CCPS Solo & Ensemble Information

The Maryland Music Educator’s District VIII Solo and Ensemble Festival will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018. All events, including percussion, will take place at Carroll Community College. All South Carroll Instrumental Music Students are strongly encouraged to participate in this enrichment opportunity.

Performing a solo or in an ensemble differs from playing in a large ensemble in that there’s no conductor. The players are on their own. They learn a wealth of things that they would never encounter in any of the above-mentioned conducted ensembles. They must learn how to start together, they must choose their own tempos and figure out how to maintain those tempos. They are also responsible for dynamics, articulations, balance, phrasing, intonation, not to mention playing the right notes and rhythms. Not only is it one-on-a-part, but with so few parts, each person is a soloist. Their listening skills improve as does their expression. And all of this will ultimately carry over into larger ensembles!

What is more, each player has the opportunity to develop leadership skills, responsibility, organizational skills, stage presence, creativity, identity, and entrepreneurship. Performing alone or in small groups is a great way for young musicians to gain confidence and take ownership of their musical experience.

All music needs to be chosen from the MMEA Graded Music List, found at: Either Mr. Stevenson or your private teacher can help you choose appropriate music.

Experienced music educators will listen to your performance and provide feedback and encouragement. Students who receive a superior rating on literature from the MBDA/MODA list will be eligible to participate at the state level.

Scale requirements are the same as the state guidelines regarding scales. Participants in all solo instrumental events except snare drum and timpani will be asked to perform the chromatic scale and one major scale appropriate for their instrument and grade level of solo performance. Scales will be selected from the following major keys: C, F, G, D, A, E, Bb, Eb, Ab.

Scales are to be played evenly and smoothly in a 16th-note pattern at a metronome speed of a quarter note = 72. All scales are to be played ascending and descending one octave except the flute and soprano clarinet. These instruments will perform the scales two octaves. The scale performance will be included in the adjudicator’s final rating.

All solos must be accompanied unless they are specifically written to be performed unaccompanied. Failure to provide an accompanist will result in a penalty of one rating lower. If you change your accompanist prior to the event, you must inform your band/orchestra director as soon as possible!

A complete measure-numbered score for each ensemble or a measure-numbered copy of the solo must be provided for the adjudicator. Failure to provide this music will result in a penalty of one rating lower. It is expected that full compliance with copyright regulations for all music will occur.

Students who play solos should rehearse with their accompanist at least two times before the festival. (All solos must be accompanied unless they are specifically written to be performed unaccompanied.) Ensembles will need to arrange to rehearse together several times during and/or after school. Mr. Stevenson is available to assist students with solos and ensemble rehearsals as needed.

Attached, please find additional information about the event, including a letter from the CCPS Solo & Ensemble Coordinator and application forms. The application deadline has been extended to Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Applications must be emailed to Mr. Stevenson or personally handed to him.