I would like to start with the original proposal that was presented to the band directors back in January.
“Current scale requirement: (What is currently in the WHSAA handbook)
“Students will play one pair of major scales and the corresponding arpeggio chosen from the following pairs: Gb/F#- C, F- B/Cb, Bb-E, Eb-A, Ab-D and Db-G. The scales and arpeggios must be played in the correct octaves and rhythms provided on the scale sheet and played (tongued) at the indicated metronome marking.”
The band vice president will select two major scales for each instrument from the scale sheet. The two scales will be sent out to the band directors on Friday of week 16, (one week before the first recording day.) The two selected scales must be performed as written on the scale sheet and memorized.
Reasons for the change:
This will allow for each instrument audition to be exactly the same. The way we have the audition now, some students may end up playing easier scales, while others may draw more difficult scales. This is an unusual variable to have in an audition.
2. These scales will be memorized and this will alleviate the need for scale sheets in the audition and the ambiguity of the scale names. The script could simply say play scale 1 and then play scale 2.”
I would also like to include the following.
1. The scales that are selected would be by instrument, in other words flutes and saxophone would not necessarily play the same two scales. Also I was not saying that the scales would be just band keys, they could be what the band VP wanted to hear for that instrument. Flutes could be playing Db and A, while saxes could be playing B and Eb.
2. Out of the three audition areas we have in the state, the band audition is the only one that has any kind of unknown factor. With the choir and orchestra audition the students all play or sing exactly same material for their instrument or part.
3. I am certainly not suggesting that teachers do not teach all of the major scales. I feel that the scales are a very important part of student musician development. Teaching the major scales is not what this is about, the main purpose of this proposed change is to make each audition the same. I wold assume that teachers would still teach the major scales whether they were part of the audition or not.
4. This change was voted on by the band directors present at the meeting in January and it passed. At the WMEA board meeting on May 6, 2017, the changed was discussed and then the proposal was not brought forward for a vote. This lack of action is not consistent with the board’s past dealings with changes made to all-state audition material. In the past we have had the Wyoming Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and the American String Teachers Association meet at all-state and make changes to their respective all-state auction material and the board passed the changes without any question. This is the way that we have been adjusting our all-state audition material. If we are going to change this procedure then we should of been informed before our meeting in January and then given the opportunity to present the proposal to the board.
My main goal in presenting this change was to give our students a fair and consistent audition. In my research of what other states do we are one of the only ones that has this type of unknown factor in the audition.