All-County Selection Process


So, your student gets a 92 on their level 5 solo. They're a shoe-in for all-county, right?!

Well....depends. Here's how all-county selection works:


Following the Solo Festival, A MCSMA Selection Committee will select students for all-county band and orchestra. Selection committee does three things,

1) Rank solos in order, according to the "Solo Equivalency Chart",

2) Add points to rooms in which the judge scored significantly lower than another judge,


3) Split students evenly between Band and Orchestra, at the start of selection.

Solo Equivalency Chart

for Jr/Sr High School:


Click Here to download a .pdf version of this chart.

A few notes on this chart:

1) Several years ago, MCSMA's executive committee voted to change to these equivalency charts for a few reasons. One of the biggest reasons was we wanted to "reward excellence".

Please note that scores below 90 (at Levels V and VI) are not placed in All-County. The board felt strongly that students who performed a level IV, (as an example) and earned a perfect score of 28 should have a better chance of making all-county... as opposed to a student who did a level VI (as an example), who may have earned a 76 (out of 100). Ten years ago, the student with the 76 would have beaten the perfect 28!

2) While no equivalency chart can claim to be "perfect", this has worked very well for us over the years.

3) Some county music associations actually "limit" the level a particular age group can perform. We felt that this might be stifling, to student musicians who have the ability, and need the challenge of performing an upper level piece.

What does this mean to you and your students?

Earn an excellent grade at any NYSSMA level, and you will definitely be "in the running" for all-county. Performing a solo which may be too hard for you, may not help your chances...

* two changes from previous equivalency chart included:

1) Level 4-28 score was moved up two steps from previous equivalency chart. It now will make all-county after Level 5-93.

2) Steps 41 - 52 were added to make the chart complete. (It used to say "refer to elementary chart after step 40")



Here is the Solo Equivalency Chart for

Elementary Solo Festival:


Click Here to download a .pdf version of this chart.  


Room equalization may occur when like instruments (i.e. violins) auditioning for All-County, are adjudicated by more than one judge. Room equalization is one way in which MCSMA trys to make the All-County selection process as fair as possible. Although the MCSMA makes every effort to hire adjudicators who evaluate in a fair and consistent manner, significant discrepancies do from time to time, occur.

Before the All-County selection is done the scores of the rooms where like instruments auditioned are averaged. If any significant differences between rooms are found the solo festival coordinator uses the following procedure to determine if room equalization needs to be done:

1. Compare the scores in Level 3-4 and 5-6 separately. Some adjudicators have very different scoring patterns for the 100 point sheet as opposed to the 28 point sheet.

2. Check for rooms where a few unusual scores might affect the room average.

Example: Room 1: 20 Level 5-6 solos with scores of 85-100. Average = 92

Room 2: 18 Level 5-6 solos with scores of 85-100. Average = 92.
Also included are two solos scored as 77, dropping the average to 90.5. In that case throw out the two 77’s and call the rooms equal.

3. A three point differential must occur to warrant any degree of room eqaulization.
So, once again... while MCSMA doesn't claim to have the perfect "room equlization" schedule... we do acknowledge the fact that sometimes judges can be very different. If scores are dramatically different between rooms... we try to help the student by making a small adjustment.

Again, over the years this system has served us very well. Sometimes, we have done a room equalization, (which takes a few minutes!)... only to discover that seating (and/or selection) wasn't really effected at all!


Splitting students evenly between Orchestra and Band:

After selection committee has completed the above two tasks, we are now able to actually select students for the band and orchestra. Many times, teachers will examine the concert program of both groups, and suggest which group get the "first student". For example, if the Orchestra winds had a particularly challenging program, the first student from each wind category would go to the Orchestra. Then band would get the "second" student (2nd highest score), Orchestra the third, band the fourth, and so on, until all chairs are filled.

So, now back to our original question... "Finally, your student gets a 92 on their level 5 solo. They're a shoe-in for all-county, right?!"

depends on.... How many level VI's were performed at an exemplary level, if your student's room was equalized (If so... their "mcsma score" would actually be a bit higher than the 92 on their scoresheet), and most importantly (and obviously)... how the other students scored. Some years, a flute player receiving a 98 on a level VI solo won't be enough.... other years, that will make the band. It depends on a lot of factors....

What can you do to help?

Consider volunteering for a Selection Committee. The work takes approximately 2 hrs, and is VERY important in the process. Meet some colleagues from across the county, find out how much fun our organization can be, and perhaps get more involved in MCSMA in the future. This is a great place to start!














CSS input Button Hover