Sunday, April 15 – Solo / Ensemble Festival Hosted by the Samohi Orchestras

Please plan on arriving at the SMC Performing Arts Center at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled performance time. 

The 2018 SMMUSD Solo & Small Ensemble Festival takes place Sunday, April 15th. The event is open to all 6th – 12th grade Band or Orchestra students attending schools that are part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

Solos must be classical in nature. The festival also welcomes students that wish to play classical music in a small ensemble:  duets, trios, quartets, quintets, etc.  Students are encouraged to ask their private instructors or Band/Orchestra directors for help selecting an appropriate festival piece.

Students will perform before an adjudicator for feedback and a rating, and will receive certificates. Samohi students:  Add festivals to your Samohi Brag Sheets on Naviance. Samohi Orchestra Seniors:  Please contact the Orchestras for information about the coincident Senior Gala performance competition.

How to Sign Up (2018 deadline has PASSED):

Solo and Small Ensemble Application Form

Where to go:

The festival takes place in the classrooms and practice rooms of the SMC Performing Arts Center & Music Academy (formerly the Madison Campus), on Santa Monica Boulevard at 11th Street in Santa Monica. Parking is free. Musicians should arrive at least ½ hour early for check-in and warm-up.

The festival is hosted by the Santa Monica High School Orchestras. Contact Mr. Jason Aiello, if you have any questions about your performance.


Please plan on arriving at SMC at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled performance time.  Upon arriving at SMC, locate the registration table in the main hallway.  This is where you need to check-in and find your room assignment.  There will be practice rooms available for you to unpack, tune, and warm-up.  You should be waiting outside of your assigned classroom five minutes prior to your performance time.

Score for Adjudicator:

Each student provide an original score for the adjudicator to follow during the performance.  Students may play from a photocopy, but the judge needs an original.  If you have purchased a score online and printed, please include your receipt as proof of purchase.  If you have a printed score or material that is in the public domain (IMSLP), please bind the score so that there are no loose individual pages.  Side stapling (along the left edge) or corner stapling allows pages to be turned without getting out of order.  With a public domain score, a cover letter should include a screenshot or complete printed page of the work’s status in regard to its public access (see example below):

A good rule of thumb is anything published in 1923 or later is still under copyright.

Also, please remember to number the measures on both the score and individual parts.  This will make the short time the adjudicator has to work with the performers more meaningful and efficient.  Scores will be returned to registration after your performance.

Samohi Seniors who are auditioning to perform at Senior Gala should bring two copies of their score since they will be performing for two judges.


All of the performances are open to the public; family and friends are welcome to attend.

Below are excerpts from “Solo and Ensemble Practice and Performance Tips” by Johanna Beth Sennett, contributing writer for Read the full article HERE.

Stage Presence:

Never tell us with your facial expression or body language that something went wrong. Don’t forget to wear your smile. You are happy to be offering your performance, no matter where or when. Be positive and make it your best. Let your hard work be the firm ground you can plant your feet in and the music will flow.


Look the part of a performer. One should not be over-dressed or over-made-up for an audition or competition. You should be comfortable and have ease of movement. You are offering something special and therefore, should look respectable (not overly trendy either), neat and clean. Have respect for yourself as a performer and respect for your audience and or judge. Keep it simple, elegant and comfortable.

On a side note, don’t forget to sleep and eat well before your performance dates. If you are not fresh and nourished, you may not have the energy to concentrate and give your best performance.

One Last Thought:

Savor each moment of your performance and try to get your ego out of the way. Enjoy the privilege and pleasure of giving the gift of music to the world. Every performance, no matter how big or small, long-planned for or spontaneous is an opportunity to discover music and who you are as a musician. Be positive and have fun! This spirit of positive thinking is a must. You are the best person to be playing this piece at this moment – now make it so!

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