This FAQ applies only to students in the All-State Audition process seeking a spot in one of the NYSSMA All-State ensembles. If you are NOT auditioning for an All-State Ensemble please click "NYSSMA Help and Info" on the left.
Parent and Students performing an All-State audition should review ALL of the information below as well as the information contained under "NYSSMA Help and Info.
What is Conference All-State?
The All-State bands, choruses, orchestras and jazz ensembles are honors groups comprised of the top students from school music departments across the state. The 8 groups are directed by renowned guest conductors and perform on one of three concerts in the Eastman (Rochester) Theater during the annual NYSSMA Winter Conference in late November or early December each year. Rehearsals take place in Rochester, NY from Thursday through the Sunday concert during the conference.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible, a student must be a member of the corresponding ensemble in his or her high school if the school has such an ensemble. This would be the school band, chorus, orchestra, jazz ensemble or vocal jazz ensemble. Students must be members at the time of the audition and at the time of Conference All-State. Students are chosen to represent these ensembles from their schools, and as such, must be participating members of their school ensembles.
Is there piano All-State?
All-State is not available for piano except for students who audition for the All-State jazz ensemble.
How does a student qualify?
Students must be recommended by the director of their high school ensemble (band, chorus, orchestra, jazz ensemble) and students must perform an All-State audition at a spring NYSSMA festival. For the audition, students must perform a Level 6 piece from the NYSSMA Manual. If selected for All-State, endorsement of the student’s high school principal is required on the final forms.
Is All-State competitive?
Yes, selection to All-State is very competitive. For selection to conference All-State, students compete not only with other students at their audition site but with students from across the state. Over 7000 students compete for the 890 positions in the 8 All-State ensembles. Even a perfect score of 100 does not guarantee selection to All-State on many instruments or voices.
Where can I get more information?
The primary source for festival information is your school music teacher.
What is an All-State adjudication?
Students performing an All-State solo will be scored on a special All-State adjudication form, with the same criteria as a level 6 solo. The only difference is that the student is now competing against every other student in New York State on that particular instrument or voice part. Every student will be entered on a statewide proficiency list. This list will be used to select students for All-State performance ensemble honors. Consequently, adjudicators must be more stringent when grading for All-State than a regular level 6 solo.
When can a student elect to go ”All-State”?
It is recommended that students obtain at least a NYSSMA level 5 or 6 A+ before attempting to perform for an All-State adjudication. The school music teacher who registers the student for the festival is the only person who can complete an All-State application and must recommend the student to perform an All-State solo.
Do I need an accompanist? CLICK HERE for Letter to Parents/Students on Accompanists
Accompanists are required if the literature they are performing has an accompaniment part. When providing a recorded or computerized accompaniment, the student must also provide his/her own audio playback equipment. Students may use a live or recorded accompaniment.
Are there any Accompanist or Additional Fees?
Students must also pay for any piano accompanist fee that is not covered by the Central Islip school district.
If one of our music teachers or any Central Islip Music Staff there will be ZERO additional costs to the student.
If the student (and parent) choose to use an outside accompanist who agrees to the terms of the Central Islip salary of $57 for one 1-hour rehearsal and $57 for the time at the festival and agree to the payment timeline the Central Islip music department will pay the accompanist at ZERO cost to the student/parent (additional rehearsals would be the responsibility of the student/parent paid directly to the accompanist). IMPORTANT NOTE: The professional accompanist must apply and complete the paperwork at least 60 days prior to the festival. If the accompanist misses the deadline or the parent/student selects an accompanist after the deadline the responsibility of paying the accompanist will default back to the parent/student. This policy comes with NO EXCEPTIONS.
If the student (and parent) choose to hire the services of an accompanist who charges more that we offer or does not agree to the Central Islip payment terms it is 100% the responsibility of the student/parent to pay the accompanist directly.
If the district is to pay an accompanist they must adhere to the contractual timeline and complete the necessary paperwork prior to the deadline. Please speak to your music teacher for additional information. CLICK HERE for full details and available outside accompanists.
Why wouldn't the student just have a Central Islip music teacher provide accompaniment services?
While all of our Central Islip music teachers are extremely talented and some even more talented on the piano, there are several All-State Solos that require piano accompaniment outside the level of a music teacher and require a professional pianist. Please speak to the student's music teacher about the available options before hiring a professional pianist. CLICK HERE for an informative letter about accompanists including a list of local professional pianists.
When should the student/parent secure an accompanist?
There are literally dozens of NYSSMA Festivals and Satellite Festivals held across Suffolk County and accompanist schedules will fill up very quickly. It is highly advised that students/parents secure an accompanist prior to the February Mid-Winter Recess. Students should speak to their music teacher for assistance or to see if one of our Central Islip music staff are available and able to provide this service before seeking the services of a non Central Islip music teacher.