New Jersey State Solo & Ensemble Festival

A Scholastic Performing Arts Activity Presented by Arts Ed NJ

Power by Music for All

The Inaugural New Jersey State Solo & Ensemble Festival (NJSSE) was launched to recognize student achievement in music education across the state. Open to all public or private middle school and high school students, the Inaugural New Jersey State Solo & Ensemble Festival is being held virtually to provide opportunities for scholastic music students to showcase their talents either individually or in a small ensemble. The festival is being run by Arts Ed NJ with systems support provided by Music for All.

The Inaugural Festival will be entirely virtual in 2021

Festival Details

Festival Dates:

Spring Festival Dates

  • March 14 – April 15 – Registration Period
  • May 1 – May 15 – Student Videos and PDFs uploaded to Competition Suite
  • May 16 – May 31 – Adjudication Period
  • June 1 – Ratings and Commentary Released on Competition Suite


  • Solo – $20 per student per solo
  • Ensemble Members – $10 up to 15 members. More than 15 members is $150 for the entire group for each submitted performance

Events, Classes, and Ratings:

A. Solo & Ensemble Events: New Jersey Solo & Ensemble events include three levels of classes: A, B, and C.

  1.     Solo events (vocal, string, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, guitar, handbell)
  2.     Regular Ensemble events (vocal, string, woodwind, brass, percussion, piano, guitar, handbell)
  3.     Special Ensemble events (misc. ensemble, jazz ensemble, jazz combo, madrigal, vocal jazz, show choir, ethnic heritage ensemble, electronic ensemble, string choir/ensemble, woodwind choir/ensemble, brass choir/ensemble, percussion ensemble, guitar ensemble, handbell choir)

B. Classes are based on approximate years of experience on a musical instrument/voice.

  1.     Class C = one or two years of musical experience
  2.     Class B = three or four years of musical experience 
  3.     Class A = advanced high school musical experience

Comment: The determination of events selected and class level chosen is at the discretion of the teacher utilizing the guidelines as stated above. It is strongly recommended that students in grade 6 begin the Solo & Ensemble experience in Class C.

C. Ratings

  1.     All Solo & Ensemble events are adjudicated. The adjudicators provide feedback as well as ratings when requested. The overall rating indicates:

*I – An exceptional performance in all areas. (This rating only applies to Class A Solo & Ensemble Events.)

I – A consistently outstanding performance in all areas.

II – A very good performance with only minor issues.

III – A performance demonstrating accomplishment but weak in several qualities.

IV – A performance containing numerous weaknesses within the performance.

V – A performance indicating a need for continued efforts in fundamentals. (This rating only applies to Regional Solo & Ensemble Festivals.)

  1.     Teachers may choose to register any festival event as Comment Only (CO). If CO is indicated, the adjudicator will provide written and verbal feedback, but no rating will be indicated. The overall rating will be reported as CO.
  2.     Ratings and feedback will be shared with teachers. Teachers should share the feedback and ratings with students.

For more information contact:

Dennis Argul
Festival Director
New Jersey State Solo and Ensemble Festival
Phone: 201-725-5176