ISSMA District Solo & Ensemble to be held as a virtual event

INDIANA — Many hosts have expressed concerns about hosting Solo & Ensemble this coming January and February. Covid-19 continues to be a public health risk and extra precautions must be approved by public health officials if any large indoor event is being held. 

As per the policy adopted by the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) Board this past July: When the ISSMA Executive Director and the Executive Committee determine any ISSMA event would place an uncontrollable risk on students, directors, adjudicators, workers, or spectators, the live event should be cancelled. If feasible, and in compliance with all copyright laws, a virtual option should be considered, the ISSMA Executive Committee met on Sept. 29 to discuss the 2021 District and State Solo & Ensemble Festivals. 

The following concerns were presented and discussed:

  • ISSMA Solo & Ensemble events use a large number of classrooms and must be held indoors.
  • Social distancing protocols are not possible due to the size of rooms being used and the potential overcrowding in the hallways, warm-up rooms, and cafeterias.
  • Due to the number of events and the availability of rooms and judges, a schedule cannot be created in a manner that would provide adequate time for recommended recirculation of air in classrooms.
  • Proper cleaning of all surfaces, including keyboards, would not be feasible.
  • Many judges are not comfortable staying in hotels or being in close proximity to others.
  • Holding the event without spectators is unrealistic.
  • Numerous host schools are currently not able to commit to hosting the event.
  • Many schools continue to have restrictions on travel.
  • Students and directors are faced with not knowing if the Spring Semester will be in-person, virtual, or a hybrid, making it very difficult to meet the current Dec. 5th entry deadline. 

Due to these concerns, the Executive Committee determined that ISSMA District Solo & Ensemble Festivals should be held as virtual events. Since there remains a great deal of uncertainty regarding the learning environments for the second semester, the entry deadline will be moved from Dec. 5 to Jan. 13. 

District Solo & Ensemble events scheduled for Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 will be delayed two weeks until Feb. 13 and Feb. 20. To facilitate these changes, State Solo & Ensemble will not be held as a separate event, but Group I events receiving a Gold Rating from District will receive State Solo & Ensemble medals. 

  • A complete list of recommendations approved by the Executive Committee are as follows:
  • The 2021 District Solo & Ensemble Festivals will be held as virtual events utilizing the HeartOut application. 
  • The entry deadline will be moved to Jan. 13, 2021.
  • District Solo & Ensemble Assessments will occur on the following dates: 
    • Feb. 13th – Vocal/Piano – Zones 2, 4, 6, 8
    • Feb. 13th – Wind/Perc/Strings – Zones 1, 3, 5, 7 
    • Feb. 20th – Vocal/Piano – Zones 1, 3, 5, 7
    • Feb. 20th – Wind/Perc/String – Zones 2, 4, 6, 8 
  • The State Solo & Ensemble Festival will be cancelled.
  • Entry fees will be $15 per solo and $7 per each member of an ensemble.
  • Video & Music Submission window for Week #1 will be from Jan. 20 thru Feb. 3.
  • Video & Music Submission window for Week #2 will be from Jan. 27 thru Feb. 10.
  • All Group I District entries receiving a Gold Rating will be awarded a State Solo & Ensemble medal and will be given the opportunity to order a State Solo & Ensemble patch and rocker through their director. All other entries will be awarded District medals. 

Additional information can be found by clicking the “ISSMA Online Assessment Center” icon on the ISSMA website,