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.

IMPORTANT UPDATES for State Solo and Ensemble!

- The deadline for State SE has been moved later, to March 1.

- The transfer request deadline is now February 15.

- The correct solo fee for 2018 is $35.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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.


  • Completed and signed registration form postmarked or hand delivered to Festival Scheduler Marge Payne, 968 Beckley, Oxford, MI  48371 by March 1.
  • 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 March 1. 
  • Purchase orders are acceptable. MSVMA State Office must receive payment one week prior to the Festival. 
  • Schedules will be sent when payment is received.


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

Director of State Events
Bert Van Dyke

Supervisor of State S & E Festivals
Cindy Hunter


 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


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


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


April 20 & 21, 2018
Districts  13 & 14

Festival Coordinator & Host
Jan Brodersen

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


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

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.

Transfer Request Guidelines


Medals are available for purchase for $4 each.

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

    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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