District/All-State AND Buckhorn Band “Ensemble & Chair Placement Auditions

Important Information about District/All-State auditions AND Buckhorn Band “Ensemble & Chair Placement” Auditions:

Each year, our students have the opportunity to audition for District Honor Band (Madison, Morgan, Limestone Counties combined) and All-State Honor Bands through an audition in late January (both auditions are one-in-the-same).  

The students have to prepare all 12 major scales, 2 minor scales, a chromatic scale, two etudes (one technical, one lyrical), and perform a short sight-reading excerpt in the audition room.  Auditions are “blind” with two judges on the opposite side of a barrier.  The judges are District I band directors and their scores are posted online after audition day so students can see where they ranked and what they need to work on.  Going through this process is very good preparation for college scholarship auditions!  Students can be intimidated by the rigorous requirements of this audition, but in actuality, nothing about the audition should be difficult for students at Buckhorn who simply take the time to prepare, and considering they have 5 months from now to do so.  

I would very much like to see Buckhorn Band students representing on a much greater level in our District. We’ve had around 20 students audition each year for the last several years, but lack of preparation (especially the amount of time) has held many students back.  Like anything else, our success in the things we do is directly proportionate to the amount of efficient time we spend doing it.  Preparing for District/All-State auditions (whether a student makes it or not) will help the student improve exponentially and make their instrumental experience better all around!  Please encourage your students to take on this challenge!  The ensemble/chair placement auditions for Symphonic Band/Wind Ensemble will be an abbreviated version of these audition requirements as well (usually an excerpt from one of the two etudes and 3 major scales chosen by the Director).

Attached is the ABA By-Laws document – pages 8-13 explain how the District and All-State Honor Band process is structured, in case you’re interested.

The etudes can be found at the link below (the new AMEA website) – be sure to look under the “High School All-State Files” and choose your instrument for both lyrical and technical etudes.  A sheet listing all of the scales (for your convenience) and the ranges of the chromatic scales should be provided soon.  Actual sign-ups for these auditions will be toward the end of the semester.


Thank you for your support!  

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