Categories7th Grade8th GradeGeneral InformationMSBOA


When: Saturday February 8th, 2020

Where: Livonia Franklin High School, 31000 Joy Road, Livonia, MI 48150-3916

Deadline for Entry: Friday, October 25, 2019 by 3:00 PM
**Click below to download the registration form**

What is Solo and Ensemble? Solo and Ensemble Festival is an annual event sponsored by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA).  It is an opportunity to perform music for an experienced judge who will provide written/verbal comments, suggestions for improvement, and an overall rating (I-V). Students earning a “I” or “II” rating also receive medals for their excellent performances. Ensembles (duets, trios, etc.) are popular ways to gain experience at this festival. Participation as a soloist or as a member of an ensemble is voluntary, but strongly encouraged for all seventh and eighth grade band and orchestra students district-wide.

The commitment to prepare for this event is the responsibility of each participant. Students may receive additional help during school, but the bulk of practicing needs to happen outside of school. When necessary, directors will assist in the selection of music. Private lesson teachers are excellent resources for selecting a solo or ensemble piece. Students performing solos or ensembles with piano accompaniment need to secure an accompanist ASAP! Accompanist fees typically range from $30-$60.00 for a rehearsal and the performance.  If your music has a piano part, you MUST have an accompanist to receive a rating. See next page for accompanist recommendations.

Transportation to Livonia Franklin High School is the responsibility of families. Performance times, maps and final instructions will be distributed one week before Solo and Ensemble Festival. 

To enter Solo and Ensemble Festival, students will need to complete an entry form (attached), and return it to school no later than Friday, October 25, along with cash in the exact amount. Indicate an early, middle, or late performance time based on your schedule needs for that day. **ENSEMBLES: Be sure everyone is in agreement with the time request! Requested times are usually honored, and once assigned are very difficult to change. Ensembles should turn in one form with everyone’s payments attached.

GENERAL RULES (please read closely and ask your director if you have questions)

  1. You may enter one, two, or three events, but only one solo per instrument 
  2. All pieces must be a minimum 1 minute 30 seconds- Maximum length is 6 minutes
  3. Only band and orchestra instruments (and piano) are allowed.
  4. Events requiring more than one piano or electric instruments are not allowed.
  5. All parts (as written in the score) must be performed and must have the correct number of players with one to a part. (Ex. a trio must have 3 players, not 2 or 4)
  6. If your piece has a written accompaniment, it must be played with you in order to receive a rating.
  7. An original, full, numbered score showing all parts must be provided for the judge. NO RATING will be given if an original numbered score is not provided.
  8. Entrance fees are non-refundable.
  9. All participants are required to transport any equipment/ instruments needed for the performance. Pianos will be provided. Please see next page for more information about Festival rules.


1. If the music has a published piano accompaniment, it must be played in order to receive a rating.

2. Every performance must have an original score with all the parts on it to receive a rating. 

3. The original score that you give the judge must have each measure numbered in pencil.

4. All Solos and Ensembles must meet a minimum time requirement to receive a rating: MIDDLE SCHOOL: MINIMUM OF 90 Seconds (Time your piece soon; you may not add D.S.-D.C.’s or repeats that are not originally a part of the music; however you are allowed to have two different pieces.)

5. The festival does not provide any instruments (except a piano). You must bring your own percussion equipment, bass, tuba, euphonium, cello, etc. Percussionists, please see Ms. Stout with what you need as soon as possible so we can arrange to help provide large instruments (marimba, timpani, etc).

If you follow all the above rules, you will receive one of the following ratings from the adjudicator: 

1st division: Excellent performance (receives a medal)

2nd division: Good performance (receives a medal)

3rd division: Fair performance

4th division: Poor performance

5th division: Unsatisfactory (inadequate) performance

Accompanists: If you will need an accompanist, it is important to find one immediately. Accompanist sbook up very quickly for this event. If there is a piano accompaniment as part of your solo or ensemble, it must be performed in order to receive a rating and medal. Here is a list of accompanists you can contact: 

Xiting 832-297-3966
Jason (248) 703 4043
Joshua Marzanmarzanjp@umich.edu757-559-5571
Nhi 734–773-9037 
Jacob 515-473-5225
Sophia 734- 693- 1904


 Prepare ahead of time by:

  • Recording yourself a few times and listening for improvement.
  • Performing for family or friends.
  • Taking care of instrument maintenance issues early.
  • Planning your practice times with accompanist and/or ensemble members.
  • Scheduling “Practice Performances”, going through the whole performance day routine
  • Rehearsing with accompanist several times before the day of the event.
  • Spend enough time at the festival to listen to some other events. This would be interesting, educational and beneficial to you. You’ll get some good ideas!
  • Get a drink of water before performing.
  • Plan well ahead exactly how you will set up for your performance.
  • Remember to thank your accompanist and treat them courteously. A card with your check would be a nice touch!

GOOD LUCK! Please ask questions if you are unsure about anything.

Remember, when you agree to participate in an ensemble or solo you are making a commitment to the group and yourself.       


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