FBA Solo and Ensemble
Students preparing for the Solo and Ensemble competition must submit their applications and fees on time to their director, practice frequently with an eye toward improving accuracy and intonation, and practice using strategies designed to strengthen both accuracy and intonation.
All entries MUST contain an original score with all measures numbered. Speak directly with your district chair about policies and practices regarding original music.
Soloists or ensembles performing classical pieces are judged by an adjudicator who evaluates them on their prepared performance before moving to another room to sight read for another judge who gives a rating and feedback score – these ratings and feedback ratings will then be available online on the same day.
To earn an excellent rating, a group must sight-read well. Teachers provide various ways of helping their students prepare. Successful sight-reading teams practice with their chosen method for at least several months prior to performing pieces – this allows the students to concentrate solely on performing without trying to read simultaneously!
FBA has made strides this year to enhance the sight reading process by teaming up with Excelcia Music Publishing to offer new musical selections that meet MPA content limitations for each class. These sight-reading pieces provide great practice opportunities.
Arrive 45 minutes early for your stage time so that you have time to warm up, gather judges’ packets, and be ready when sight reading is finished – this way, the judge can provide feedback for individual players or groups as well as having access to MPA Online scores.
At checkout, you must bring the original score with all measures numbered. A judge may not accept photocopies; any necessary copies must be done prior to leaving for an event and must have the same format as its counterpart.
Rehearsal is an essential practice that enables performers of an act or piece to practice performing together and get acquainted. Rehearsals may involve any combination of performers – vocalists in choir show and musicals, instrumentalists in rock bands or jazz orchestras, theatre actors, dancers, or other stage performers, as well as more – from choir show vocalists or musicians, theatre actors to dancers or other stage performers and more – who come together during rehearsal. Rehearsals can take place either at home or in rehearsal studios – some professional performers may use professional rehearsal studios when rehearsing an act or piece.
Rehearsals can also help performers iron out technical issues in their performances, such as music notes or movement issues. Directors typically hold multiple rehearsals of theatrical productions before staging them onstage; other versions may undergo “walk-throughs,” shorter run-throughs that occur prior to their final concert or event.
As part of their preparations to perform in an FBA solo and ensemble performance, students should set aside time each day to rehearse. Doing this will improve their performance; more effort put into rehearsal equals better results!
Rehearsal can also help students become more comfortable with the piece they are performing, which in turn can lead to more confident and impressive performances that ultimately contribute to attaining the rating desired by a student.
When it comes to rehearsal, students must use an original piece of music. This means publishing and numbering each measure within the composition. Any photocopies presented as proof cannot be accepted by judges for review.
As part of the rehearsal process, it can also be beneficial to break down pieces into parts that are easier for students to remember so they can focus on one section at a time rather than becoming overwhelmed by all of its information.
Rehearsal can also provide students with an invaluable learning opportunity: encouraging positive attitudes and punctuality will set an exemplary standard throughout their performance. Students should arrive at least 10 minutes ahead of their rehearsal time so they can start on time, helping to calm nerves and reduce unnecessary anxiety.
No matter the performance venue, whether solo piano with accompaniment or small ensemble, it is vitally important to warm up properly in order to create a solid base from which you can launch into your performance and build on its strength throughout its entirety. A proper warm-up will provide a solid start that will carry throughout your piece with a strong sound that resonates from beginning to end.
Arriving early for your scheduled performance time in the judge’s room can help ensure a successful experience, with time for finding the appropriate space and making sure all necessary music is present for your performance. Tuning your instrument and practicing any difficult passages or notes that might present problems can also be helpful during this period.
For ensembles, it is vitally essential to bring a copy of the original score with all parts numbered. A judge will not accept photocopied versions as an acceptable substitute; therefore, students who fail to provide an original score may experience lower ratings than expected.
Be sure to warm up your instrument properly with long tones and scales prior to beginning any challenging sections of your piece, as a strong base will make all the difference in your final rating.
Once your warm-up is completed, you must pay close attention to both yourself and your accompanist and listen for any suggestions they may offer. When your performance has concluded, thanking both of them can have a dramatic effect on your rating; judges often recognize these types of interactions easily, and a lack of appreciation could have an adverse impact.
KWHS annually participates in the Florida Bandmaster’s Association’s Solo and Ensemble MPA event, and students in grades 7 through 8 have an excellent opportunity to earn a superb rating that qualifies them for all-state competition. Participation will advance 1-2 years musically for participants – we encourage everyone who can to attend! Click here for more information and how to participate!
Each student will prepare a solo or ensemble piece and perform it at the FBA Solo & Ensemble Music Performance Assessment (MPA), an invaluable opportunity for them to hone their music-making skills. Students receive feedback from an adjudicator, giving them insight into improving their musicianship while simultaneously fulfilling one of Winter Park High School band program requirements and earning superior ratings that may qualify them for All-State or Honor bands.
Participating students must provide an original score for their selected piece to present to the judge; photocopies will NOT be accepted by him/her, and every measure must be numbered. **For more information regarding policies & practices concerning original music pieces that fall within the public domain, please speak directly with your district chair; alternatively, a general information page should also accompany judge copy copies if available.
Ensembles must perform exactly as stated in their score; no substitutions or double parts are permitted. Furthermore, their music must be classical – pop tunes, movie and video game music, and Broadway show musical numbers do not qualify as classical works.