Ensemble Information

OMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest
Saturday, January 26th, 2019: 8a - 5p, Elder High School

        The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) is the principal organization in Ohio for promoting music education in elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. In January or February of each year, OMEA sponsors an adjudicated (judged) event to provide high school soloists and small group ensembles an opportunity to receive valuable feedback and a rating of their performance.

        OMEA encourages both solo and small ensembles to compete.  OMEA offers three competition classifications so ensembles can be critiqued at a level consistent with their musical development and expertise.  

        All ensembles of the Sycamore High School Choral Program will compete and receive performance credit for third quarter through this event.

Additionally, students have an opportunity to earn Growth Quotient credit in a number of ways.

  1. Students may go see a solo of one of their peers from the Sycamore High School Choral Program, and an ensemble from the Sycamore High School Choral Program AND see a solo or ensemble from a non-vocal/choral and non-Sycamore performer or performing group and writing a 300-word reflection on their experience.
  2. Reflecting on their own solo (300 words).

Please note: If you are unable to attend, you should submit an Absence Notification Form by Saturday, January 12th.  If you do not submit a form by then, you will be expected to perform.  Your peers will count on you to be part of the ensemble, and expect that you will honor your commitment.  Students who do not submit a form and do not show the day of the performance earn a 0 for that portion of their performance grade.          

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General Ensemble Information:

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind in preparation for the day of competition:

Elder High School 

3900 Vincent Avenue 

Cincinnati, OH 45205

  1. Someone in your ensemble (NOT Holdt) must make sure your accompanist has a copy of your music and that you have an ORIGINAL copy (no photocopies!) of your music for the judge.
  1. Someone in your ensemble (NOT Holdt) MUST bring an ORIGINAL document of your music to the competition for the judge to use during your performance.  ORIGINAL means that the music is printed in a book or printed off a website with proof of purchase on the printout. Photocopies will not be accepted for pieces written from the early 1900's or later.  
  2. Before the competition day, someone in your ensemble (NOT Holdt) must number each measure of your original music in pencil. Measure numbering is required by the judges and makes it easier for them to comment on your performance in their written evaluations.  There is a lowering of your rating if your measures are not numbered.
  1. Competition usually runs on time.  Be prompt to your competition room.  Find the ensemble name and time listed outside the competition room and confirm with the volunteer stationed at the competition room as to whether or not the session is running on time.
  2. Warm yourself up in the car on the way over by recording the warmups we do in class on your phone.
  3. Community warm-up rooms are available on-site.  Coordinate with group members about place and time IN ADVANCE.  Elder is a black hole for cell service and we were not able to communicate with one another real-time last year.  
  4. Find the location and use it to warm up and run through your piece with your ensemble.  It is almost certain (and normal) that others will be in the room as you warm up.  Take turns and be nice to each other and folks from other schools.
  5. When you are called by the judge to compete he/she will ask for your original copy of the music.
  6. Your accompanist should take their place at the piano or keyboard.
  7. Your name, your school and the piece you are performing will be introduced by the volunteer assigned to the competition room.  There is one judge in each room.
  8. After you perform, wait for any comments from the judge and retrieve your music.
  9. Family members and classmates are allowed to sit in on your performance.  No photos or recording of the performance is allowed.
  10. Scores will be posted in a general receiving area at the competition venue.  Written comments will be sent to your choir director and shared with you at school on a later date.  It may take approximately 30-60 minutes for your score to be posted after you perform. Scores are 1-4 with a 1 being a Superior Rating.

Here are the items used to judge the solo/ensemble performance:

  1. Tone: Quality, breath support and control, blend and balance.
  2. Intonation
  3. Interpretation: tempo, phrasing, expression, style and dynamic level
  4. Technique: note accuracy, rhythmic accuracy, articulation-diction, facility, precision
  5. Ratings:
  1.            Rating I – An outstanding performance, with very few technical errors and exemplifying a truly musical expression.  This rating should be reserved for the truly outstanding performance.
  2. Rating II – An unusual performance in many respects, but not worthy of the highest rating due to minor defects in performance, ineffective interpretation or improper instrumentation.
  3.          Rating III – An acceptable performance but not outstanding. Showing accomplishment and marked promise, but lacking one or more essential qualities.
  4. Rating IV – A very poor performance indicating deficiencies in most of the essential factors and indicating that much careful attention should be given to the fundamentals of good performance.  This rating should be used sparingly and only when it is possible to cite major faults.
  5.          Rating C – Comments only.
  6.          Rating D – Disqualified.
  1. Written comments from the judge are given to Mr. Holdt shortly after the performance.  Comments reflect both positive and constructively critical observations and often include suggestions for improvement.