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 the quality of NYSSMA solo festival evaluations
Author: Jerry 
Date:   2001-04-06 01:25

Usually, how well do kids prepare their NYSSMA pieces? I remember (when i was in NY) that kids usually picked a very difficult piece for them, practiced it for a few months, and then getting a very good score. And then next year, they pick a piece that's level 6.

how well do most kids learn their pieces? Do you think the adjudicators are too lenient and grade more on effort/technical stuff? When i was younger, i remember preparing my pieces well technically, but not at all musically and I still did very well.

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 RE: the quality of NYSSMA solo festival evaluation
Author: Sandee 
Date:   2001-04-06 18:57

One boy at my school (20 years ago) forgot the competition was coming up. He walked in with a grad 4 piece, plyed so beautifully the judges gave him a 6a.

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 RE: the quality of NYSSMA solo festival evaluation
Author: beth 
Date:   2001-04-06 20:12

ah yes...NYSSMA...i had it exactly a week ago. one of my conductors of a youth orchestra im in will be a judge for the NYSSMA competetion later on in the month...but he told us (after i went to NYSSMA!) that they changed the grading system of the judges...it was a bit more difficult and less lenient. 100's (which have been become more and more common) would only be awarded for a completey flawless and musical preformance, scales and sightreading. they expect more people to get into all-state with 98's and 99's than in the past, and even (on more lesser played instruments...i.e. double reeds, horn, etc...) 97's and below. i'm kinda glad they're doing this...so many people would get 100's and some would not even make alternate in all-state...even all-COUNTY(ive heard this happen many times with flute, violin and cello)...and this will be much more accurate in telling apart the great players from the astounding players. everyone i know, including me, had some grades go down compared to past years, and it seemed like everyone did bad this year. but i guess this somewhat explains it. and for basing more on the technical than musical? i dont know if thats completely true. i remember in past years i may have messed up some small parts in the piece technically...but played very musically throughout...and being complemented for my musicality...and not torn apart for little mistakes. the same this year also. the judge said,"You are a very musical person." i think the judges appreciate person who is almost perfect technically but puts passion behind their playing than someone who can play every single note and rythm perfectly...but thats all they do...play notes.

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 RE: the quality of NYSSMA solo festival evaluation
Author: Micaela 
Date:   2001-04-06 22:38

Well, I've never had a bad judge and I've done NYSSMA every year since 4th grade (10th now and I did three solos last year). I've never had a really bad judge. Most have been very fair. However, a friend of mine who plays the French horn got a really bad judge once who just wrote "tap foot" on his sheet and gave him a B.

I hope that my judge this year will not just care about lots of notes. I'm playing the Adagio of the Finzi Concerto and it's fairly hard but not showy at all. I have seen some people who can play the notes but not the music get very good scores.

As I've increased the difficulty of my solos, I start them earlier. I started my solo (level 6) this year in early February and the festival's in late May. When I was a 4th grader at level two, I only worked on it for a few weeks.

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 RE: the quality of NYSSMA solo festival evaluation
Author: Sarah 
Date:   2001-04-17 00:44

I remember 1 year I went to solo fest and the judge knew my family. I definitely deserved the 97. The next year I had the same judge. I played terribly and still got a 92. Grading definitely depends on the judge. I do believe they need to be moved around. Also, I remember in elem. school the judges always wrote such wonderful comments and suggestions. When I got to high school that changed. I'm 5 years out of high school now, but still in the swing of things helping my cousin prepare for her All State solofest.

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