Solo & Ensemble is a county-wide adjudication (not a competition), in which private voice students sing two contrasting art song solos in front of a qualified, professional judge. The judge provides written constructive criticism and usually takes a few minutes to work “hands on” with the singer.
Students have been preparing for this event since the beginning of the school year.
When and where is Solo & Ensemble?
The 2020 Solo & Ensemble will take place at Oak RidgeHigh School on Friday and Saturday, January 31 & February 1.
Each student will be given a 10-minute slot on one of the days to perform their two songs and to work with the judge. Please have both days open in your schedule.
You should arrive approximately 30 minutes before you scheduled time, warmed up and ready to go. There will be signs to point you in the right direction.
How does the adjudication work?
Students are judged based on several singing and performing factors – tone quality, breath management, diction, intonation, stage presence – to name a few. The judges will address any issues pertaining to these factors if necessary.
The overall scoring system is ranked Superior, Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor. If a student receives a Superior ranking, he/she is eligible to continue on to the state level S&E.
In addition to written comments, the judge will likely work hands-on with the singer. The student should be open-minded and amendable toward any advice the judge may have to offer. Remember, they are there to help you, not to punish you!
What do I wear to S&E?
“Sunday best” is the safest and best “uniform.”
Girls – shoulders and knees must be covered, closed-toe shoes are preferred, dress/skirt/nice slacks are all acceptable (in other words, lean more on the conservative side).
Boys – nice khakis or black pants with a button-up and tie is suitable.
What kind of music is performed at S&E?
Two contrasting songs should be presented from memory – one in English, and another in a foreign language. Students have been preparing their songs all year.
Students must also purchase their own music. A strict guideline of S&E is that two original copies of each song must be present in the room – one for the judge and the other for the accompanist (this is due to legal copyright issues). I will provide one copy and the student must provide the other. The music typically is from music books which have been made familiar to your students. Amazon is the perfect place to order these books.
I will be doing a book check upon the student’s first lesson of the spring semester in January. All necessary books must be ordered before this time. (Hint: they make excellent gifts from Santa…)
As a note, you should provide your accompanist with photocopies of your music to bring with you to your first rehearsal. Even though the rule states that accompanists must use original copies of the music, many pianists prefer photocopies that are double sided and three-hole punched (see below). This should not be an issue during the adjudication as long as the original copy is in the vicinity.
Who will be my accompanist?
Your chorus teachers will assign an accompanist to you. It is your responsibility to sign up for a rehearsal time with that accompanist before S&E, as well as provide him/her with clean, double-sided, three-hole punched photocopies of your music upon your first rehearsal. Also, be prepared to pay at least $30 for him/her to accompany you (depending on the pianist), which will include rehearsal time, the pre-S&E recital, and S&E.
Will I be able to perform my songs before S&E?
There will be a recital in the chorus room, approximately one to two weeks prior to S&E. This is for friends and family to come see what you have been working so diligently toward in voice lessons, as well as to prepare you for the adjudication. Treat this recital as a celebration of all your hard work!
Are there any fees for S&E?
Besides your accompanist fee, participation in Solo & Ensemble comes with a $15 registration fee. You may use CHARMS money for this, or cash or check. See Ms. Hammac for more details on this.
What happens after S&E?
First, you celebrate a job well-done! Secondly, you will receive your judge’s comments sheet upon your next voice lesson. If you score a Superior ranking, you are eligible to continue on to State Solo & Ensemble later in the year.
As a studio, we will work toward the end of the year recital in May!