PMEA HONORS ENSEMBLES
The Pennsylvania Music Educators' Association (PMEA) sponsors several honors ensembles each year throughout the state. There are three levels of ensembles for Band, Orchestra, and Choir that students can audition for: District, Region, and All-State. Lower Merion High School is in PMEA District 11 (Bucks & Montgomery Counties), and Region 6 (Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties). As per PMEA bylaws, students must be members in good standing of their school ensembles in order to be eligible to audition for PMEA honors ensembles.

DISTRICT BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR AUDITIONS

Auditions for District Band, Orchestra, and Choir take place each fall. Students should prepare the audition material on their own ahead of time. Audition material is not necessarily covered in class. See below for audition requirements.
Students who audition must be prepared to commit to attending the District festival(s) if they are selected. Students are expected to pay the $5 audition fee. The Music Department does not cover that expense.
District Choir Auditions

Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017
8:00am - 1:00pm (approximate times)
Upper Merion Area High School

District Instrumental (Band & Orchestra) Auditions

Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017
8:00am - 5:00pm (approximate; times vary widely by instrument)
Upper Dublin High School

Choir students in grades 10-12 are eligible to audition. (PMEA bylaws forbid 9th-graders from auditioning for District Choir.)

Unlike Band or Orchestra, there are limits placed on the number of students who may audition from any given school on a particular voice part. We are not permitted to send more than 4 students in any voice part.

Student piano accompanists may also audition for District Choir.

Students interested in auditioning for District Choir should notify Mr. Hunnex by the beginning of October.
Band & Orchestra students in grades 10-12 are eligible to audition. In addition, STRING PLAYERS in 9th grade are also permitted to audition. (PMEA bylaws forbid 9th-graders who play wind or percussion instruments from auditioning for District Band or Orchestra.)
  • Students who audition on violin, voila, or cello are ONLY eligible for District Orchestra. (Bass players are eligible for both Band and Orchestra.)
  • Students who audition on saxophone (all types), low clarinets (alto, bass, contralto, contrabass), euphonium, or other wind instruments that are not commonly found in orchestras are ONLY eligible for District Band.
  • Students who audition on all other wind and percussion instruments (or bass) are eligible for either District Band, District Orchestra, or BOTH. Students must decide which placement(s) they will accept at the time they register. 
  • Occasionally there is a need for instruments that are not commonly found in either ensemble. (e.g. piano or harp) If you are interested in auditioning on one of these instruments please contact Mr. Datsko or Mrs. Villante for more information.

Unlike Choir, there are no limits placed on the number of students who may audition from a given school on a particular instrument.
IF YOU ARE ACCEPTED IN A PMEA HONORS ENSEMBLE YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO ATTEND!
If you are accepted in any of the PMEA Honor ensembles (District, Region, or All-State) you are expected to completely fulfill your obligation to that ensemble. Failure to do so will result in penalties, including loss of eligibility for future PMEA ensembles. If the school paid for your festival attendance you will be expected to reimburse us.

It is essential that you check your calendar carefully before auditioning to ensure that you are capable of fulfilling those obligations if selected.

DISTRICT BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR FESTIVALS
including Region Band/Orchestra/Choir Auditions

Students selected for District Band/Orchetra/Choir attend the District Festival for their ensemble. Each festival is 2-3 days long and is hosted by a school in PMEA District 11 (Bucks and Montgomery Counties). Students spend all three days rehearsing at the host school and are housed overnight at a nearby hotel. Each festival concludes with a concert.

As part of each festival, students take part in a re-audition process to check on their preparedness for the festival and determine which students move on to PMEA Region Band/Orchestra/Choir.
District Choir Festival

Dates: Wed, Jan. 24 - Fri, Jan. 26, 2018
Host: Spring-Ford Area High School
Guest Conductor: Larry Doebler

District Band Festival
​​

Dates: Wed, Jan. 10 - Fri, Jan. 12, 2018
Host: Perkiomen Valley High School*
Guest Conductor: George Boulden
*concert hosted at Perkiomen Valley Middle School East
District Orchestra Festival

Dates: Thurs, Feb. 8 - Sat, Feb. 10, 2018
Host: Palisades/Pennridge High Schools
Guest Conductor: Gerardo Edelstein

District Choir is hosted by a District 11 school. Festivals run from Wed-Fri OR Thurs-Sat and conclude with a concert. Students are expected to learn their music ahead of time and will be tested on it in their re-audition when they arrive. The top-scoring students in re-auditions earn a place a in Region Choir.

