1. Arrive at the Solo & Ensemble site at least 45 minutes ahead of your scheduled performance time. There are usually many, many students from all over the county, and you'll want to leave yourself (and your parents) enough time to find a parking spot.
2. Go to the cafeteria/gym to find out where you will be performing. Usually, there will be a list of the judges - find your judge's name on the list so you know where to go.
3. If you've arrived early, you will have about 30 minutes before your performance. Use this time to warm-up in the cafeteria/gym. Play long tones, especially throughout the range of your solo (make sure to play the lowest and highest notes.)
4. Keep a bottle of water with you. As you get closer to performance time, you may find that your mouth will feel dry. Take small sips of water every few minutes.
5. Plan to be standing outside the room you will be performing in at least 10 minutes before your scheduled time. *Keep in mind that you may not warm up anymore as you're waiting outside your room, so make sure you have already played your long tones and scales in the cafeteria/gym.
6. Take a few deep breaths. Count
1 Mississippi -2 Mississippi -3 Mississippi - 4 Mississippi as you inhale, then count
1 Mississippi -2 Mississippi - 3 Mississippi - 4 Mississippi as you exhale. Repeat several times until you feel relaxed.
7. When it is your turn to enter the judge's room, walk in confidently. Do not look apologetic for being there - remember, the judge is looking forward to hearing you play. He/she wants you to do well!
8. Introduce yourself and the piece you're going to play.
9. If you have a pianist, make sure you tune with him/her. A good tuning note is concert "A" in both the lower and middle register of your instrument (or you may opt for concert "F"). If you are not sure how your pitch is compared to the piano, ask your pianist to tell you! For flutists - if you are sharp, pull the headjoint out. If you are flat, push the headjoint in. Don't be afraid to take some time to make sure you are really in tune with the piano!
10. After you play, smile! Trust that you have given the best performance you could. Now, the judge will give you his/her feedback and suggestions for how to improve. Be receptive - if you are asked to try a new concept (such as vibrato), go ahead and do it.
Usually, results are posted anywhere from fifteen minutes to one or two hours after you have finished playing.
I hope you have found this article helpful. Good luck, and remember to have fun!