WHAT IS THE MS GT BAND?
The HCPSS MS GT Band is a select group of students representing the most talented middle school (Grade 6, 7, 8) instrumentalists from throughout Howard County. Students selected to participate spend several days in rehearsals with a guest conductor before presenting a public performance. The performance is held in conjunction with the HCPSS MS Honors Band and HS GT Band performance.
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.
WHAT IS THE MS HONORS BAND?
The HCPSS MS Honors Band is a select group of students representing every middle school (Grade 6, 7, 8) band program throughout Howard County. Students that are not selected for the HCPSS MS GT Band are then considered for this honors ensemble. Students selected to participate spend several days in rehearsals with a guest conductor before presenting a public performance. The performance is held in conjunction with the HCPSS MS GT Band and HS GT Band performance.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Interested students should inform their director that they would like to audition for the HCPSS MS GT-Honors Band by completing the HCPSS MS GT-Honors Band Registration Form. Audition music is prepared and performed for a panel of judges in early November. The top players are selected and invited to participate for that year.
WHERE DO I GET AUDITION MUSIC?
The audition requirements for the MS GT-Honors Band are the same as the MMEA Junior All State Band and 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.
WHAT ELSE IS INVOLVED WITH THE AUDITION?
MS GT-Honors Band - The audition for the HCPSS MS GT-Honors Band has several musical components, including:
- Audition Requirements - This is the same as the MMEA - All State Band requirements. Click HERE for more information.
- Scales - Major Scales up to 4 #’s and 4 b’s and a Chromatic Scale. All scales are to be performed one octave, except flute and clarinet which will perform two octaves.
- Sight-Reading - Students will be asked to perform a short selection (approx. 16 measures) for the judges with approximately one minute of preparation.
- Low Clarinet
- Saxophone (Eb)
- Saxophone (Bb)
- [French] Horn
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.
HOW DOES THE AUDITION WORK?
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 30 minutes 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 and clarinet) 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 about 45 minutes 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 two weeks after the audition.