Middle School Festivals and Honor Groups

  • Solo and Ensemble Festival

    This Festival provides students the opportunity to perform alone or in a small group for an adjudicator. Independent musicianship is fostered as students are allowed to make their own musical choices and to be evaluated and recognized apart from their school music classes. Students may choose repertoire entirely different from that which is studied in a large ensemble setting and from a more varied range of styles. Please choose music that is on the ASD Solo and Ensemble Approved Repertoire List. To request approval of a piece not on the list, contact the Fine Arts Department.


    Adjudicators are professional musicians from the community or qualified guests from outside the community. Adjudicators provide valuable feedback, contributing to the student’s continued musical development. Students receive a rating of I to V, with I being the highest. Adjudicators also offer written comments and generally also give verbal feedback if time permits. 


    Adjudication is offered in the following areas: Voice, Strings, Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion. 


    Students may enter a maximum of two different events. For example, a student could enter one violin solo and a trio. Students should not enter more than one event of the same instrumentation or personnel (two vocal solos by the same student or two string trios of the same students would not be allowed). Ensembles should not exceed 12 students. Sixth grade middle school students may only participate in ensembles; they may not enter in the solo category. Music selections can not be longer than five minutes in length. Students must provide their adjudicator with an original, published copy of the music that they will be performing, with all measures numbered. Non-copyrighted music should be clearly marked “Public Domain.”


    Students must be enrolled in a Band, Choir, or Orchestra class to be eligible to participate. Music teachers will provide students with detailed information regarding the Solo and Ensemble Festival including a Student Information Letter


    For festival date and location information, please see the Fine Arts Calendar (link on main menu). 


    Large Group Festival/Contest

    Each year, middle school bands, choirs and orchestras have the opportunity to perform in an adjudicated setting.  A judge will listen, make comments and work with the group to help elevate there musical knowledge and performance level. 


    For large group festival dates, please see the Fine Arts Calendar (link on main menu).


    All-City Band and Orchestra

    All-City Band and Orchestra provide an opportunity for outstanding music students to rehearse and perform in an auditioned performing group. In addition, students in the Band or Orchestra also get the opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra setting. 


    All-City Band and Orchestra are open by audition to students in grades 7 and 8 who are enrolled in Anchorage School District intermediate or advanced bands and orchestras. Auditions are held each fall. See the Fine Arts Calendar (link on main menu) for locations, dates, and times of auditions, rehearsals and concerts. Students may obtain suggested music and audition applications from middle school band or orchestra teachers. Applications should be brought to the auditions and must be signed by a parent or guardian. 


    Students must contact the Fine Arts Office to schedule an audition time, as well as for any additional information:


    • Perform a short solo or etude that can be played well, or a portion of a longer work (one minute only). Please bring a copy of the solo/etude for the director to see. ASD band and orchestra teachers have suggested etudes if you need help finding one.
    • Play major scales:
      • violin, viola, and cello - two octave D and F
      • string bass - two octave F, one octave D
      • winds - as written in the audition packet available from band teachers
    • Sight read a portion of an orchestra selection.
    • Percussion players will be expected to demonstrate snare drum rudiments, and also their knowledge of the various symphonic percussion instruments.