ERIE COUNTY Music Educators Association

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

Instrumental Audition Guidelines and Rules

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

All-County Scoring

Each woodwind, brass, string, and percussion student who auditions at our January audition festivals earns a score based on a 100-point system. A weighted score, determined by the solo level, is used for selection to an all-county ensemble.

Limits on Solo Levels

All string, brass, woodwind, and percussion solo auditions must be within the NYSSMA levels listed below for each student's grade in school.

Grade in School NYSSMA Solo Levels
Elementary    4-6 1-4
Junior High    7-9 1-5
Senior High    10-12 1-6

Seating Auditions

After selection to an All-County group, each student will receive the concert music which is to be prepared before the first rehearsal. At the first rehearsal, sectionals and/or seating auditions may be held.


Instrumental students are selected to an all-county band or orchestra by attaining a score at a live audition at the designated date and site for that festival only.

  • All student instrumental auditions must be registered on SoloChair.com by November 15.   No late registrations permitted.  Registrations must be complete. All solo information - title, composer, level, manual page  (1-11 format) must be entered.
  • A student is limited to  performing an audition on an instrument listed in the drop down menu on the SoloChair.com festival registration page. Instruments not appearing in the drop down menu may not register for an audition.
  • The audition solo must be chosen from the current NYSSMA Manual Edition XXXI (31) effective July 2015
  • A second published edition of the solo (judge's copy) is required by ECMEA for a student to be considered for selection into an all-county ensemble.  If a student performs without a second published edition of the solo, he/she will only receive a rating and will not be eligible for selection into an all-county ensemble.
  • Students with illegally copied music (not published editions) will not be allowed to perform.
  • Students registered for an all county audition must play on the instrument for which they are registered.
  • Teachers, parents, and students are not allowed to switch students between audition rooms.
  • All instruments (including strings & mallet percussion) will play only 1 octave scales.
  • A student who is registered as “not auditioning for all-county ensemble"  may not change their status to “auditioning for all-county ensemble"  after that student has performed his/her audition.
  • Auditions are 10 minutes in length except Junior and Senior High percussion auditions which are 15 minutes long.   Adjudicators may choose to hear excerpts of long solos.
  • Observers are allowed to hear only the scale and solo sections of the audition, and are not allowed to interrupt or speak during the audition.  Failure to observe this rule will disqualify the auditioning student.
  • Audio or video recording of any part of the audition is not allowed.  Failure to observe this rule will disqualify the auditioning student.
  • When an adjudicator has his/her private student scheduled in his audition room, every attempt will be made to switch the private student into another audition room of the same instrument.  This reassignment is at the discretion of the Festival Administrator or adjudicator, and not of the parent or student.
  • Students are selected to an all-county band and orchestra based on a weighted score according to the following table.
    Level 6 deduct 0 points               Level 3 deduct 10 points
    Level 5 deduct 3 points               Level 2 deduct 14 points
    Level 4 deduct 7 points               Level 1 deduct 17 points