Solo and Ensemble competition is upon us! Every Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band student received a solo and an ensemble before they left for break.  Every concert band student will receive an ensemble part this week.  Concert band students wanting to play a SOLO should have let a director know before break.  If for some reason this did not happen….email a band director immediately.

This part of our curriculum is critical because it allows the student to stretch as an individual player and a small group setting – not just in the big marching band or concert band!  Encourage your student to start playing chunks of their solo for you at home.  The more people they play and ‘perform’ for starting now, the easier it is for them when the actual performance day come.  At this point have them play a line or two for you at a time, and by the end of the month increase the chunks to 1/4 or 1/2 the solo.  It should sound musical, be performed with a confident sound, and ‘make sense’ (even to an untrained ear).

If you are new to high school, solo and ensemble is a little different than it is in the middle school.  In high school it is customary to play your solo with a piano accompanist unless the solo is designated ‘unaccompanied’ on the Prescribed Music List.  For many students, this is the first time they have had the opportunity to collaborate with a pianist and it’s nice to be able to add that additional layer to their music.

We have a great set of piano players we use every year for solo and ensemble.  These are professionals from around the community with a degree in music or piano performance.  We have assigned each student to a pianist.  Students that informed us of wishes to use their own pianist were allowed to do so.  Each student will receive 2 rehearsals with the pianist two weeks and one week prior to the performance as well as the performance itself.  The cost for this is $50 payable to the pianist (students will get a schedule and will have their pianists names posted when they return to school).  Half of the payment is due on the first rehearsal (week of Jan 22) and the remaining half is due at the second rehearsal (week of Feb 5).  If an alternate payment plan is needed that can be worked out with the pianist.  Please contact Ms. Gonzalez with any payment issues

Solo and Ensemble takes place on Saturday, Feb 10 and schedules will be published very shortly.  As we did last year we have 2 sites available:  Anderson site or the LBJ site.  The LBJ site is the UIL site and a 1 rating received there can qualify a student for Texas State Solo and Ensemble.  Please ask your child which site they are signed up to attend.

Additionally, Students receiving 1’s and advancing at the UIL site, OR those that are chosen by their judge as the top performer in their room at the Anderson site will advance to the Anderson Solo Competition FINALS on Feb 20!!!  This is a great competition for exceptionally prepared solos – with cash prizes for top 3 students to be used for lesson scholarships or purchases for their instrument.

We are really looking forward to SOLO AND ENSEMBLE!  Please mark your calendars and send your pianists payments on rehearsal weeks with your students.  As always – let me know if you have any questions!

Ms. Gonzalez