Monday, November 30, 2009
First of all, I would like to acknowledge that I attended both middle and high school in Texas, a state with obsessively good band programs. However, I am pretty sure that Texas is not the only state that has All-State Band, Orchestra, and Choir; that has AUDITIONS for them; and that these auditions are free for students. I could be wrong that they are free, but I don't remember having to pay for them. Therefore I find it RIDICULOUS that a state as large as California doesn't hold auditions, but rather has your band director make a recording to send in of you, and you have to pay a $45 (!) application fee. I know CA is having a budget crisis right now, but this procedure appears to be standard, regardless of the budget. Kids should be given an audition experience, and for many students, making a CD and paying a $45 fee are really difficult. I am completely dismayed at this system. And so much more appreciative of Texas's labyrinthine system of region, area, and district auditions to place in an All-State ensemble, plus the region band and orchestra opportunities before that. California, once you fix your budget, you need to get on this problem. Oh, and if anyone knows of some good, less expensive opportunities for middle school band kids to audition for and place in an ensemble, please let me know!