NYSSMA Solo & Ensemble Catalog

Contests Catalog

Solo & Ensemble Repertoire for New York State's NYSSMA Adjudication & Festivals

Instrumental Solos

Grades 1 through 6 - Click or tap a colored box to see a list of selections for that instrument and level.



Vocal Solos

Click a link beneath a Grade Level to see a list of selections for that Grade.



Instrumental Ensembles





Frequently Asked Questions regarding NYSSMA:




What is NYSSMA?

NYSSMA (pronounced NISS-muh), is an acronym for "New York State School Music Association." NYSSMA maintains a large, comprehensive listing of solos, chamber ensembles and large ensembles (band, jazz band, orchestra, chorus) graded on a six level scale, with 6 being the highest. (See our Grading page for a rough guide to what the levels mean). Solo festivals are held throughout New York State in the second semester. The purpose of the festivals is to provide evaluations of performances by independant judges. The solo festivals are also used to determine eligibility for the various All State ensembles. Okay


What piece should I play?

That is up to you and your music teacher. Choose a piece you will enjoy learning and that best fits your ability level. NYSSMA Evaluation Festival solos are split into six levels of difficulty, with the 6th level being the most difficult (see our Grading page for a rough guide to what the levels mean). If you are also planning to audition for an All-State ensemble, you must play a Level 6 piece, along with all other requirements for the audition. Any solo that is played at the Conference needs to be listed in the NYSSMA Manual and performed as listed. Okay


What is the NYSSMA Manual?

The NYSSMA Manual is essentially a large list of acceptable pieces of music that can be played at a NYSSMA Festival. The listing of solos is updated every three to four years, with some titles added and others dropped. Therefore, it is important that your instructor check the Manual to be sure that your piece still qualifies as a NYSSMA Solo. In addition, it contains the bylaws of the organization, rules for Festival performance, and criteria for sight reading. The Manual is comprehensive and highly regarded, and as such is used by many other states and organizations besides New York. NYSSMA Manuals are available for sale at Hickeys should you wish to purchase one. Please see our Music Education Textbook page to place an order. Okay


Do I need to buy my own NYSSMA Manual?

No. Your school teacher and/or private instructor should have a current Manual that they can refer to. It is not required for parents and students to have their own copy. But, if you want to order one, you can do so by clicking here. Okay


What editions are acceptable?

According to NYSSMA Regulations, the publishers/editions listed in the Manual are recommendations because of high quality editing. However, any standard edition by a reputable publisher is acceptable and will be permitted (see footnote 1) so long as the piece has not been shortened, simplified, rearranged or the key changed. There is a good deal of confusion on this point as many people, including some teachers, are unaware of this provision for alternate editions. Always check with your instructor before ordering your piece in case they have a preference or recommendation. Okay


What information do I need when ordering my piece?

At the very least, please be able to provide Composer, Title and Instrument. Additionally, it is helpful if you also know opus number and key, Arranger/Editor, Publisher and number of copies needed. It is best if you write this information down exactly as it appears in the Manual. Okay


Can I use photocopies at the performance?

No, unless there are very specific extenuating circumstances. According to NYSSMA Regulations and U.S. Copyright Law, all participants are prohibited from using illegally copied music (i.e. photocopies) unless your instructor presents a letter to the proper NYSSMA Zone Representative from the publisher granting permission. Please note that letters from teachers or music stores claiming that the music is on order or otherwise unavailable are not acceptable to NYSSMA judges (see footnote 2). Okay


How many copies of my piece do I need?

All soloists are required to have at least one complete legal copy with them at the performance (see footnote 3). This is true even if you are performing from memory, as a copy will still be needed by the adjudicators. If you are performing a work that calls for piano accompaniment, but you are playing without piano, you can give the piano part to the adjudicators. If you do not provide a legal copy for the adjudicator, they will be forced to look at the music over your shoulder during the performance (which may contribute to a shaky performance). If you are reading off of the solo part and you have an accompanist, it is highly recommended that you have a separate legal copy for the adjudicator. Okay


Do I need to have a pianist to play the piano part?

Yes & No. You are not required to have the piano part performed unless you are also auditioning for All State. NYSSMA rules allow performances of works published with piano to be performed without a piano accompaniment. However, if you are also auditioning for All State, the piano part must be performed either by a live pianist or via a good recording*. If you are not auditioning for All State, then the piano part is optional. If you do choose to include the piano part, you must bring your own piano player, as NYSSMA does not provide pianists. It is important that you inform NYSSMA well in advance of your intention to use a piano player so that an instrument is made available. This is done when you fill out the sign-up form.

 * excludes original unaccompanied works—those that were written for solo instrument alone without any piano part. Okay


Can I bring a recording of the piano part instead?

Yes. NYSSMA rules allow the use of recorded piano tracks so long as the soloist brings with them all the needed sound equipment. NYSSMA does not provide any playback equipment or playback recordings. Okay


When should I purchase my solo?

As early as possible—as soon as you know you will be performing a certain work, you should order it. If it is not in stock, we will have to order it from the publisher. If the work turns out to be permanently out of print or will not be delivered in time for your performance, you will then have plenty of time to choose another work and practice it. However, if you wait until it is too late, you may be unable to participate in the Festival. Whatever you decide, don't wait until the performance is immenant—there are dozens of perfectly legitimate reasons why orders can be delayed late in the season. Okay


Where should I purchase my music?

This one is easy! Since you're here visiting our website, www.hickeys.com, we invite you to place your order with us too. Unlike many music stores, we routinely stock hundreds of NYSSMA and other solos. And, we are well rehearsed in obtaining those we do not have in stock. We do not report a solo as being "out of print" just because it's hard to get. Rather, we'll use all of our skills and tools to locate your music and get it to you as fast as we can. Use the links above to choose your instrument's or ensemble's grade page and pick your music. Okay


I don't see the piece I want to play listed on your website. Can I still get it?

That depends. We list a large portion of the works in the NYSSMA Manual here, but not all. Some are not listed because they are difficult to obtain quickly, or are simply unavailable (out of print, etc.). You can order any solo or ensemble work you see in the NYSSMA Manual by calling us or using our Custom Order page instead. Okay


How do I order NYSSMA solos from your website?

Use the links at the top of this page. NYSSMA solos are also integrated into our general listings as well. However, none are identified as NYSSMA solos in the general listings. In some cases, the grade shown on our general listing will be different than the NYSSMA pages above. Only the links above will isolate NYSSMA solos for you. Please Note: it is NOT required that you use the exact edition specified in the NYSSMA Manual. Instead, NYSSMA Regulations state that you may use any standard edition of a work so long as the edition is not diminished (simplified). We can be of assistance in these cases. (See "What Editions Are Acceptable" above for more info.) Okay


My Question is Not Shown—Please Help!

If you have a question not listed here, please feel free to e-mail us at info@hickeys.com. Please allow a few days for us to respond to your question, as we receive and respond to hundreds of messages daily. If you need an immediate answer, please call us during our regular business hours (shown below) and we'll do what we can to help. Okay


1. per NYSSMA Manual; Rules & Regulations/General: C:1:a. Okay
2. per NYSSMA Manual; Rules & Regulations/General: F:1. Okay
3. per NYSSMA Manual; Rules & Regulations/General: F:2. Okay


Policies Subject to Change Without Notice