, and V with I being the highest ratings. Students receiving a rating of I or II will be awarded a medal and be recognized at the Spring Pep Rally or Xtreme Awards Assembly!
WHAT IF I HAVE A SCHEDULE CONFLICT WITH ANOTHER PERFORMNACE?
Putting together a master schedule involving ten other schools, over 400 events and hundreds of students is a huge undertaking. Conflicts can occur, like two soloists using the same accompanist at the same time. Conflicts are resolved the day of the contest by going early, contacting the room clerk or your performance room, explaining the conflict and they will try to move your performance time to allow you to perform both places. Sometimes a judge will fall behind schedule and you will play later. You could also, be asked to play earlier should someone cancel or fail to show up.
HOW DOES A JUDGE KNOW WHAT I’M PLAYING?
You are required to provide an ORIGINAL copy of your music as a judge’s copy. NO PHOTOCOPIES ALLOWED (you could be penalized one rating), so plan to buy an extra copy or borrow one. For solos, the solo part is sufficient. The judge does not need the accompaniment part. For your ensemble, the judge needs a FULL SCORE, not separate parts. If no printed score is available, plan to see Miss Rogers about making a computer score. It is suggested you avoid ensemble music that does not have a printed full score.
WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST?
This contest is a great way to gain more self-confidence, improve your playing and listening skills, and learn what music students outside of Center Middle School are doing. The judge that hears your event will give you wonderful feedback on what you are doing well on and what you can improve. I am excited for you to participate in this great event!