It's that time of year again! Many of my students are preparing pieces for the annual Solo & Ensemble Festival. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Solo & Ensemble is a chance for students participating in their school music programs to perform (you guessed it!) solo or ensemble pieces for a judge. The students receive a rating as well as specific comments on strengths and areas for growth. It's a wonderful opportunity for students to perform -- it encourages extra practice and is always a learning experience! As a student growing up in the Northern Virginia area, I always enjoyed getting a group of my friends together to perform a duet or larger ensemble piece. It was a fun way to connect with my friends and classmates!