The fee to attend District Choir (usually $150-$200) is paid by the LMHS Music Department.
District Band is hosted by a District 11 school. Festivals run from Wed-Fri OR Thurs-Sat and conclude with a concert. Students are expected to learn their music ahead of time and will be tested on it in their re-audition when they arrive. The top-scoring students in re-auditions earn a place a in Region Band.

The fee to attend District Band (usually $150-$200) is paid by the LMHS Music Department.
District Orchestra is hosted by a District 11 school. Festivals run from Wed-Fri OR Thurs-Sat and conclude with a concert. Students are expected to learn their music ahead of time and will be tested on it in their re-audition when they arrive. The top-scoring students in re-auditions earn a place a in Region Orchestra.

The fee to attend District Orchestra (usually $150-$200) is paid by the LMHS Music Department.

REGION BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR FESTIVALS
including All-State Band/Orchestra/Choir Auditions

Students selected for Region Band/Orchetra/Choir attend the Region Festival for their ensemble. Each festival is 2-3 days long and is hosted by a school in PMEA Region 6 (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties). Students spend all three days rehearsing at the host school and are housed overnight at a nearby hotel. Each festival concludes with a concert.

As part of each festival, students take part in a re-audition process to check on their preparedness for the festival and determine which students move on to PMEA All-State Band/Orchestra/Choir.
Region Choir Festival

Dates: Thurs, March 1 - Sat, March 3, 2018
Host: Central Bucks High School South
Guest Conductor: ???

Region Band Festival
​​

Dates: Thurs, Feb. 22 - Sat, Feb. 24, 2018
Host: Valley Forge Military Academy
Guest Conductor: ???


Region Orchestra Festival

Dates: Thurs, March 22 - Sat, March 24, 2018
Host: New Hope-Solebury High School
Guest Conductor: ???


Region Choir is hosted by a Region 6 school. Festivals run from Wed-Fri OR Thurs-Sat and conclude with a concert. Students are expected to learn their music ahead of time and will be tested on it in their re-audition when they arrive. The top-scoring students in re-auditions earn a place a in All-State Choir.

The fee to attend Region Choir (usually $150-$200) is NOT covered by LMHS or the LMHS Music Department. Students are expected to pay their own way for Region Choir.
Region Band is hosted by a Region 6 school. Festivals run from Wed-Fri OR Thurs-Sat and conclude with a concert. Students are expected to learn their music ahead of time and will be tested on it in their re-audition when they arrive. The top-scoring students in re-auditions earn a place a in All-State Band.

The fee to attend Region Band (usually $150-$200) is NOT covered by LMHS or the LMHS Music Department. Students are expected to pay their own way for Region Band.
Region Orchestra is hosted by a Region 6 school. Festivals run from Wed-Fri OR Thurs-Sat and conclude with a concert. Students are expected to learn their music ahead of time and will be tested on it in their re-audition when they arrive. The top-scoring students in re-auditions earn a place a in All-State Orchestra.

The fee to attend Region Orchestra (usually $150-$200) is NOT covered by LMHS or the LMHS Music Department. Students are expected to pay their own way for Region Orchestra.

ALL-STATE BAND/ORCHESTRA/CHOIR FESTIVAL

Students selected for All-State Band/Orchetra/Choir attend the PMEA All-State Festival. The festival is 4 days long and is hosted by PMEA's annual conference. Students spend all four days rehearsing at a host school and are housed overnight at a nearby hotel. The festival concludes with several concerts.

The All-State Festival is always held in conjunction with the PMEA Annual Conference, which moves around the state from year to year. The fee to attend the All-State Festival is NOT covered by LMHS or the LMHS Music Department. Students are expected to pay their own way for the All-State Festival.

All-State Festival

Date:  Wed, April 18 - Sat, April 21, 2018
Location:  Lancaster Marriott & Convention Center - Lancaster, PA

Guest Conductors:

Band - ???
Orchestra - ???
​Choir - ???


ALL-STATE JAZZ & VOCAL JAZZ
including Choir Accompanists and Harpists

The All-State Jazz and Vocal Jazz ensembles do not have District or Region festivals that support them. Students audition directly for the All-State Ensembles. Eligibility rules are the same as those for District eligibility. Auditions for these ensembles are completed by sending in a recorded audition.

Harpists and Choral Accompanists are auditioned using the same process.

For more information on auditioning for All-State Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Choral Accompanist, or Harp, please see the PMEA website