Solo & Ensemble Festival is a very important part of the bands curriculum at Pioneer. The Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association (MSBOA) District XII event allows participants to perform before an adjudicator either as part of an ensemble or as a soloist. Events receive ratings from I - V, with I being the best. Each event receives written comments from the adjudicator, and often receives a mini-clinic. Medals are awarded to events which receive I or II ratings.
Students receiving a I Rating at the District XII Solo & Ensemble Festival may register for State Solo & Ensemble Festival, held each March at seven different sites across the state of Michigan. Each year’s State Festival date is in March(Please note that State Festival usually takes place the same Saturday as our Bands in Review Concert.) At State Festival, 10th through 12th grade soloists are required to take a Proficiency Examination, with scales and sight reading, State Festival Registration materials are available to those who qualify after District S&E Festival from Mr. Leach.
Soloists and members of Traditional Ensembles (e.g., woodwind and brass quintet) who excel at the State Festival level are often invited to perform at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) held each May at Western Michigan University. Only 250 out of the more than 80,000 instrumental music students who participate at the district level across the state will be part of the MYAF Honors Band or Orchestra, and Pioneer High School sends a large percentage of MYAF members each year. The very highest level soloists are recommended by their State Festival adjudicators to audition to be one of five soloists to play with orchestral accompaniment at the MYAF. These soloists are required to play a concerto at State Festival, as orchestral accompaniment is required.
Mr. Leach will notify students when and where their event(s) are scheduled about 10 days before the District and/or State Festival. It is the student's responsibility to get to site TBA for District or State well in advance of his/her earliest performance time. Arrival at least one hour before the earliest scheduled warm up time is encouraged.
Each soloist or ensemble must provide the judge with an ORIGINAL score (NOT A PHOTOCOPY) with each measure numbered, or no rating will be given. If a full score is not published, a condensed score will be accepted. If no score is published, it is the responsibility of the event to make one. See Mr. Leach for clarification.
All events must be accompanied if an accompaniment is written, or no rating will be given. Students needing accompanists should contact an accompanist NOW. Anyone may act as an accompanist. Fees for accompanists vary widely — make sure you know how much your accompanist charges. Some have one fee for rehearsals and performance, others are paid each time you meet. Recorded or electric (i.e., synthesized accompaniments) are not allowed. Piano solos with orchestral accompaniment must be performed without that accompaniment.
Each student is limited to three events. Make sure you know your performance and warm-up room numbers. All events will be called from the warm-up room approximately 30 minutes before their scheduled playing time. Read more about Solo & Ensemble Expectations.
While you can contact the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association online at www.msboa.org or by telephone at 800-967-2629, all registrations are done through Mr. Leach and the Pioneer Band Association.