FAMU Host District Three Solo and Ensemble

Musical Sounds will be played throughout Florida A&M University, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Foster Tanner, they are the host for Solo and ensemble District 3, 2015. 

Solo and ensemble is a chance for students and directors to perform in an environment which provides critical evaluation of its performance by honorable experts, in the field of band performance and techniques.      

Dr. Nicholas Thomas, coordinator of music education said, "This will be a great attribute to FAMU’s music department and a chance for parents and students who have never touched a foot on FAMU’s Campus to see the things we do and the nice campus we have."

Lindsey Sarjeant, chairwoman of the music department said, “This will provide an opportunity for students and directors to hear performances of their peers and learn from hearing those performances, it will also be an easier way to recruit talented musicians to FAMU."

Photo by: Javonni Hampton

Solo and Ensemble prepares students for musical performances outside of their natural band room environment. It gives students competition and allows them to develop goals to want to be a better player. Students prepare pieces grade levels one through five,five being the highest ranking. While playing these pieces students must demonstrate musical fundamentals, tone, concepts and a great ensemble performance in order to be rated a superior which is the highest ranking. 

Eli Sickler from Tallahassee Fla. is a graduating senior from Wakulla High School. Sickler plays the tenor saxophone and received a superior rating on his musical evaluation. He plans to receive his Associate of Arts from Tallahassee Community College and matriculate to either FAMU or FSU to receive his bachelor’s in music education. 

Alongside him was Tallahassee native, Hannah Tinsley his childhood friend from the ninth grade. Tinsley is also from Wakulla high school and received a superior ranking in a trumpet ensemble. 

Together they both prepared their pieces, reviewing notes, rhythms and good tone for almost six months. 

"When you’re young and a freshman you are told major details that will help you become a better musician. By the time you come back you have worked on everything that you didn't know in the past, and by your senior year you should almost master the instrument,” said Tinsley.

 According to Florida Bandmasters association the requirements for solo and ensemble are: 

Piccolo: Piccolos may select music from the flute list. 

Oboe / English horn: English horns may substitute any double reed solo from the list.

Eb Clarinet: Eb Soprano Clarinet may play suitable music from the Bb Clarinet list.

Saxophone solos: Soprano Saxophone may play from the Tenor saxophone list.
Bass Saxophone may play from the Baritone Saxophone list.
Baritone saxophone may only play from the Alto Saxophone list with special permission from the S&E Music Committee Chair.

Mixed Ensembles: Mixed ensembles may use substitute instruments only as included on the original score.

Trombones: Trombone and Euphonium lists are interchangeable.

Euphoniums: Trombone and Euphonium lists are interchangeable. Grade 1&2 Baritone TC may play from the trumpet list. Grade 3 or higher may be played with special permission from the S&E Music Committee Chair.

Mallets: Mallets soloists may play grade 1, 2 & 3 Flute and Oboe Literature.

In addition to listed choir music, quintet music may be used to form choirs with EACH quintet part being doubled.
Percussion ensembles may NOT double parts.
Chamber winds MUST be performed in the exact instrumentation listed – NO DOUBLING, NO SUBSTITUTIONS.

String Bass: A string bass player in a school that does not have an orchestra, may perform a double bass solo at the FBA solo/ensemble MPA. The solo must be on the FOA solo list. The difficulty levels shall be determined as follows:

    FOA Class A = FBA Grade 5
    FOA Class B = FBA Grade 4
    FOA Class C = FBA Grade 3
    FOA Class D = FBA Grade 2
    FOA Class E = FBA Grade 1
    Students must play a Grade 5 (class A) to be eligible for State MPA.


For information contact Florida Band Masters Association (954) 432-411.