Eligibility and Policies

Approved by MMEA Board of Directors September, 12 2015.

A student must follow all policies below to be eligible for All-State participation.

Member in Good Standing of the Corresponding Ensemble from Audition through February
All-State exists to support secondary school music ensembles, MMEA members, and members’ students. Because of this, MMEA requires a student to be a member in good standing of the secondary school’s corresponding ensemble from the time of the audition through the following February performance to be eligible. Statements below clarify and further define participation in the corresponding ensemble. All statements below apply equally.    


1.       Corresponding ensemble means choir for vocal auditions, band for winds/brass/percussion auditions, jazz band for jazz auditions, and orchestra for string auditions. Secondary schools may set specific corresponding ensemble requirements.

2.       If a student resides within a secondary school’s attendance boundary, and that school provides the corresponding ensemble, and the student chooses to enroll in a school that does not include the corresponding ensemble, the student is not eligible for All-State participation.  

3.       If a student resides within a secondary school’s attendance boundary, and that school does not provide the corresponding ensemble, the student is encouraged to support the school music program through membership in another ensemble. That ensemble director may sponsor the student’s audition.

4.       A PSEO student is eligible for All-State if the student is a member in good standing of the corresponding ensemble at the student’s secondary school.

5.       A homeschooled student or a student enrolled at an on-line secondary school is eligible for All-State if the student is a member in good standing of the corresponding ensemble at a secondary school via shared-time enrollment. See #2 and #3 above.

6.       If a student is sponsored by a private teacher, the MMEA office will verify secondary school ensemble membership directly with the ensemble’s director. Verification must be received by MMEA prior to April 10th.

7.       A sponsoring teacher who is an MMEA member may make an eligibility exception request on behalf of a student no later than February 1st prior to the mid-March audition deadline.  The Executive Committee will review the request, and communicate eligibility review decisions to the sponsoring teacher/MMEA member no later than March 1st. The decisions of the MMEA Executive Committee are final.

8.       For harp players only, most secondary school music ensembles do not regularly program works that include harp. Harp players are encouraged to support the school music program through membership in another ensemble or another means as determined by the school’s music directors.

The All-State exception process has ended for the 2017-2018 year.

Grade at time of audition

Wind, brass, percussion, and choral auditions are limited to students who are sophomores or juniors at the time of the audition. String auditions are limited to students who are freshmen, sophomores, or juniors at the time of the audition.

Maximum years of participation

Band, jazz or choral students may participate in an All-State group for two years. String students may participate for three years.

Rotation between ensembles

If a student was a member of the All-State Mixed Chorus one year and selected for a second year, the student would be placed in either the Women's Chorus or Men's Chorus the second year. If a wind, brass or percussion player was a member of the All-State Concert Band one year and selected for a second year, the student would be placed in the Symphonic Band or Orchestra. The reverse situations would also be true.

Sponsoring teacher is a member of MMEA

All-State is sponsored by MMEA as a service to its members and their students. Participation is limited to those students whose sponsoring teacher is a current member in good standing of MMEA and NAfME at the time of the audition and continues to be a member during the rehearsal and performance period. The sponsoring music educator must be currently teaching the student, and must continue as a music educator for that student through the following February. Examples of sponsoring music educators are school ensemble directors, studio teachers/instructors for private lessons, and individuals conducting a community youth ensemble.

Maximum number of auditions per sponsoring teacher

For any sponsoring teacher in each audition category, the maximum number of students who can audition is: 15 string students, 15 vocal students, 19 wind/brass/percussion students, and 15 jazz ensemble students. Students may audition on more than one instrument or for more than one group; a separate fee and application form is required for each audition.

Selection Process for Ensembles

The result of the student's audition as reflected in judge scores is the primary selection criteria. Other information that may be used include student's grade, school (preference for A over AA schools) and judge comments. To spread the benefits of All-State among music programs, the maximum number of vocal participants from any one school is 6, winds brass and percussion students (across both bands and the orchestra) is 9, and jazz students is 3.


Students will not be excused from attendance at All-State rehearsals, concerts, or other activities for any reason. This commitment includes both the summer camp and February performance. Exceptions to this rule are rare and will be made only in emergency situations.

For the February rehearsals only, students who are participating in state or national-level competitions may be allowed to miss a few hours of the Friday afternoon rehearsal, but the student is required to notify the MMEA office of the conflict in advance. Region, section and sub-section contests are not considered state level competitions.


Students participating in the All-State program are expected to conduct themselves in an exemplary manner. Any student failing to do so will face disciplinary action which may include loss of membership in the group.

A complete All-State rules and regulations document is available below. All expectations apply to both the summer and February All-State experience unless specifically stated otherwise. The following list provides an overview of the student behavior expectations.

  1. Students must prepare the assigned music and fully participate in rehearsals, regardless of the part assigned.
  2. Students must attend and be on time for all rehearsals, sectionals, and camp activities. If you are tardy or miss a rehearsal, sectional, or camp activity for any reason, you must report to your section coach or the MMEA Vice-President.
  3. Students must adhere to policies as established by the MSHSL regarding sexual, racial and religious harassment, and violence. MMEA extends this expectation to color, creed, national origin, immigrant status, disability, poverty or socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, family status, and military family status. Expectations apply equally in person, in groups and online. Cyber-bullying is specifically prohibited. Areas or characteristics not specifically mentioned will be governed by the intent of this expectations.
  4. Students must adhere to the eligibility requirements regarding chemical use, as stated in Bylaw 205 of the MSHSL Fine Arts Rules and Policies Manual:
    • At any time during the calendar year, a student shall not, regardless of the quantity use or consume, possess, buy, sell, or give away alcohol, tobacco, controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, products containing or devices to deliver nicotine, e-cigarettes and similar devices, or any other item listed in Bylaw 205.
  5. Students may not share any medication - prescription, over the counter, or other - with any other student.
  6. Students must remain eligible for participation in All-State as described in this eligibility policy.
  7. Students and parents or guardians must provide and/or complete all requested forms and make timely payments.
Additional rules regarding attendance and camp housing are listed in All-State Rules and Regulations.

If a student(s) has any concerns or questions, they should approach one of the MMEA Vice Presidents, section coaches or other staff to discuss those concerns.

Mary Schaefle,
Apr 18, 2018, 7:00 AM
Jennifer Lenart,
Apr 24, 2014, 11:25 AM