HS State Solo & Ensemble Festival

HS State Solo & Ensemble Festival participation offers students the opportunity to express themselves through creating beauty, building self confidence and to be affirmed as a singer. Performers learn from the mentoring of an adjudicator  and through preparation in a solo or ensemble event, students gain insights into the music as they continue their musical journey.


  • Qualifying performance of Division I - Excellent at HS District Festival
  • Soloists with a raw score of 23 or higher 


  • Soloists and ensembles must sing two selections of a contrasting nature. Only one selection may have been performed at District Festival.
  • Soloists may sing one opera aria.
  • Soloists must perform one selection in its entirety from the Soloists’ Approved Repertoire list. Click link to view the Approved Repertoire list.
  • Popular, show/musical tunes, vocal jazz, barbershop or novelty selections are not acceptable.  
  • Changes in literature must be made by one week before the Festival. 
  • If Public Domain or purchased online copies of music are used, proof of music origin is required.


      • Soloists must perform from memory to receive a final determination.
      • Ensembles may use music.
      • Large ensembles desiring MYAF consideration must perform one a cappella selection.
      • Instrumental accompaniment other than piano is allowed but must not detract from the performance.
      • Small ensembles consist of 2 – 5 singers.
      • Large ensembles consist of 6 – 20 singers.
      • The personnel of the ensemble shall not change between the performance and sight reading rooms.
      • The personnel of the ensemble shall not change from one selection to the other.
      • Performance time may not exceed 8 minutes.
      • Choreography is not allowed.
      • An original score of each piece with measures numbered must be provided for the use of the judge in order for a final determination to be issued. 
      • Directors and accompanists may not conduct and/or play for more than 5 events on Friday, and no more than 5 events on Saturday morning or afternoon. 
      • Students may participate in up to 5 events, with no more than 3 occurring on Friday, Saturday morning or afternoon.

      Sight Reading for Soloists

      • Following performance, each soloist will proceed to the sight reading room.
      • Only the soloist's director will be allowed in the sight reading room and may instruct the soloist.
      • Prior to singing the passage, the soloist will be given time to study the exercise
      • Each exercise will be 8 measures long.
      • The adjudicator will establish the key as the soloist requests - starting pitch and/or tonic.  
      • The levels of proficiency are Primary, Intermediate and Advanced.
      • Soloists may chose the level of sight reading to be performed.  MYAF candidates must sight read at the Intermediate or Advanced Levels.
      • The sight reading score will reflect the soloist’s knowledge of music fundamentals and sight reading ability.
      • 9th grade soloists must adhere to senior high sight reading guidelines.
         Sight Reading for Ensembles

        • Prior to singing the passage, the ensemble will be given time to study the exercise.
        • The key may be established by having the students sing scales or chord patterns.
        • The director may change the key to best support the vocal abilities of the choir.
        • Intervals contained in the exercise may be sung as long as they are not done in the sequence of the written material. For example, random intervals or patterns such as 1-3-5-3-1,1-6,1-4, etc. may be sung by the students in preparation. Directors may call attention to places where these occur in the exercise. They may not be rehearsed in the sequence in which they appear.
        • The group may speak aloud the solfege, letter or number names preparatory to singing.
        • Singers are allowed to discuss and/or vocalize with their neighbors during the prep time. The director may not assist by illustrating intervals or rhythms.
        • The practice of "neighboring" shall not be a unified effort by a section or group of more than three students.
        • Small and large ensembles desiring MYAF consideration must sight read at intermediate or higher.
        • The ensemble’s performance will reflect its ability to understand and sight read the following:
        Rhythm: note and rest values, feeling of pulse/tempo - appropriate and steady
        Pitch: pitches, tonality and intonation
        Other:  Technique (either fixed or movable do, using either sollfege, numbers, letter names, or neutral syllable(s)), concentration of group members, expression, phrasing, tone, quality


        Final Determinations

        Scores will be calculated by multiplying the performance judge's score by three and adding the sight reading judge's score.

         Division I  Excellent 120 - 96
         Division II  Good  95 - 72
         Division III  Fair  71 - 46
         Division IV  Developing  45 - 24


        Medals are available for purchase for $4 each.

        Missed Event Policy

        • The student's director is the only person that can ask for a change to the schedule.  No parents or students are allowed in the headquarters.  If the student's director is not there, the student has no option to be rescheduled.
        • The individual in charge of the master schedule will work with the director to determine if an opening is available that will accommodate the student and the accompanist.
        • A fee of $10 shall be paid at the acceptance of the rescheduled opening or the event will not perform.  Payment will be made by cash or director's check payable to MSVMA.

        Student Conduct

        In signing the registration form, the principal and the director agree to supervise the students from their school to ensure proper conduct at the Festival. Sanctions may be imposed  by the MSVMA Executive Board upon schools whose students' behavior is inappropriate.

        Michigan Youth Arts Festival

        Soloists and ensembles interested in being considered for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival should click on the following links for important information.

                  MYAF overview
          MYAF S&E information

          Transfer Request GuidkjhSDGHJKL;'



          • Completed and signed registration form postmarked or hand delivered to Festival Scheduler Marge Payne, 968 Beckley, Oxford, MI  48371 by February 21.
          • Non-refundable fees must be paid at the time of registration by school check or director’s personal check payable to MSVMA State Office, P.O. Box 1131, Big Rapids, MI 49307 and postmarked by February 21. 
          • Purchase orders are acceptable. MSVMA State Office must receive payment one week prior to the Festival. 
          • Schedules will be sent when payment is received.


           $35 Solo  
           $50 Small ensemble  2 - 5 singers
           $80 Large ensemble   6 - 20 singers
           $90 Large ensemble - MYAF consideration   

          Director of State Events
          Bert Van Dyke

          Supervisor of State S & E Festivals
          Cindy Hunter

          Central   April 20 & 21, 2018

          Districts 1, 2, 7 & 9   District 5: Bay, Clinton, Gratiot, Isabella & Midland Counties

          Festival Coordinator
          Kathy Cunningham

          Jill Neverth

          McBain Rural Agricultural School
          107 East Maple Street
          McBain, MI  49657

          East   April 13 & 14, 2018

          Districts 3, 15 & 16  
          District 5: Shiawassee, Saginaw counties 
          District 8: Ingham, Eaton counties east of US127 

          Festival Coordinator
          Leo Humbach

          Kevin Cornwall

          Avondale HS
          2800 Waukegan Street
          Auburn Hills, MI  48326

          South  April 20 & 21, 2018

          Districts 4 &12
          District 8: Hillsdale, Jackson & Lenawee Counties

          Festival Coordinator

          Jason L Debandt

          Matt Laura

          Fordson High School
          13800 Ford Road
          Dearborn, MI  48126

          UP   April 20, 2018
          Districts  13 & 14

          Festival Coordinator & Host
          Jan Brodersen

          Lake Superior Christian Church
          393 State Highway M533
          Marquette, MI  49855

          West   April 13 & 14, 2018

          District 8:  Ingham and Eaton Counties west of US127  
          District 6, 10 & 11

          Festival Coordinator 
          Jonathan VanEck

          Emily Verdonk

          Allendale High School
          10760 68th Avenue
          Allendale, MI 49401

          As innovative leaders in vocal music education, we provide experiences to inspire our diverse community.
          Our vision is to reach the hearts of all people through song.

          The MSVMA Offices are located in the Timme Building on the campus of Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan.

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