How are the Middle School Band auditions screened and selected?

All-State Middle School Band Screening and Placement Information


Screening is "blind"... They do not know the students' name or school information.

Screeners will listen to each audition track and give it a score from 1-100. They are instructed to assess each track on the following things...

  • Note Accuracy

  • Rhythmic Accuracy

  • Tone Quality

  • Articulation

  • Dynamics

  • Style 

  • Phrasing

After all the auditions are scored, each student will end up with an overall score and then they are ranked. Screeners are also instructed that any student who is unable to perform a track successfully are to be marked unacceptable. That means that any wrong notes, wrong rhythms, poor tone quality and inaccurate or poorly executed articulations will disqualify a student. 


Ideally, we would like to be able to then just take the top students from each instrument group to fill the sections. However, that isn't always possible because we have committed to having statewide representation as long as there is a student from each school who can "successfully complete the audition."


For instance, sometimes a school won't have anyone in the top of any section, but they have a flute player who performed a "successful" audition. It is then necessary to substitute out one of the players in the top of the flute section for this student so that the school can be represented. There are a lot of factors at play when trying to do that including the ranking of those top students and which schools might already have more than 2-3 students selected for the band.