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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, March 10, 2008


The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues.

Hints For Solo & Ensemble Contest by Dr. Belva Prather

**Note: Click here for a printable version of this article to hand out to your students.

1. Choose your solo early.

2. Practice daily. (Rome was not built in a day.)

3. Schedule adequate rehearsal times for accompanist and/or ensemble members. The more you play together, the better it will be!

4. Remember that adequate performance is directly related to adequate preparation.

5. On contest day dress appropriately. Your attire reflects your level of commitment to the situation.

6. Arrive in plenty of time to find the performance site, warm up, and collect your thoughts prior to playing.

7. When entering the performance area remember that, from the moment you come into view, the judge is cognizant of your presence and his opinion is being formed.

8. You should take your music to the judge with no comments, no excuses, and no jokes! (A reminder that every student should have a copy of the music for the judge, with measures numbered.)

9. Tuning should always be done meticulously and deliberately. If you are a young student and uncomfortable with tuning you may ask for assistance.

10. You should never come in to perform accompanied by a number of noisy friends. If they are there to support your efforts, they must take the performance seriously also!

11. When it is time to begin and the judge has indicated that he is ready, you should supply a fervent downbeat.

12. During the performance: no anxious looks, no shake of the head, no frowns, etc.

13. At the conclusion of the performance, you should acknowledge the audience's applause and the keyboard player or other members of your group.

Dr. Belva Worthen Prather serves as Director of the University Wind Ensemble, the University Wind Symphony, and the University Concert Band at Missouri State University. She teaches Wind Band Literature, Advanced Conducting, and Research in the Graduate College. In addition, Dr. Prather is the Coordinator of Wind and Percussion Studies for the Music Department and works as Associate Director of the Pride Marching Band.

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins, Mike Brown, and Jeromy Pope
  Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Burl Williams
  Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
  Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades and Zach Houser
  Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp and Dick Murdock
  Broken Arrow (918) 770-6827 Mackey Amos and Mark VanVranken
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