By Angela St. Pierre, President
To Maryland Music Educators:
Welcome to the Maryland Music Educator Association’s All State Audition Handbook. We are pleased to offer the Handbook in this all-digital format, as it aids in the distribution of audition music and the policies and procedures that govern All State events. Additionally, it will reduce paper waste and print and postage costs.
Shortly after school begins, County Music Supervisors will distribute the All State applications, which will be sent to all secondary music teachers. Those teachers are the only persons who may complete the applications. They must sign them, and secure the Principal’s signature, attesting to the eligibility of the listed students. Please be sure to read all instructions carefully and take special note of the care MMEA has taken to make language gender-neutral in order to support our goals of equity, access, diversity, and inclusion. Please also know that we are working hard to make the application process available in an all-digital format for next year.
All State is an incredibly rewarding experience that represents more than an audition and a performance. Indeed, the All State Concert is just a microcosm of a larger process. Students must independently develop the critical thinking, self-reflection, and problem-solving skills to hone their performance and literacy skills to prepare for the audition, which takes discipline and no small amount of courage. Students who are accepted then must prepare the performance music, to a very high standard, and often in a very short period of time. Then the entire ensemble meets, and all of those independently prepared parts must come together under the direction of an unfamiliar conductor - in just a few days’ time.
As music teachers, our role is to provide access to the audition materials and meet all deadlines. More importantly, though, we have the opportunity to help students develop audition skills, for excellent performance skills or talent alone are not necessarily strong indicators of audition success. Rather, it is the intentional, strategic practice of the audition process that provides the security that allows both excellence and talent to shine through. Our greatest gift is to scaffold that learning in such a way that the rewards associated with audition preparation extend well beyond the outcome of the audition.
As the new school year begins, look for those students who have All State qualities: excellence in musicianship, performance, practice, and self-discipline. Look for those students who will benefit from the audition preparation process, even if the journey seems unfruitful at first. The benefits to the student and to your ensembles will be enormous.
Best of luck to all,
Angela St. Pierre, President
Maryland Music Educators Association