February & March Information on State for Families
Do you have a student who qualified as a winner or alternate to State this year? If so, congratulations! It is a huge honor to represent our county at the WMEA / WIAA State Solo & Ensemble Competition. Here are some basics:
BHS Honors Recital. Just like prior to Regionals, we hold a practice recital the Wednesday before State. The date can be found on the band calendar, linked here. Everyone performing at State and senior first alternates who didn't get invited will perform. An exact program will be sent out in early April. Students should perform their pieces exactly like they will at State, with any planned cuts to the music, their accompanist, and as similar of an outfit as possible.
Transportation. Like Regional S&E, State S&E is a family event. BISD does not provide transportation or supervision. While this provides some extra hurdles, the event is well worth attending as a family.
Schedule. The schedule for State usually comes out in early April. This will inclulde which alternates are picked up for the big event. Small Ensembles typically compete on Friday morning. Large Ensembles typicaly compete Friday afternoon. Solos compete all day on Saturday. Top three finishers from the mornings are posted in the early afternoon, and all top 3 medalists and winners from each division are announced at an evening awards ceremony in nearby Nicholson Pavilion, which is the university's basketball and volleyball stadium. The ensembles awards ceremony is Friday night, and the solos awards ceremony is on Saturday.
Alternates. You won’t know your fate until the first week of April or so. At that time, WMEA will release schedules and alternate information for the first time. This only gives you 3-4 weeks to finish preparing your piece, so please don’t let it get too rusty. Alternates are invited to state when there are openings from another region (if someone cancels, or where no winner is chosen).
The 1st alternate from the region with the most entries is offered a position first. If they can’t make it, the offer goes to the next most competitive region's 1st alternate. The process continues until every spot is filled.
The first 2nd alternate is considered only after every 1st alternate is considered.
Historically, 1st alternates have a 30% - 50% chance of being invited (depending on division), and 2nd alternates have a 3-5% chance of making it to the big show.
Hotels. Places to stay in Ellensburg tend to book up quickly, so we recommend booking a place soon after regionals. OMEA is one of the last regions to have their local competition, so we're already behind the bulk of participants. Soloists and small ensemble members should definitely book a place, as only large ensemble members are guaranteed an afternoon performance slot. Families might consider cancelling after schedules are released, if their student performs late enough in the day to safely get over Snoqualmie Pass in time to get settled at CWU and perform well. Extra time is recommended though, as it's no fun to play at State when you're tired! It's a magical day that you'll want to remember being at your best! Again, BISD does not provide supervision on this trip, so families must plan accordingly.
Percussion. In the happy event that we have a percussion ensemble competing at State, the Band Boosters will organize a UHual or use our Band Trailer to get the required equipment to and from Ellensburg. Have your student keep an ear out for announcements on when load up will happen before travel to Ellensburg.
Dress. Business wear. Most performers wear ties or blouses. Be comfortable, but look sharp. Tall heals are not recommended.
Parking. There are plenty of paid parking lots at CWU with automated pay stations. There is also free street parking, but it will require a walk.
Rules. It is the responsibility of the STUDENT to fully understand the rules for State Solo & Ensemble. Please ensure that you carefully read through the entire rule document, which is posted here. Here are a couple important rules to highlight:
If an ensemble qualifies for State, ONLY the members who actually performed at Regionals are eligible to perform at State. If someone misses regionals, they cannot rejoin for State.
There are THREE judges for each category at State, and ALL THREE must be given an ORIGINAL copy of the performer's music. Additionally, all performers and accompanists are required to have original music on hand as well - although photocopies are typically allowed to facilitate page turns and ease of reading. In all, performers are required to aquire 4-5 ORIGINAL COPIES of their pieces in order to ensure copyright compliance. The ONLY exception to this prohibition is when the photocopy is accompanied by a letter from the composer / publisher giving the express permission to use a photocopy at State. The rules are very specific on this, so please review the rule document closely.
The time slots at State are RIGID. If you are still performing with 30 seconds left in your time slot, you WILL be cut off. Please practice the entire sequence of [walking in, tuning, getting introduced, giving your performance, bowing, and getting your certificate] to ensure you can finish within your performance time allotment. Again, the rules are very clear in the rule document - please review it carefully.
Helpful tips on doing your best at State. Mr Thomas has created a simple page to help everyone prepare for the big day. It can be found here.
April Information on State for Families
The big weekend draws near! These links will be updated gradually as they become active each year. Mr Thomas will send them out via Classroom and Remind, too.
Tips for performing your best at State.
State basics overview.
WMEA event folder (includes)
State contest info doc (READ)
Fill out your Performance Information form prior to warming up
Review the 10 minute performance timeline
Merchandise pre-order forms
Full schedule with all divisions and all schools
Official rules document
Mr Thomas' unofficial BiHS specific schedule for State.
Sheet music & comment sheets. Please stick around and collect your music and comment sheets in the Music Building rotunda before 6pm while on campus.
Awards. Because Nicholson Pavilion is *still* under construction, there will no big awards ceremony this year. WMEA will post results each day at the conclusion of AM and PM categories. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies and medals will be available at that time. They hope to do that by about 1:15 PM for AM categories and 6:15 for PM categories. Mr Thomas will stick around and attempt collect anything left behind for us.