The Ensemble Festival allows students to play music of all genres in a collaborative setting. Ensembles may include any combination of instruments including duos, trios, quartets, piano duets, and string quartets and trios.
OMTA Portland festivals are open to students age 5 through 18. Each student may enter in a competitive or non-competitive capacity. Participants perform or compete within their own age group. Each age group is adjudicated by a master instructor/adjudicator, who provides each student with a verbal critique of their performance as well as a certificate of participation. Competitive students who give particularly strong performances (as determined by the adjudicator) may receive the designation of Outstanding Achievement or Honorable Mention. The adjudicator will select a certain percentage of ensembles to perform at the OMTA State Ensemble Festival.
Each competitive ensemble will participate in a short master class. During the master class session, the adjudicator may give the students advice on how to play their piece even better. The adjudicator may share information about the piece’s composer, demonstrate how to play certain passages, or help a student fix common technical errors. The master class is a particularly exciting and educational part of the festival because it is held in front of the audience, all of whom can benefit from the master’s comments about each piece.