Play along with the Festival Orchestra!

Join some of the finest musicians in North America for a performance of Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Pictures at an Exhibition, recording yourself playing along to the Orchestra’s live performance from February 2020. Students from around the Valley are invited to submit selfie recordings by February 22, 2021 to be included in our Festival Orchestra Side-By-Side video, to be released in April 2021 in celebration of Festival Orchestra Week.

How to participate:
  1. Watch and listen to the audio and video tracks in the “Play-Along Recording” tab on the left of this page.
  2. Find and download the score and your part on the “Parts” tab.
  3. Work with your private teacher, or band or orchestra director to learn your part.
  4. Record yourself playing along with the orchestra. Find suggestions for recording yourself in the “Recording Yourself” tab of this page.
  5. Submit your recording via the form in the fifth tab of this page. Please note that you will need a parent or guardian to read and agree to the video disclaimer before submitting your recording.
  6. Please Note: The Play-Along Project is not a competition. All students who submit a clean recording by February 22, 2021 may be included in the final Side-By-Side Video.

Festival Orchestra Performance Video

How to use:

  1. This is the video to which students will play along in the final side-by-side video. We encourage students to watch this a few times to get a feel for the piece and the count in. Teachers may also elect to watch the video with their students to help them understand their parts.
  2. Download a copy of the score (HERE), and follow along with the video. We also encourage students to follow along with their part to get a sense of how their part fits into the music.

Audio Guide Track:

How to use:

  1. Press play. There are twelve beats in-tempo to count you in. You will first hear “Clap” followed by three counts at the beginning tempo, followed by a clapping sound. After the clapping sound, you will hear three more beats, followed by the word “Ready,” and three final beats before the music starts.
  2. Clap (or make a clapping sound), when the clapping sound occurs, and begin playing along when the music begins.
  3. For your recording, we’ll need a single take of your performance that includes your clap at the beginning.
  4. Stream the Guide Track here:
  5. Download the Guide Track here: Refrence Audio Guide Track

Conductor Cam Video

Coming Soon!

Questions? Contact education@azmusicfest.org

Here are step-by-step directions and some tips to help make it look/sound as good as possible using a phone or tablet:
  1. You’ll need two devices – one to listen to the reference guide audio track, and one to record the video. For example, you might listen to the music track on a laptop, and have your parent/friend film the video on your phone or iPad.
  2. If you’re using a phone to record, please use the newest model phone available in your household, and use the REAR camera (not the front selfie camera). On iPhones, please visit your camera settings and choose “1080p at 30fps” and also choose “Most Compatible” in the Formats section.
  3. You’ll need to listen to the music track with headphones (we don’t need to hear the audio track in the video recording). We recommend putting one headphone/earbud on one ear, and leaving one ear out so you can hear yourself playing naturally.
  4. Try to record the video in a room that has less echo. A room with lower ceilings and carpet will provide a much better recording than a room with a hardwood or tile floor.
  5. Be sure to have good light, and don’t point the camera at a window or lamp. It’s best to have the camera with its back to the window or light source, so the light shines on you instead of into the camera.
  6. Hold the phone horizontally (no vertical video please!), hold it steady (use a stand/tripod if you have one), and get the camera close to you. You’ll want the camera fairly close for better sound. Have it far enough back that we can see you and your instrument, but not much further away than that.
  7. Record start-to-finish, all in one take. It’s ok if you make a mistake – if it’s a bad flub or you lose your place, please start over with a new recording. Do your very best to play right in time with the play-along track – that’s the only way we’ll be able to synchronize everyone!
  8. When you’re done, figure out how to send the video file to us using the form in the next tab. Please don’t text or email it as an attachment – your phone will drop the quality. We recommend sending the file with WeTransfer or using a cloud service like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive or iCloud – whatever you’re familiar with or can get help uploading to. Use the highest quality setting you can!

If you have access to and know how to use another recording setup, you are more than welcome to!

Please Note: While our deadline for submissions is February 22, we strongly encourage students to submit their video in advance of the date so we can review submissions to make sure they synch well.