NYSSMA Solo Festival 2020

The New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) sponsors a festival each spring in which students have the opportunity to perform for a judge in an audition format. This festival is an excellent opportunity for highly motivated musicians to engage in focused work towards a goal and develop their skills and confidence in the process. The NYSSMA written reports are a widely recognized evaluation that can be used for applications to a variety of musical opportunities such as Honors Choirs, All-County festivals, and music camps.

Who May Participate:
Highly motivated students who take private lessons on any instrument or voice type are welcome to participate, provided that: 1) the private teacher is familiar with NYSSMA requirements and agrees to oversee preparation for the audition, and 2) that the student is willing and able to put in the necessary preparation time.

Ms. Chen coaches singers who are in Grade 5 and above who are doing a NYSSMA solo for the first time. All other vocalists must work with a private teacher to prepare, although Ms. Chen does provide additional sight-reading coaching for all singers. Contact Ms. Chen for a list of recommended teachers.

NYSSMA’s participation fees are as follows:
Levels 1-4 non-piano = $16
Levels 5-6 non-piano = $24
Levels 1-4 piano = $22
Levels 5-6 = $30

Plus costs of purchasing sheet music, and for all singers, a $3 membership to

Other information:

  • All music selections must be drawn from NYSSMA Manual Edition 32 (July 2018).
  • Performers must provide an ORIGINAL copy of the sheet music for the judge. Sheet music used by the performer and the accompanist must also be ORIGINAL copies. No photocopies are allowed.
  • You may specify time preferences for the audition, but we are not assigned exact audition times until 2-3 weeks before the audition date.
  • Private school students are often also able to register for NYSSMA through their home districts. This is an option if the dates below do not work for you.


Piano (all levels)
Performance dates:
May 11-12, 2019
Registration deadline: March 9, 2019


Voice and Non-Piano Instruments
(Levels 1-4)
Performance dates:
April 6-7, 2020 at Schrieber High School in Port Washington
Registration deadline: February 10, 2020


Voice and Non-Piano Instruments (Levels 5-6)
Performance dates:
April 21-22, 2020 at Bethpage High School
Registration deadline: February 10, 2020