Several years ago, the MMEA Board considered, researched, and recommended an online audition process to their membership. Since that time, the MMEA leadership has been diligent in seeking feedback to help ensure that the audition process works for sponsoring directors and their singers, while still maintaining the highest quality All-State experience for which our state is known.

In addition to feedback from sponsoring directors, we have also sought feedback on the audition process from those who have served as judges in recent years. The objective was to gain an additional perspective in helping to further improve the process for all.
Each year we continue to make adjustments to the process and/or language, to better define the requirements. The good news: NOTHING HAS CHANGED for this year. It is my hope that sharing ideas about what has worked for others will help each of us to make this process more effective and more efficient.



  • Major Scale – ascending and descending
  • In the key corresponding with the student’s voice type
  • Singer may use numbers, solfége, or a neutral syllable
  • Humming is not permitted
  • Teacher may provide the starting pitch

Making it simple:

Sing these major scales as a vocalise in class every day throughout the entire school year. Focus on consistent interval relationships, and a beautiful, free tone as a full ensemble. That knowledge and daily practice will transfer for each student who is interested in completing the audition.

Alma del Coré


  • Prepare and record in the key required for the auditioned voice part
  • Moderate tempo
  • In the key corresponding with the student’s voice type
  • Teacher may provide the tonic chord and starting pitch.

Making it simple:

Teach all singers in your choir this excerpt by using it as a daily vocalise in the months or weeks prior to the audition.

Solo Selection


  • Selection must be limited to an art song or aria. Singers will incur a score reduction for selections chosen from any other musical genre.
  • Selection MAY NOT be Alma del Coré.
  • Should demonstrate fundamentally good vocal technique, healthy tone, high quality musicianship, and the vocal range for which the singer is auditioning.

Making it simple:

Below is a list of suggested repertoire in which high quality and age-appropriate repertoire can be found. These editions are affordable, and will serve multiple purposes in any choral program. There are many additional options, but these editions will provide the most “bang for your buck.”

  1. Standard Vocal Literature (Hal Leonard; $19.99 w/cd) — Soprano/Mezzo-Soprano/Tenor/Baritone/Bass volumes
  2. 28 Italian Songs and Arias (G. Schirmer; $9.99) — High/Medium High/Medium/Medium Low/Low volumes
  3. The New Imperial Edition (Boosey & Hawkes; $18.99) — Soprano/Mezzo-Soprano/Contralto/Tenor/Baritone/Bass volumes
Recording Tips:

We use a portable Zoom H2n recorder ($160.00) for our auditions. I am not high-tech, and I find the Zoom simple to use (easy to upload files; a very intuitive process). We have also found that it makes a good and balanced recording with little effort. I keep the microphone a few feet from the singer to help with some amount of ambient sound without using any natural or manufactured reverb or effects (prohibited in the Digital Ethics Policy).

Recording levels need to be strong.

Listen to recordings on another device to ensure that your mic placement and recording quality is what you intend.

Work one to two weeks out for recordings, to give yourself time to get it all done accurately and without deadline pressure.

General Tips:

Audition Recording Option 1: Require that students pay their audition fee prior to recording their audition. Start recording the scale and Alma tracks a few weeks before the audition deadline. Schedule each student to record with accompaniment so that recordings are complete one week prior to deadline. Allow each singer 10-15 minutes with an accompanist. They get a run through and then 2-3 chances to record.

Audition Recording Option 2: Establish an All-State Recording Day where students come prepared with each element and their registration information and fees. Each student has thirty minutes to record all three tracks with you and an accompanist. Students who are waiting for their audition time should be warming up and preparing. It is helpful to have a student assistant facilitate the preparation time, and to manage student flow. This will enable each student to fully utilize their thirty-minute time slot.

Record each audition element individually (i.e., scale, Alma, solo). Write the specific tracks that your singers record directly on their audition form. When you upload the tracks, you don’t have to listen to all of them again to make the determination about which was the best. Your ears in live time will be dependable in making this determination. Trust what you hear.

Be careful to upload each track to the correct place on Double-check each track before you send by playing back a few seconds to ensure that you have the right track in the right place.

Keep talking to others about what is working best for them to help guide you to fine tuning your own process.