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Auditioning for Solo and Ensemble Contests in Cincinnati


(This article is addressed to parents of high school musicians, but is also applicable to those musicians themselves.)

You may hear your children talking about the OMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest. What is this event?

The OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) is an affiliate of NAfME (the National Association for Music Education), and each year they host an opportunity for musicians to perform for a qualified adjudicator.

Solo instrumentalists can perform for the OMEA adjudicators, either with or without piano accompaniment. Soloists are in the four OMEA categories of Piano, Strings, Winds/Melodic Percussion, and Percussion perform scales as well as composed pieces. Details on the required music lists and soloist requirements are listed at Requirement differ for Junior High and High School musicians.

A variety of ensembles can also participate in the Adjudicated Events, including string quartets, woodwind duets and trios, brass ensembles, and more.

At Toedtman School of Music, our music teachers can work with soloists and ensembles on a wide variety of instruments. Most instruments in the high school orchestra, concert band, or wind ensemble are represented among our team of skilled one-on-one instructors.

There are no winners or losers in the Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Events – no singled-out grand champions as such. There is a ratings system. The adjucators, who are professional musicians and music educators, bestow ratings of I (Excellent) to V (Poor, used sparingly).

The ratings most commonly given to these performances are:

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.

Rating III: An acceptable performance, but not outstanding. Showing accomplishment and marked promise, but lacking in one or more essential qualities.

If you are interested in Cincinnati music lessons to prepare for OMEA events, or any specific soloist competitions – contact Toedtman School of Music by calling 513.772.7900, or by filling out our contact form.