Solo & Ensemble Rules


Rules Governing Solo and Ensemble Contests

1. A student may participate in a total of five (5) solo and ensemble events, but is limited to two vocal ensembles, two instrumental ensembles, one vocal solo, and one instrumental solo unless additional solos are performed on different instruments. A student may participate in not more than four (4) instrumental events.
2. Directors must provide a condensed or full score for solos and ensembles for the use of the adjudicator. Measures must be numbered.
3. Photocopied music may be provided to adjudicators only in an “emergency.” An emergency shall be defined as a case in which music is out-of-print with no new score available or purchased music copies are backordered. Written evidence in the form of a school purchase order and/or a written statement from the supplier shall be required to document the “emergency.” The penalty for violation shall be lowering of the rating by one step. E-Print Music may be used but must be labeled or a receipt shown to indicate it is not a photocopy. Public Domain music may be used but must have the Public Domain copyright date clearly displayed and a note indicating the source.
4. The performance time of a composition must not exceed six minutes.
5. Instrumental Solos and Ensembles may be read from a score. Vocal Solos and Ensembles must be memorized.
6. No student shall be allowed to perform a given selection as both a solo and with an ensemble in the same year.
7. Solo participants and ensembles must perform a minimum of 28 measures of music from one composition, excluding any form of repeats. Vocal Solos may count repeats as additional measures if the lyrics are different.
8. A soloist shall not perform a composition that he or she performed in a previous contest and an ensemble shall not repeat a composition previously performed in any contest by that school until all members of that ensemble have changed.
9. A student shall not perform the same selection more than once at any District Solo and Ensemble or Organization Contest during the same school year.
10. Unpublished original compositions will be allowed in Contests. A full score is to be presented for the use of the adjudicators.
11. When performing a composition at Solo and Ensemble Contest for which a full score is not available, the director is to prepare a full score for the use of the adjudicator and include a letter from the publisher/music supplier indicating that a score does not exist.
12. Participating schools will be permitted an unlimited number of solo and ensemble entries.
13. Directors are allowed to enter the solo/ensemble contest rooms during performance by their students for the purpose of accompanying or listening. The coaching of performers by the director is not allowed. Directors will not be allowed to discuss the rating given to a student with the adjudicator.
14. Students shall not wear medals, uniforms, and/or apparel with any logos or markings identifying the participating school when performing a solo or ensemble.
15. The use of electronically recorded accompaniment shall be prohibited in contests.

Rules Governing Soloists

1. Soloists shall be identified by grade in school, number of years played (instrumental students), number of yearsin school choral organization (choral students) and scheduled accordingly. In completing the solo entry, the number of year’s experience at the end of the current year shall be indicated.
2. Solo instruments acceptable shall include all instruments used in bands or orchestras and handbells/choir chimes, electronic instruments and acoustical guitar. Vocal solos shall be included for vocal solo adjudication. Voices are to be classified only as boys’ or girls’ voices.
3. Piano soloists must be members of a school sponsored piano program, or a member of the instrumental or vocal program. Piano soloists shall be allowed two (2) minutes for warm-up purposes on the contest room piano.
4. A private teacher shall be allowed to play an accompaniment for his or her own student.
5. All solos must be performed with an accompanist unless the accompaniment is listed as optional on the score or is listed as unaccompanied. No student shall accompany their own solo.
6. In the electronic instrument composition transcription, or arrangement contest, the following shall apply:
a) Compositions for Solo Electronic Instruments may have either electronic or acoustic accompaniment. Combinations are allowed.
b) In Compositions for Electro-Acoustic Computer, traditional acoustic accompaniment is optional.
c) In the transcription/arrangement of a traditional vocal/instrumental solo, the accompaniment may be electronic or acoustic instruments, or a combination of

Rules Governing Ensembles

1. Ensembles shall be classified by type of ensemble and number of ensemble members and scheduled accordingly.
2. All ensembles with a written accompaniment must be performed with an accompanist unless the accompaniment is listed as optional on the score.
3. Any ensemble missing instrumental or voice parts shall be heard and rated on the performance presented.
4. Woodwind ensembles: Groupings may be made of any combination of woodwind instruments as follows: Duets, Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, Septets, and Octets.
5. Brass ensembles: Groupings may be made of any combination of brass instruments as follows: Duets, Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, Septets, and Octets.
6. String ensembles: Groupings may be made of any combination of string instruments as follows: Duets, Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, Septets and Octets.
7. Woodwind, Brass, or String Ensembles consisting of 9-24 members may be entered. The instrumentation of these ensembles shall follow the instrumentation of the score and may be conducted.
8. Percussion Ensembles: Groupings may be made of any combination of percussion instruments as follows: Duets, Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, Septets and Octets. Percussion Ensembles consisting of 6-24 members may be entered. The instrumentation of these ensembles shall follow the instrumentation of the score and may be conducted.
9. Snare drum duets must be played on two (2) snare drums.
10. Ensembles of mixed instrumentation shall be acceptable if the instrumentation meets the intentions of the score.
11. Vocal ensembles shall be classified as Duets (2-Part Music), Trios (3-Part Music) and Quartets (4-Part Music) and may include up to three voices on each part. In grouping vocal ensembles (not including Madrigals or Chamber Choir) classify as follows: 1) Boys, Girls or Mixed and 2) Duet, Trio or Quartet (the number of parts for which the selection is written).
12. A Madrigal group shall be comprised of a mixed group of not more than 16 performers singing in madrigal style without accompaniment. A Chamber Choir shall have nine to 16 members and may be accompanied by piano and conducted by the director. Choirs must present three-part music in any style, except that those choirs composed only of students below seventh grade level may present two-part music.
13. A piano duet shall be classified as an ensemble. The music chosen shall be written to be played on one piano.
14. Handbells/Choir Chimes shall be given a minimum of ten minutes setup time.
15. There shall be no minimum or maximum number of performers in the Handbell/Choir Chime ensembles.
16. One adjudicator shall be required to adjudicate a Handbell/Choir Chime ensemble.
17. Electronic Instrument Ensembles may choose either Jazz, Jazz-Rock, Rock, Soul, or other combo or grouping style for performance.