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, however the music must be included in the Approved Repertoire List.


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). Sixth grade students may only enter in the ensemble category--no solos. Music selections can not be longer than five minutes in length.


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.


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.




Anchorage Junior Youth Symphony Band and Orchestra

The Anchorage Junior Youth Symphony Band and Orchestra provides an opportunity for outstanding music students to rehearse and perform in an auditioned performing group. In addition, students in the JYS Band or Orchestra also get the opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra setting.


JYS is open by audition to students in grades 7 and 8 who are members of an Anchorage School District band or orchestra program. Auditions are held each fall. See the ‌ for locations, dates, and times of auditions, rehearsals and concerts. Students may obtain audition applications from middle school band or orchestra teachers. These forms should be brought to the auditions and must be signed by a parent or guardian.


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


ASD Music Office (742-0150)

Alison McCarrey, JYS coordinator



  • 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.
  • Play major scales, in keys to three sharps and three flats:
    • violin, viola, and cello - two octaves
    • string bass - G major in two octaves; all other scales one octave
    • winds - one or two octaves as suits the practical range of your instrument
  • 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.

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