Once again, I hope this email finds you well and that you're as ready as you can be for the upcoming school year. Sarah and I have teacher meetings all this week and the kiddos return on Monday. Of course, things are going to be interesting this year but, just like always, we will persevere and get through this together!
With all the uncertainties ahead of us, I wanted to try to clarify as much as I can at this time in regards to District and State level band events. Please understand that as with everything this year, we must "roll with the punches" and be ready for things to change at any time. I will do my best to keep you abreast of new information as I receive it. Just know that sometimes new information comes with unanswered questions that I always try to clarify before disseminating it to all of you.
First, you should have received the following email from Brad Hudson, Missouri Bandmasters Association's All-State Band coordinator, regarding All-State Band auditions:
"Dear Directors, The Missouri Bandmasters Association has been meeting regarding the 2021 Missouri All-State Band. Even though MMEA is holding a virtual clinic, we would still like to recognize a 2021 Missouri All-State Band. We are currently exploring the logistics of a possible rehearsal and performance date late in the spring. All-State Band Auditions will be done via recordings submitted online. More details to follow soon. Due to many schools starting only virtually, the deadline will be March 1, 2021. Directors will register their students as previous years, but there will be a few more steps regarding the upload of the recording. Please encourage your students to audition for the 2021 Missouri All-State Band Sincerely, Brad Hudson All-State Band Coordinator"
If you have not received this email, contact Brad (email@example.com) to be added to the list.
-DISTRICT AUDITION DEADLINE:
Given this new information, Aaron Scriven (Jazz VP) and I have decided to push our District Band auditions back to Tuesday, December 8th.
We arrived at this decision for the following reasons:
1. Since All-State Auditions have been moved back, we felt it necessary to follow suit.
2. This will provide students and directors with additional time to work out the logistics of recording virtual auditions.
3. Since both All-State and District choir events have officially been moved to the Spring, we decided to keep our auditions during the Fall semester. We do not want to overload directors and students with multiple high-demand/stress auditions all within the same window.
Due to the virtual nature of the auditions, MBA has decided to utilize an online-based audition system called Festival Scores (https://festivalscores.com/). This decision has not been released to directors throughout the state but has been sent to the Band VP's within each District. This system was developed by former Kansas Band Director Troy Johnson. It is and has been utilized in 6 states across the country and is a tried and true system. I recently participated in a demonstration and training for the system and can say that I don't feel that there is a better system available for recorded auditions. It is our decision to utilize this program for our District-Level Auditions as well.
I am currently manipulating the system to find the easiest and most efficient way to administer this year's audition process. I will be working on training/informational videos that will ease the blow of utilizing the new system. I will be sending those out as the event nears.
Monday, November 9th - Tuesday, December 8th
As of right now, the plan is to open the registration window for directors to input their school info, student info, and upload audition recordings on Monday, November 9th. This would give everyone nearly a month's time to enter in all the necessary information. Unlike in previous years, we WILL NOT be able to REOPEN the registration window once it closes. Once the window closes, you will not be able to add or change any information.
$2.00 per audition + $10.00 per school (Ernie Pratt)
By foregoing an in-person performance ensemble, we will not be providing clinician compensation. This means we will not be requiring schools to pay the traditional $10.00 per audition. The fee will be lowered to $2.00 per audition. Remember, this means that if you have one student who is auditioning on 2 different instruments for the concert band and 1 instrument for the jazz band, you will owe $6.00 for that student.
The $2.00 charge is strictly to pay for the use and maintenance of Festival Scores. This cost includes registration, storing audition recordings, judging rubrics, posting results, and training for festival managers.
I would like to still be able to offer our Ernie Pratt Scholarship to a graduating senior who is selected for one of our District Ensembles. This is a $10.00 contribution to the scholarship per participating school.
Much like the system we have used for the past 2 years, Festival Scores conveniently generates invoices for directors. As of right now, I will most likely have to send an additional invoice for the Ernie Pratt fee.
First, I will contact those who have been selected to judge the auditions and ask for a specific list of scales and etudes that they would like to hear for this year. I will then send that list out to all of you so you can inform your students what is expected. This information will be released shortly before the registration window opens. Students/Directors will record their auditions in a SPECIFIC order and in ONE CONTINUOUS TAKE. This is the format that the All-State Band will be using as well. If this changes, I will send an update.
Recordings will need to be in an mp3 format and be free of any edits or effects. If evidence of alteration is found the student will be disqualified. Unfortunately the system does not support the use of mp4/video recordings. The size of the files and the amount of time needed to upload said files would be a hindrance as well.
Directors are the only people that can upload the mp3 files to the system.
I will be utilizing the judges list below. The list consists of the individuals that I have already secured.
Judges List 2020
You will notice that there are no longer separate scale judges for flute, clarinet, and trumpet. This is due to the rule of having one continuous recording.
Once the deadline has passed, Aaron and I will take care of any remaining logistical concerns and then open the judging window. Judges will be allowed to access their assigned instrument recordings and will be given 1 week (at the most) to evaluate all auditions. More judging specific information will be sent as the event nears.
Once judging is complete and any and all doubling issues have been resolved, results will be posted. The plan is to accomplish all of this prior to the holiday break. Aaron and I will work hard to ensure that this is a possibility but please be patient and understanding as we all work with the new system.
And there you have it! That's what I have for now. I will send out updates as they become available. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I may not know the answer immediately, but I will find it for you!