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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a sophomore in High school, if you are familiar to Texas' solo and ensemble, this is my second year going to State Solo and Ensemble. I'm searching for a challenging solo. I was looking at solos such as "Caprice en Forme de Valse" or Creston's "Sonata". I have already played Eccles' "Sonata", which I found too easy. Can I get any suggestions for more challenging solos? Solos that we are allowed to perform are here: http://www.utexas.edu/uil/pml/catal...ent/13/acapella/1/accomp/1/op_grade/=/grade/1
 

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I would suggest asking your band teacher or better yet your private teacher who has heard you play and knows your level of ability to select 2 or 3 pieces for you to choose from. It appears that you are a very advanced student for your age, congratulations on your musical accomplishments so far. Good luck with your festival preparation. Remember a music festival is a place to demonstrate what you can play, not what you can't. Don't pick a piece too hard for your level of ability.
 

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Too bad they make you choose from a list. In Arkansas, i used to usually pick a clarinet solo. I'd listen to the girls practicing them on clarinet, pick one up by ear and then tell the band teacher I was going to play it.

And even though you have to choose from that list, you can still basically do the same. Listen to each piece on YouTube and then pick the one that gets stuck in your head. I know that from reading your list, those classical tunes sound boring and some truly are. But there's some great stuff on that list too. And once a tune gets stuck in you head, you can make it yours and hopefully blow the judges away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well in where i live (College Station, TX) none of our school's directors plays sax except jazz band director who rarely plays it. And due to the town being small, I do not have a lessons teacher. So at the moment, the only people I can ask is here on SotW
 

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I know how you feel. I was in the same boat in my little home town in southwest Arkansas. I was expected to learn from one beginning book and some upper classmen that I didn't have class with. But I "learnt real good" figuring it all out watching 1970's TV. So yes, having SOTW is a huge advantage.
 

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Here in Michigan you take the solo you got the "1" on at Districts to State Solo & Ensemble.
You play that plus a few nasty scales and sight read.
My daughters hated having to pass 'proficiency'.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is the same here in Texas State Solo and Ensemble that is held in Austin is exactly the same just without the nasty scales and sight reading. but we had to memorize and earn a "1".
 

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If you're in for a challenge, I recommend giving Robert Mucynski's Sonata a try. I played this as a junior in high school but you really need some good altissimo chops. I'm surprised you only need to play one movement, I had to play the first and last. The last movement is for sure the most fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I play this solo next year, which mvt should I do, and what are some suggestions on how to practice that piece?
And I do have pretty good altissimo chops.
 

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If I play this solo next year, which mvt should I do, and what are some suggestions on how to practice that piece?
And I do have pretty good altissimo chops.
I would suggest the last movement. The altissimo is very fast, not the typical big loud high altissimo at the end of a phrase, but really fast altissimo in the middle of the phrases. Practicing a bunch of fast scale intervals in the altissimo range with a metronome is what I did. If you learn this piece now, it will make a great audition piece if you are planning on going to music school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok. I got the Muczynski's Sonata and I've been practicing, but I can't seem to get my altissimo G fast enough with the fingering I use, what fingerings did you use for the altissimo notes?
 
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