The All State Ensembles (Orchestra) are a select group of students representing the most talented instrumentalists in the State of Maryland. More information can be found at www.mmea-maryland.org/strings.

  • Junior Orchestra - 7th, 8th, 9th grade strings

  • Senior Orchestra - 10th, 11th, 12th grade strings, winds and percussion

Students selected to participate spend several days in intensive rehearsals with a nationally recognized conductor before presenting a public performance. The performances are often associated with the MMEA/NAfME Spring Conference.


Interested students should inform their director that they would like to audition for the All State Ensembles by completing the ALL STATE PERMISSION FORM. Forms are due back to directors no later than Monday, September 24, 2018. Audition music is prepared and performed for a panel of judges in early November. The top student musicians are selected and invited to participate for that year.


The audition requirements for the All State Music Program are published by MMEA in their August edition of the Music Educators Journal. Interested students can find a complete listing of requirements below. Students must follow the audition guidelines exactly or be disqualified. Actual copies of the music must be purchased from your local music store or ordered through appropriate distributors. You must not perform from photocopies – that is illegal! Sometimes, audition materials may be borrowed from your ensemble director.



ALL STATE ORCHESTRA - The audition for All State Orchestra has several musical components, including:

  • Prepared Piece - This is usually a technical etude or study.

  • Scales- Violin, Viola, Cello Major Scales up to 3 #’s and 3 b’s and melodic minor scales starting on 'a' and 'd'. All scales are to be performed two octaves.

  • Scales- Bass 2-Octave Major Scales starting on F, G, and A, 1-Octave Major Scales starting on Bb, C, and D, and 2-octave melodic minor scales starting on 'e' and 'g'.

  • Sight-Reading - Students will be asked to perform a short selection (approx. 16 measures) for the judges with only a minute or so of preparation.

NOTE:  To get the most from the opportunity...students should prepare their audition under the guidance of a private instructor or your ensemble director.


Students will be given a specific audition time several weeks prior to the audition. The times are sent to the ensemble director from the audition coordinators and are not available before that time. Students should plan to arrive at the audition site approximately one hour prior to their scheduled audition time. Students will need to check in at the registration desk where they will be given instructions and will be directed to the warm-up area. (The warm-up area is usually a cafeteria or gymnasium where everyone waiting to audition is preparing.) Approximately ten or fifteen minutes prior to your audition time, a runner will come to escort you to the audition room.

When you arrive at the audition room you must wait until the person ahead of you has completed their audition. This could take several minutes, but DO NOT play outside of the room. You can play a little once you get into the audition room. (The audition room is often just a classroom with the desks pushed aside.) There will usually be a chair and a stand, as well as two judges sitting at the other end of the room. One of the judges will invite you inside and will probably ask if you would like to play a few notes. Use this time to get comfortable and play whatever you would like to calm your nerves and get adjusted. Next you will be asked for scales or your prepared piece. Usually the sight-reading is last. The whole process takes about ten minutes.

Some students (usually flute, clarinet, and trumpet players) may be asked to perform a second time in a Finals Room, due to the number of students auditioning. Students auditioning on these instruments should plan to stay an hour past their audition time in case they are invited to perform in the Finals Room. Students invited to perform in the Finals Room will receive a Finals Room Pass from one of the judges. (DO NOT ask if you made it to the Finals Room.) The Finals Room Pass will allow you to perform a second audition for a different set of judges who will make the final selections for the ensemble. 

Audition results will be mailed to your ensemble director approximately one month after the audition. Selection to the All State Music Program is the highest musical honor within MMEA and the State of Maryland.