Happy start to the school year! Things are started off great and I attribute it to the diligent work ethic instilled by our parents and community here at Carrollton High School. As we start the school year I would like to encourage all of our students to practice for and try-out for our District Honor Band. The more of our students who strive for this goal, the better our band program will become. We have many people who are a part of our team and if our individuals set personal goals to better themselves, then we will achieve our group goals.
Here is your opportunity to set a personal goal and discovering new ways to enjoy making music. The Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) sponsors a District Honor Band and an All-State Band annually to showcase the most talented students in each district and in the state of Georgia. Students are selected for participation by an extremely competitive audition process. They then participate in an honor band clinic consisting of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday which is conducted by a nationally recognized music educator. This event culminates in an unforgettable concert, which was prepared in only a few days! Additionally, students selected for All-State will have their name added to plaque that will hang outside Mr. Carr’s office.
Parents often ask me about how a student can earn a scholarship in music for college. Colleges actively recruit the students who make the GMEA All-State similarly to how they recruit the top athletes in our state. Colleges and employers also highly value students who have participated in District Honor Band and All-State because it shows positive attributes in individual goal setting, high personal performance and achievement in an individually competitive setting, and the willingness to go above and beyond standard or minimum requirements.
More information concerning District Honor Band and All-State can be found at the GMEA Website.
Sample Score Sheets
Basically the process works as follows:
There are 2 auditions in total. The first audition takes place on the 2nd Saturday in December. Times are TBA based on the number of students auditioning. The first audition serves as seating for our district honor band. District Honor Band is traditionally the 3rd weekend of February. Rehearsals start on that Thursday and the concert takes place on Saturday early evening. Students who score above the recommended score at the first audition are invited to audition at the second round at Houston County High School. The 2nd audition traditionally happens on the 2nd Saturday of January. The final round determines seating for the All-State Band which takes place in Athens, GA on the last weekend of February or first weekend of March.
Experts will be visiting our school to work individually with students who have committed to auditioning for District Honor Band or All-State. The students will play their scales and etudes for the instructor and get immediate individual feedback to help focus their awareness of how to practice and what to practice so that they have a better chance of making it. The cost to audition for District Honor Band is $15 and the cost to audition for All-State is $25. If a student would like to be considered for both it would cost $40.
The main argument that students give me for why they do not want to do it is: “What if I don’t make it?” My answer is always the same. “Well if you don’t make it, then at least you got better.” The lesson is in the journey not the destination. If a student tries out this year and doesn’t make it, then of course they will feel unhappy until they realize: 1) they are better prepared to audition next year, 2)they overcame a fear or anxiety about auditioning in front of someone so they are more confident when faced with similar situations such as job interviews, 3) they have bettered themselves which in turn has bettered our band. I will continue to let them know how proud of them that I am just because they had the courage and diligence to audition.
Please encourage your son or daughter to set this goal. I have seen so many students blossom in a very positive way from their participation in this event. It’s a pretty big deal and our kids have the potential to do it!