2018 SMMUSD Solo & Small Ensemble Festival

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

Deadline for applications – Thursday, March 22

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 (online form):

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.

Below are excerpts from “Solo and Ensemble Practice and Performance Tips” by Johanna Beth Sennett, contributing writer for banddirector.com. 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!

2018 All-Southern Honor Group Audition Times

Did you submit an application to audition for a 2018 All-Southern California Honor Group?

scsboalogocolorAUDITION TIMES HAVE BEEN POSTED FOR All-Southern California Honor Bands, Orchestras, and Jazz Bands.


CLICK HERE to check your audition time at your location.

  1. Click on the link above.
  2. Scroll down under the audition date and site you selected:  either December 9, 2017 at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita OR December 10, 2017 at Hoover High School in Glendale.
  3. Click on your instrument. If you are auditioning for more than one instrument, be sure to check both audition times.

2018 All-State Honor Band, Orchestra, and Jazz Band Auditions

Audition results for 2018 CASMEC Honor Ensembles have been posted here:  2018 All-State Results

Auditions for 2018 All-State Honor Ensembles were due on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For grades 9-12, California offers a high school All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble, three high school All-State Honor Bands, a high school All-State Jazz Band, a high school All-State Honor String Orchestra, and a high school All-State Honor Full Orchestra that will participate at the CBDA/CASMEC Convention in San Jose, February 15-18, 2018.
Visit the NAfME website for information about honor groups for grades 7-8.

Very Important:  All 2018 All-State Band auditions must be uploaded online by your Band Director (Mr. McKeown, Mr. Sakow, or Mr. Whaley).  No CDs will be accepted for band auditions.

You must submit your audition recording to your Band Director by Tuesday, November 28th. Your Band Director will submit auditions through the CBDA online system, which will close at 11:59 PM on December 1, 2017.

If your Band Director submits your audition recording to the CBDA or CAJ, there is a $55 student fee to audition. Your Band Director will ask you to pay this fee, after informing you that you have been selected. Those who are selected for an honor ensemble will pay CASMEC a participation fee, which will be approximately $450, due in mid-January. See the Audition information below.

All-State honor ensembles will perform at the California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) in San Jose, February 14-18, 2018.


Scales and Audition Etudes

Please select the scales and materials for the group you will be auditioning for.

Click here for all of the audition information, scales, and etudes (where applicable)**

Click here for additional information regarding All State Jazz auditions (improvisation, scales, etc and Vocal Jazz Recording Instructions)

**note that there are no scale requirements for harp.
***if you are having issues accessing this because your personal Dropbox account is full, please LOG OUT of Dropbox, then click this link again to access the files

2018 Honor Group Audition Information

Recording Instructions

Concert Bands (High School and Junior High School)
High School Jazz Band
Junior High School Jazz Band

Important Forms

All State Student Information Collection Form submit this to your Band Director!
All State Vocal Jazz Application – submit the Vocal Jazz online form, but also PRINT and submit it to your Band Director (Etudes and Recording Instructions for Vocal Jazz are with all of the other etudes referenced above)


Click here for the Errata

Audition Help Videos

Middle School Trombone / Euphonium / Tuba players and High School Trombone / Euphonium players:  Please see the videos below, made by Amy Bowers, with helpful hints and suggestions regarding successfully navigating your way through the All State audition music.






Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the FAQ’s

2018 Bob Cole Honors Festival at CSULB

Outside Performance Opportunity: Bob Cole Honors Festival at CSULB

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 3.53.00 PM (2)
The third Bob Cole Conservatory Honors Festival is coming up soon! This festival will bring together the most talented student musicians from across Southern California to perform in a Wind Symphony, a Concert Choir, and String ensemble. The Bob Cole Honors Festival is unique: students will have the opportunity to work closely with renowned conductors, guest artists, and Honors Festival faculty. This year’s guest artists are trombone soloist Andy Martin, choral conductor Dr. Iris Levine from Cal Poly Pomona, and violist, Che-Yen Brian Chen of the USC Thornton School of Music.

