All-County and All-State
In Maryland, all instrumental music students have many opportunities to audition for all-county and all-state groups. Each year, many Walt Whitman students in band, jazz ensemble, and orchestra have enjoyed great success in performing in these honors groups. We strongly encourage our students to challenge themselves and audition for the various Honors, All-County and All-State Ensembles!
Please Note the following sign-up deadlines and audition dates:
- Oct. 14th MCPS Honors Jazz Auditions (4-9PM at Frost MS)
- Nov. 12th MCPS Jr Honors Band/Orchestra (gr 9) auditions (6-10pm) Margruder (tentative)
- Nov. 16th All-State Junior Band/Orchestra (gr 10-12) auditions (9AM-5PM) TBA
- Nov. 19th MCPS Senior Band/Orchestra (gr 10-12) auditions (6-10pm) Wootton (tentative)
- Nov. 23rd All-State Senior Band/Orchestra (gr 10-12) auditions (9AM-5PM) TBA
Why audition? The groups bring together the finest young musicians who want to challenge themselves, work with some of the top youth conductors, and socialize with peers from other schools. Auditions for Honors and All-County are held in the fall. These groups rehearse one night during the school weed for five to seven weeks and culminates with a final performance in the winter. Auditions for the All-State ensembles are overseen by the Maryland Music Educators Association. Following fall auctions these groups gather for a two-night hotel stay over one weekend in February for rehearsals and a final gala performance.
We encourage all music students to consider auditioning for one or more ensembles.
The audition process for county and state ensembles is not complicated. Here are a few tips: At the beginning of each school year, Ms. Alvey provides complete details about audition dates and requirements. Materials for state and county are the same so it is a one-time preparation. Those materials are also available on the Maryland Music Educators Association website, linked here.
- Prepare! Don’t procrastinate. These auditions are very competitive and cramming your preparation at the very end will reduce your chances of success dramatically.
- Set up a practice calendar and pace yourself. Periodically record your efforts and critique your progress.
- Practice in front of a mirror and in front of friends and family.
- Seek help! Your private teacher is your best resource! If you are looking for help in finding a teacher, please talk to Ms. Alvey or Ms. Borsum as soon as possible.
- Dress professionally. Remember that you have only one chance to make a first impression. However, some of the auditions are behind screens. It makes sense to find out ahead of time so you know what to expect.
- Remember to act professionally, with an air of confidence, not arrogance.
- Take your time and think before you play. GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
Congratulations to the following ensembles and individual musicians for all of the hard work and dedication it took to create such extraordinary results!
2011-2012 School Year
Montgomery County Junior Honors Orchestra
Sophia Caldera, Claire Gasque
Montgomery County Junior Honors Jazz Band
Montgomery County Senior Honors Band
Ben Miltenberg, Isaac Segal, Jeremy Steinberg, William Zhang
Montgomery County Senior Honors Orchestra
Beatriz Atsavapranee, Jason Frankel, Sam Shapiro
Montgomery County Senior Honors Band
Matt Digan, Michael Dressner, Alex Gandolfo, Jordan Wolff
All State Senior Band
Gabe Slesinger, David Weber
All State Senior Orchestra
San Hoi Forrest, Samir Kaveeshwar, Seth Massey
All State Senior Jazz Band
Matt Digan, Alex Gandolfo
National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Finalist — Gabe Slesinger
The President’s Own Marine Band Concerto Competition Finalist — Gabe Slesinger
Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival High School Band Competition — Walt Whitman Jazz Ensemble — Second Place Winners
Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival High School Jazz Band Competiton Soloist Award — Alex Gandolfo
Further information about what is required to audition for these honors ensembles may be found at the Maryland Music Educators Association website.