ERIE COUNTY Music Educators Association

"The arts are an essential element of education...[they] unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment." —W. Bennett

Festival Guidelines Overview

NYSSMA Manual Edition XXXII (32) (effective July 2018) must be used for ECMEA Solo Auditions


AUDITIONS and STUDENT ALL-COUNTY REGISTRATION FEES have been prepaid with the schools District Participation Fee.



Participation Policy For ECMEA All-County Auditions & Festivals

ECMEA has an established contract with its respective member districts, and therefore, each district’s music teachers, regarding school participation. The following guidelines delineate the responsibilities of the music educator who wishes to engage in festival participation:

1. A student’s school must have paid the district participation fee for the current year.

2. A student applicant must be a member in good standing of his/her corresponding instrumental/choral school performing ensemble at the time of the audition and at the time of the applicant’s membership in the All-County ensemble. Home educated students not meeting this requirement are ineligible to audition for an All-County ensemble. Specifically:

  • A choral applicant must be a member of his/her school chorus.
  • A wind, percussion or string applicant must be a member of his/her school band or orchestra.

3. Each audition registration may only be submitted by the student’s school music director. This will qualify the student for the solo/group audition and possible selection to an All-County ensemble. Registration of elementary vocal students may only be submitted by the student's school vocal director to qualify the student for possible selection to an All-County ensemble. Registrations of instrumental students may only be submitted by the student’s school instrumental director. Submitting a student for audition and possible selection to an All-County ensemble is exclusive to member schools, and not available to private teacher-members. Students of private music teachers, or home educated students must submit solo applications through the student's appropriate public, private, or parochial school which has paid the annual School Participation Fee. Appropriate school is defined as the school that the student attends or the school district in which the student resides.

4. Each teacher submitting student names for All-County Festivals must do so at SoloChair.com by the deadline. Teachers do not need to mail a copy of their confirmation/invoice form to the Festival Office. No late registrations or substitutions permitted.

5. DEADLINES are FINAL. ECMEA publishes all deadlines and sends a deadline reminder to teachers, and recommends that each teacher submit their student names early to avoid any difficulty accessing the internet.

Conflicts/Misfiling/Resolution Process

Non-compliance to the established protocol compromises not only the contractual relationships, but also the integrity of the festivals/evaluations. Compromises could have legal ramifications, not only to the individual music teachers, but to the organization as well. Furthermore, it is clearly the ethical/professional responsibility of the music educator to follow the established protocol and not compromise or penalize the students due to actions of the professional.

In the case of non-compliance to ECMEA Participation Policy, the following protocol will be followed:

A - Formal Response -
The Festival Administrator, Executive Director and/or designee will notify the affected teacher of the non-compliance matter in writing as soon as possible. The respective building principal associated with the non-compliance will be notified in writing of the matter under review. The building principal may elect to notify the Superintendent of Schools of the matter under review within 36 hours. The respective building or district administrator may forward a “Letter of Education” related to the issue of non-compliance to the cited teacher.

B - Resolution/Appeal Protocol -
If there is a need to resolve a non-compliance matter presented by a: Music Teacher, Parent, Student, ECMEA Festival Administrator, Executive Director and Board, or Other, then the initial elements of the appeal process reside with the Festival Administrator, followed by a review/decision from the ECMEA President and, when necessary, the Administrative Advisor(s) for the final source of resolve.

Application Deadlines

Elementary Choral Preliminary Application: October 15
Elementary Choral Names: November 15
Junior High Choral Auditions: November 15
Senior High Choral Quartets: November 15
All Instrumental Solos: November 15
Jazz Solos: November 15
Scholarships: November 15
Senior High Vocal Quartet Name Submission: January 15