Guest artists will present master classes for each ensemble, and Honors Festival faculty will offer sectionals and group instruction to all students. This festival, unlike other honor bands, orchestras, or choirs, includes learning opportunities for every participant well beyond the invaluable experience of intensive rehearsals and a public performance with other outstanding musicians. To see pictures from last year’s festival go to:  The Bob Cole Conservatory Honors Festival Facebook Page

The Bob Cole Conservatory Honors Festival will be held on: January 5, 6, and 7, 2018
Due to a generous grant from California State University, Long Beach the regular festival participation rate of $160.00 has been reduced to $35.00, which will be collected after acceptance to the festival. We also have a limited number of need-based scholarships for those wishing to attend but not able to afford the $35.00 participation rate.

Personnel for the Bob Cole Honor Wind Symphony, String Chamber, and Concert Choir will be selected by digital video audition from interested students, grades 10-12. The Conductors for the Bob Cole Honor Festival will be:
Wind Symphony: Prof. John Carnahan/ Dr. Jermie Arnold
Concert Choir: Dr. Joshua Palkki
String Chamber: Prof. Moni Simeonov
Before you submit auditions please make sure you will be able to attend the Festival (Jan 5-7), and do NOT have another event/situation that will prevent you from coming, in the event you are invited. Also, please be aware that participants must attend ALL rehearsals during the Festival in order to be accepted and perform in the concert on January 7, 2018.
All audition information and applications are found at: http://web.csulb.edu/depts/music/prospective-students/honors-festival.php
Wind players are to prepare and submit two brief contrasting etudes or solo excerpts of their own choosing, and the appropriate scales found on the Audition Recording Procedures sheet.
Percussionists may audition on any one, two or all three of the following instruments: Snare Drum, Mallets, and Timpani. If a percussionist chooses to audition on one instrument only, he/she must prepare and submit two contrasting etudes or solo excerpts on that particular instrument. If a percussionist chooses to audition on two or three instruments, he/she need only prepare and submit one etude or solo excerpt on each instrument. Although not required, all percussionists are encouraged to audition on multiple instruments. Rudiments for battery percussion auditions are NOT necessary for the Bob Cole Honors Festival audition procedure. However, scales are included in the mallet auditions.
Harp and Piano: If you would like to audition on one of these instruments, please submit an audition, and then we will let you know if those instruments are needed.
String applicants should prepare a two octave scale of their choosing and select and perform two contrasting excerpts.
Vocalists should prepare and perform a single Italian Art Song, Aria or American Folk Song.
Complete instructions for the recording procedure and audition requirements are found here http://web.csulb.edu/depts/music/prospective-students/honors-festival.php

Applications/Auditions must be emailed no later than Friday, December 8, 2017

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Arnold at (562) 985-5433.
E-mail digital recordings and completed applications directly to

This will undoubtedly be a musical and educational experience you will never forget!

Jermie Arnold D.M.A.
Director of Woodwind Studies
Bob Cole Honors Festival Coordinator
Associate Director of Bands
Assistant Professor of Music
California State University, Long Beach

University of Redlands Honor Group Audition Preparation Clinic

Honor Group Audition Preparation Clinic

The University of Redlands School of Music is pleased to offer an All-Southern/All-State Honor Group Audition Preparation Clinic for high school students. The clinic will take place on Saturday, October 7 at the University of Redlands.


Winds, Brass and Percussion
Saturday, October 7, 2017
All high school band students planning to audition for either CBDA All-State or the SCSBOA All-Southern honor groups are welcome to attend.


LINK to:  Clinic Flyer (pdf)

LINK to:  Register Now!


9:00 – 9:30     Registration
9:30 – 11:30   Clinic
12:00 – 12:30 Recital with University of Redlands faculty and students
12:30 – 1:30   Campus Tour

2018 All-Southern Honor Group Applications – November 3 Deadline

To all Concert Band students:  

scsboalogocolorThe Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) has opened the application process for All-Southern California Honor Bands, Orchestras, and Jazz Bands – January 25-28, 2018 in Garden Grove, CA.


The time-stamped deadline for High School applications/fees is 11:59 PM on Friday, November 3, 2017.

  1. CLICK HERE to read the application instructions and access the online application.
  2. You will need to PRINT a Director Endorsement Form. Your must have your form signed by your Concert Band instructor (Mr. Sakow or Mr. McKeown), and then upload your signed form to the online application. Do not wait until the last minute to get your form signed!
    CLICK HERE to download/print the Director Endorsement Form
  3. Click here for:  All-Southern Honor Group Audition, Rehearsal, and Performance Schedule
  4. To prepare for the audition, click here for:  High School Honor Group Audition Music & Scales