The NYSSMA Solo Festival is an annual event in which students may demonstrate their musical abilities for the chance to earn a medal of distinction and a seat in a prestigious all-county performing group the following year. Students attending the festival perform a solo piece (chosen from a pre-selected list), three scales (of the student’s choosing), and a short sight-read passage before an evaluator (usually a school music teacher). Participation is voluntary and independent of the Fire Island music program.
The SCMEA All-County Festival brings together high-achieving students from multiple school districts and private schools in the area to perform in one of three large ensembles (concert band, chorus, or orchestra). Students are nominated by their school music teachers based on their NYSSMA scores from the previous year as well as character attributes. Those who participate receive music to learn in advance of three rehearsals which usually fall on weekends in March.