Solo & Ensemble Festival Coaching

MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival Coaching

MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival Coaching

Instruction & Preparation for Solos & Ensembles in Metro Detroit.

If you need Solo & Ensemble preparation and coaching assistance, Donna Olkowski has over 40 years’ experience as an Adjudicator for the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) Solo & Ensemble festivals. Flute Studio students who are taking flute lessons receive coaching for solos and ensembles in preparation for MSBOA District Solo & Ensemble Festival and State Solo & Ensemble Festival participation levels.

Resourcing an Accompanist

Donna Olkowski can help students who need an accompanist coordinate an accompanist for District and State Festival Solo & Ensemble schedules.

Coaching for Public School Ensembles

With over 14 years’ experience as a band director, Donna Olkowski is versed in a variety of orchestra and band instruments. She help students take steps to further their musical education in addition to private flute lessons in Metro Detroit area. Band directors and student ensembles preparing in advance for MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival who are looking for additional instruction may contact Donna Olkowski for music coaching.

About the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA)


On February 3, 1934 the Southeast Michigan Band and Orchestra Association was formed. On February 8, 1936 the ratification of the MSBOA constitution at the Olds Hotel in Lansing saw the beginnings of the statewide association. Once MSBOA was officially formed, a state-wide Solo & Ensemble Festival was planned for May of 1936. The association also scheduled clinics and workshops for teachers and an all-state band was formed for students. Due largely to the success of the festivals and workshops, MSBOA had grown to solid structure and respect by 1938. The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association has been serving the instrumental music teachers and students for over 75 years, assuming a leadership role in instrumental music affairs in the state of Michigan.


MSBOA mission is to provide each student intellectual and creative instrumental music experiences expressed through emotional and artistic communication.


The fine arts should be a vital part of the educational process. In a civilization stressing scientific achievement, material wealth and specialization, the fine arts contribute greatly toward the maintenance of a proper cultural balance. As one of the areas of the fine arts, instrumental music also has as its primary purpose the improvement of the quality of life of the individual. This is accomplished by helping students acquire the skills of musical communication, thereby providing yet another means of sharing ideas with others. For many students, music is the most feasible and enjoyable means of communication available to them. As an expressive art, instrumental music requires growth in physical, intellectual, emotional and aesthetic areas.

Ethics Statement

MSBOA’s primary purpose is to advance quality music education through the study and performance of instrumental music. The many types of festivals sponsored are a means to that end. The rules and policies governing these festivals are devised to ensure that the same standards are applied to each group or individual participating. Adherence to these rules and policies is the sole responsibility of the director. MSBOA considers it unethical for a director to attempt to circumvent the letter or the intent of these rules in any way. MSBOA’s reputation and effectiveness depend on its member’s willingness to exemplify the spirit of these rules and a sense of fair play. Each director’s willingness to take responsibility for his or her own actions gives all students the role model they deserve.

MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival

  • District Solo & Ensemble Festival 

  • State Solo & Ensemble Festival

Solo and Ensemble Festival is an opportunity for individual students from member schools to perform a selection of their choice for adjudication. District-level festivals are held in late January through mid-February.

Each student or group of students is evaluated by one judge and rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest rating possible. Students or groups that earn a rating of 1 (or “Superior”) are qualified for State Solo & Ensemble Festival.

State Solo & Ensemble Festival is held in March. The basic structure of State Solo & Ensemble Festival is the same as District, but the students are held to a higher standard. Soloists in grades 10 through 12 must perform Proficiency Exams which include scales and sight reading. Students and ensembles that are chosen for the Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Band, Orchestra, Soloists and Ensembles come from the highest rated events at the State Festival. Participating students that earn a rating of 1 or 2 at District or State Festivals are eligible to purchase medals.

Further Reading:

  1. “About the MSBOA.” Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association.


More Information:
Performance Day Checklist: Are You Prepared for Solo & Ensemble Festival?
MSBOA District 12 & State Solo & Ensemble Festival Calendar