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Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music Discuss Solo and ensemble contest tips in the General forums; This Tuesday, I will be performing Aria con Variazioni by G.F. Handel. This is my first ever contest. What is ...
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    Solo and ensemble contest tips

    This Tuesday, I will be performing Aria con Variazioni by G.F. Handel. This is my first ever contest.

    What is the etiquette of contests?
    How do I introduce myself to the judges?
    What is the best way to impress them?

    Any other tips for contests are also greatly appreciated. I search barred, but nothing of this nature came up.
    "We'll stop playing when the phone stops ringing... and the phone's still ringing" -Doc Kumpka
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    Forte User jiarby's Avatar
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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    What is the best way to impress them?
    Play well.
    Keep time.
    Demonstrate musicality, dynamics, articulations.
    Have a good full sound, even when playing softly.
    Act like you are enjoying yourself making music...

    Don't be nervous or scared. If you do well you get a medal that costs $2.
    Don't make the skunky face if you make a mistake... keep your composure and act professionally.

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    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    Nod politely to the judges at your entrance--usually they will tell you when to start playing. At the finish, acknowledge applause (even if you sucked it still shows respect on your part). Have fun and play the heck out of it!
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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    I did that piece as my solo last year. Fun piece. It is dress up, but your not going to a funeral. I wore a dress shirt with a collar, and some dress pants(khaki or black) with a nice belt and some long socks to match the pants. Some people wear a button up dress shirt with a tie, but that is not needed. But its your first impression from the judge.

    For an introduction, walk right up to them with a smile and shake their hand. Introduce yourself by saying "Hi, I am Johnny Young and will be preforming Aria con Variazioni for you today," then hand them the original of the solo. After they are really impressed by you and your confidence you will walk over to the music stand and set yourself up. Dont be afraid, play a few scales before you do. Play them loud and proud, the judge is there to hear music.

    Best way to impress them, give a great performance. From my judge this year I was told some great advice, "Play like I just bought a ticket to see you, and then play so well that I buy the CD on the way out."

    Here are a few tips from my years of doing this.

    1. Dynamics are everything. Play really loud for FF and really quiet for P. You wont want to, nobody does. But play with a HUGE dynamic range.
    2. Go ahead, mess up. Not really, or at least dont do it on purpose. But if you do, make it right with what you play after that mistake. I made a mistake in this piece, I fracked on the G for the 4th variation. I just stopped while the piano kept going. But I found my place, and came in 2 beats later. The judge complianted me on that, he was happy I came back in.
    3. Have fun, you are preforming this for fun. Show off, let the judge know you came to get that superior. If you mess it up, then you will have to give a better show tomorrow.

    I wish you the best of luck for Tuesday!

    -Cody

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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    Quote Originally Posted by jiarby View Post
    Play well.

    Act like you are enjoying yourself making music...
    That makes a lot of sense I'll try not to get caught up in the contest aspect of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vulgano Brother View Post
    Nod politely to the judges at your entrance--usually they will tell you when to start playing. At the finish, acknowledge applause (even if you sucked it still shows respect on your part). Have fun and play the heck out of it!
    Thanks! I will do all of this!

    Quote Originally Posted by codyb226 View Post
    I did that piece as my solo last year. Fun piece. It is dress up, but your not going to a funeral. I wore a dress shirt with a collar, and some dress pants(khaki or black) with a nice belt and some long socks to match the pants. Some people wear a button up dress shirt with a tie, but that is not needed. But its your first impression from the judge.

    For an introduction, walk right up to them with a smile and shake their hand. Introduce yourself by saying "Hi, I am Johnny Young and will be preforming Aria con Variazioni for you today," then hand them the original of the solo. After they are really impressed by you and your confidence you will walk over to the music stand and set yourself up. Dont be afraid, play a few scales before you do. Play them loud and proud, the judge is there to hear music.

    Best way to impress them, give a great performance. From my judge this year I was told some great advice, "Play like I just bought a ticket to see you, and then play so well that I buy the CD on the way out."

    Here are a few tips from my years of doing this.

    1. Dynamics are everything. Play really loud for FF and really quiet for P. You wont want to, nobody does. But play with a HUGE dynamic range.
    2. Go ahead, mess up. Not really, or at least dont do it on purpose. But if you do, make it right with what you play after that mistake. I made a mistake in this piece, I fracked on the G for the 4th variation. I just stopped while the piano kept going. But I found my place, and came in 2 beats later. The judge complianted me on that, he was happy I came back in.
    3. Have fun, you are preforming this for fun. Show off, let the judge know you came to get that superior. If you mess it up, then you will have to give a better show tomorrow.

    I wish you the best of luck for Tuesday!

    -Cody
    Thank you so much! All of that is really good advice. I can play scales in front of them? And I don't have the original, but I will make sure to have a copy for them.
    "We'll stop playing when the phone stops ringing... and the phone's still ringing" -Doc Kumpka
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    1980 Bach Stradivarius Model 37
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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpet-Sam View Post
    Thank you so much! All of that is really good advice. I can play scales in front of them? And I don't have the original, but I will make sure to have a copy for them.
    Yeah, you can play a full warm up if you want. You are getting use to the acoustics in the room and getting comfortable in front of the judge.

    I know that I am required to give the original to the judge. You must not have too.

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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    Quote Originally Posted by codyb226 View Post
    Yeah, you can play a full warm up if you want. You are getting use to the acoustics in the room and getting comfortable in front of the judge.

    I know that I am required to give the original to the judge. You must not have too.
    As far as I know, I don't.
    "We'll stop playing when the phone stops ringing... and the phone's still ringing" -Doc Kumpka
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________
    1980 Bach Stradivarius Model 37
    Yamaha 2335

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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpet-Sam View Post
    As far as I know, I don't.
    Okay, I live in Florida and it may be different. Good luck!

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    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    Quote Originally Posted by Trumpet-Sam View Post
    This Tuesday, I will be performing Aria con Variazioni by G.F. Handel. This is my first ever contest.

    What is the etiquette of contests?
    How do I introduce myself to the judges?
    What is the best way to impress them?

    Any other tips for contests are also greatly appreciated. I search barred, but nothing of this nature came up.

    Yell to the Judges:

    Hey guys... I think I can Handel this!
    1940 Olds Super Recording
    1946 Martin Committee
    1953 Olds Recording (LA)
    1965 Olds Ambassador
    1967 Olds Recording (Fullerton)
    1973 Getzen 4 Valve Eterna Flugelhorn
    2012 Kanstul 4 Valve 1526 Flugelhorn
    2014 Allora Pocket Trumpet

  10. #10
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Re: Solo and ensemble contest tips

    If you can walk onto the stage knowing that you will blow them away... You will!
    1940 Olds Super Recording
    1946 Martin Committee
    1953 Olds Recording (LA)
    1965 Olds Ambassador
    1967 Olds Recording (Fullerton)
    1973 Getzen 4 Valve Eterna Flugelhorn
    2012 Kanstul 4 Valve 1526 Flugelhorn
    2014 Allora Pocket Trumpet

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