All-State Honor Band
To register for this, contact Monique BEFORE auditions. Registration occurs at our Audition day.
All-State is an honor band drawn from students across the state. It is a weekend event held in Athens, Georgia each year. Participating in All-State Band is a high honor, as between 1500 and 1600 students who pass their district level auditions try out for approximately 100 spots at the state level. Thousands of students audition for their district level bands.
All-State is a two part process. Band students interested in participating in All-State band first audition in their own district. Passing the district audition at a certain level earns the student the opportunity to advance to the second audition for the All-State band itself.
The process works like this: Advanced and Elite Band students in 6th grade and up are eligible to audition. There is a fee to register. Students wishing to audition should play scales and etudes for Mrs. Scarazzo prior to their audition for District Band, so that she can ascertain whether they are well-prepared.
Auditions are held on a Saturday in Cumming. Auditions consist of scales and etudes which are published on the GMEA website, www.gmea.org
Students who make District Band participate in a weekend band in their district. There is an additional fee for participation in this District Band. In the past Middle School District Band has been approximately $90, and includes lodging and meals for the weekend. High School Honor Band has been closer to $18, but does not include lodging or food. Middle School District Band for our District has been at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa, and the High School District Band has been at Woodstock High School or Fannin County High School in the recent past.
Some students will earn a place in District Band, but not make the cut to go on to All-State Auditions. These students simply enjoy the honor and challenge of District Band. However, if a student is recommended to go on to All-State auditions, the process is repeated, and the student again auditions for a place in the All-State Band.
Auditions for All-State are typically held on a Saturday in Perry or Warner Robins, as that is central for students from all over the state. This second audition consists of scales and the second etude, again, found on the www.gmea.org website.
Passing the All-State audition second round earns the student a place in the All-State Band in Savannah, another weekend honor band event, with similar pricing.
Competition for places in both district bands and the All-State band is very fierce. It is a high honor to make either district or All-State bands. For this reason, it is vitally important for Joyful Noise Students to understand the commitment they are making when they sign up for All-State. Because of this fierce competition, the GMEA frowns on students who do not follow through to participate in District and All-State Bands. Therefore, we ask parents to please check your calendars for dates (which will be published as soon as they are available) prior to accepting registration forms, and check the budget before signing up for All-State auditions. We have had some students in the past who made the bands and then dropped out. When a student doesn’t participate after winning a spot, another student who could have enjoyed the coveted position misses out as well. Not only is this unfair to the other students who audition, but it unbalances the instrumentation in the honor bands, and puts homeschoolers in a bad light with the GMEA.
In summary, signing up for All-State auditions is a commitment of two Saturdays, plus two week ends, and approximately $240 or so (estimated!), over the course of 3 months. However, your student will have a great time playing with the top players in the district and state, learning new music and techniques, and enjoying the challenge of putting on a high level concert in two days’ time. It also looks great on the transcript, and is just plain fun!
We hope we’ll have many folks signing up for All-State, but wanted to make sure that everyone has his eyes open going in! If there are any questions, please check the GMEA website, or ask Dave Lawson.