2020-21 Virtual Solo and Ensemble Festivals

This school year CMEA Bay Section will offer two Virtual Solo and Ensemble Festivals. This digital format mirrors the model of the CMEA State Solo and Ensemble Festival that took place this past spring semester. Our goal is to provide performance opportunities for young musicians in our community and encourage educators to incorporate solo repertoire and performance into their curriculum, using the Bay Section Virtual Solo and Ensemble Festival as another tool for assessment. Student performances will be evaluated by Bay Section’s top adjudicators using the Bay Section Solo and Ensemble performance rubric. The virtual festivals will take place on the following dates: April 26–30.

New for Spring Festivals:

  • Virtual Small Ensembles entries (2-9 performers)
  • Solo Piano entries 
  • Solo Jazz and Combo entries (Combos 2-9 performers) more info below
  • Students may register and pay on their own!


  • The registration window for the Spring Virtual Solo and Ensemble Festivals is March 22nd through April 19th.
  • Directors will register online through the Bay Section website .
  • Payments can be made through our website using a credit card.
  • Directors may register students, but students may also register.
  • Online payments are preferred, but checks are also accepted.
  • Cost: $35 per entry
  • The following information is required at registration:
    • Director Name and contact info
    • NAfME ID#
    • School Name
    • Number of students being registered
    • A list of student names/instruments/grade
  • The following information is required at registration for STUDENTS:
    • Director Name and contact info
    • Director NAfME ID#
    • School Name
    • Student name/instrument/grade

CMEA Bay Section is committed to providing access and opportunities for all students in our community. Scholarships and registration fee waivers are available for Title 1 schools. For more information on scholarships and waivers please contact President Keith Johnson at keith@cmeabaysection.org.

Requirements for Submissions

  • Students must be enrolled in their respective music programs in order to participate.
  • Directors must be a current CMEA/NAfME member (member ID required).
  • Private studio teachers may also register their students as long as they are members of CMEA/NAfME.
  • All vocal and instrumental students that play a standard band/orchestra instrument, and piano may participate.
  • Small ensembles of 2-9 players should all be enrolled in the same school/program.
  • Submissions should include a minimum of 2 minutes of music but not to exceed 5 minutes in total.
  • Student submissions should include a minimum of 2 minutes of music but not to exceed 5 minutes in total.
  • Accompaniment is not required.
  • Music does not need to be memorized.
  • Video submissions are required for solo performances. 
  • Audio submissions are also accepted for small ensembles.
  • Only video submissions will be accepted.
  • The performer should be in full view of the camera.
  • At the beginning of each video, participants should introduce themselves, indicate which school they are from, and the works they will be performing.
  • Participants performing more than one work should submit one continuous video.
  • Repertoire can include solo etudes, including melodic or technical exercises from method books.
  • Small ensemble submissions should have minimal editing. Any editing (balance, syncing, reverb, etc.) should be listed so adjudicators can accurately provide feedback.
  • Submissions of large ensemble parts from band/orchestra/choir repertoire (i.e. 2nd clarinet part, 1st alto, soprano, etc.) will not be permitted.
  • Popular music arrangements are acceptable if the arrangement has musical merit and performed tastefully.
  • Directors should carefully work with students when selecting repertoire.
  • Media release forms are required of all participants. Download the writable PDF HERE.

CMEA Bay Section Virtual Solo Jazz Festival Info

Jazz Solo Performance Requirements:

  • Improvisation is required.
  • Video submissions are required for solo performances.
  • Participants should prepare 1-2 jazz standards.
  • The performance should be no longer than 5 minutes in duration.
  • Performers should play the head (melody) before and after the improvised section.
  • 2-4 choruses of improvisation is recommenced on each selection. If the form of the tune is lengthy, consider limiting to one chorus of improvisation (especially if performing a ballad).
  • Performance must include rhythm section backing (pre-recorded student ensemble or backing track) that is audible to the listener.
  • Leadsheets and/or scores must be provided for adjudication. 


Jazz Combo Performance Requirements:

  • Improvisation is required of at least two members of the ensemble but all members of the group are encouraged to improvise.
  • Video OR audio submissions are accepted for combo performances.
  • Groups should consist of 2-9 players.
  • Groups may perform jazz standards or original compositions.
  • The performance should be no longer than 7 minutes in duration.
  • Basic introduction and ending to each tune is highly encouraged.
  • Combos are not required to perform/record in person as per state/county COVID-19 guidelines. Recorded projects using online mixing software is highly encouraged.
  • Combo submissions should have minimal editing. Any editing (balance, syncing, reverb, etc.) should be listed so adjudicators can accurately provide feedback.
  • Leadsheets and/or scores must be provided for adjudication.

Uploading Files

  • All submission must be in a video format i.e. MP4, MOV, AVI, etc. (phone video quality is fine).
  • Registered participants will receive a link to a shared folder containing subfolders for each instrument/voice type through Box.com by April 19.
  • Directors are responsible for collecting and uploading all videos for students that they register, and sorting performers by instrument type.
  • PDF of parts and/or score is required and should be uploaded with submission.
  • The video/audio submission window is April 19-26.
  • Each file should be labeled correctly, i.e. student name, instrument, and school. Example: Jane Doe; trumpet; ABC Middle School.
  • Files not labeled correctly will not be evaluated.
  • No refunds will be issued due to incorrect submissions.


  • Performers are eligible to receive a total of 20 points for their performance.
  • Participants may also enter for comments only.
  • Participants will be scored and rated based on the quality of the performance and not the level or type of music being performed. Adjudicators will not take off points due to attire or poor audio quality (within reason).
  • Only written comments will be provided.
  • Adjudicators will use a Google form (sent to all adjudicators prior of the festivals) to input all comments.
  • Comments will be made available to participating schools within one week of the festival date.
Ratings are as follows:

20-16: Superior
15-11: Excellent
10-4: Good

  • A rating of “Superior” and a score between 18-20 will earn performers a “Command Performance.”
  • Command Performance Certificates will be placed in each school’s shared folder no later than two weeks following the festival.


These rubrics will be used to evaluate all student performances. We encourage you to use them to prepare for the festival and also as a tool for assessment in your classes!

Media Release/Consent Forms

Each soloist participating in the CMEA Bay Section Solo Festival must have this form on file by Monday, April 26th. Directors: please collect all media forms from your students and upload into the designated Box.com folder that was shared with you.


Please contact Solo and Ensemble Festival Coordinators Katie Starnes and Ken Nakamoto with any questions.