1st AMParents.org National Solo Festival

The Association of Music Parents (AMP) held its first AMParents.org National Solo Festival, powered by SmartMusic, to give students a chance to be adjudicated from the comforts of their own homes using the SmartMusic interactive practice platform.

“Students not ready to go to regional and state solo and ensemble contests were able to jump in and do this kind of music and not have to deal with the nerves of playing live,” says L. Scott McCormick, founder of AMP. “The benefits went all the way up to those students who were using it for additional input before they went to their state music contest.”

Four students were named “Best in Class” from approximately 100 entries. Junior division winners were Ellen Gilbert, 7th grade trumpeter from Northbrook (Ill.) Jr. High, and Melissa Marable, 8th grade flutist from Lundahl Jr. High in Crystal Lake, Ill. Senior division winners were Michelle Plunkett, a senior oboe player at Normal (Ill.) Community West High School, and Trace Coulter, a freshman trumpeter from Avon (Ind.) High School.

“AMP has really made this competition a whole lot of fun,” Coulter says in a video. “You don’t have to wait in the hallway with other nervous kids, and you don’t have to play in front of a judge. It’s done on your own time.”

All participating students received a pair of ETY-Plugs earplugs and a one-year subscription to SmartMusic. The Best in Class students received a $100 gift card from their local music retailers.

To view the Best in Class performances and learn more about AMP, visit www.amparents.org/solo-festival-videos.

About the author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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