Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association

The Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association has been serving the instrumental music teachers and students of our state for over 80 years. MSBOA represents over 1,200 public, parochial and private schools and over 1,600 instrumental music teachers in Michigan. MSBOA continues to follow the mission of its founders as they provide quality festival experiences for the students of their member schools and effective workshops, clinics and services for their member directors.

MSBOA All-State Band (Middle School and High School)

The MSBOA All-State program was established in the 2005 - 06 school year. FIve ensembles are selected from recorded auditions: a Middle School String Orchestra, a Middle School Band, a High School Full Orchestra, a High School Band, and a High School Jazz Band. Students must prepare an announced etude, a series of scales and sight-read during each 10 minute recorded audition. Each audition is submitted using only an identification number with no reference to the student or school. The auditions are evaluated by an adjudicator and placed in order. A required number of instruments is selected to fill each section. An average of over 2,000 students audition each year for the 400 seats in the five ensembles. In January, the students assemble for two and a half days of rehearsal with nationally recognized conductors. A concert is held on the Saturday of the Michigan Music Conference. View past honorees

Michigan Youth Arts Festival (High School)

The Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF) honors the most talented high school musicians in the state and is the culmination of a nine-month search for the finest artistic talent in Michigan high schools. More than 250,000 students across the state are involved in the audition process that results in nearly 1,000 being invited to participate in the annual three-day event held in May on the campus of Western Michigan University. Students who perform at Solo and Ensemble at the District and State level can earn an invitation to perform as an outstanding soloist, ensemble, or a member or a large ensemble. View past honorees

District 7 Middle School Honors Band (Middle School)

The District Middle School Honors Band is a weekend event held in January. Students are recommended by their directors and invited to play in the band. The group performs 4-5 selections on a concert with a Guest Conductor. There is a small entry fee for the weekend which includes a meal, music, t-shirt, instruction, and a CD of the performance. The roster is announced in November, music handed out in December. This is a great opportunity for all top middle school musicians from District 7 to rehearse and perform as one ensemble.

District and State Solo and Ensemble (Middle School and High School)

Solo & Ensemble Festival is an opportunity for individual middle and high school students from member schools to perform a selection of their choice for adjudication. Students may perform an accompanied solo or an ensemble (duet, trio, etc.). District-level festivals are held in December (MS) and January (HS). Scoring Each student or group of students is evaluated by one judge and rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest rating possible. High School students or groups that earn a rating of 1 (or "Superior") qualify for State Solo & Ensemble Festival which is held in March. The basic structure of State Solo & Ensemble Festival is the same as District, but the students are held to a higher standard. Soloists in grades 10 through 12 must perform Proficiency Exams which include scales and sight reading. Students and ensembles that are chosen for the MSBOA All-State Honors Band, and Michigan Youth Arts Festival, come from the highest rated events at the State Festival. Participating students that earn a rating of 1 or 2 at District or State Festivals are eligible to purchase medals.

Solo and Ensemble Registration Information

Other than private lessons, this activity promotes individual growth more than any other opportunity provided. Participation is voluntary, however once a student registers to participate, he/she is expected to follow through on the commitment. Music is loaned to or purchased by the student with the help of the director. There is a small entry fee. Registration must be completed by the first of November with the application deadline prior to Thanksgiving. MSBOA requires that a student must be registered and participate in a performance class daily in order to sign up or perform in Solo and Ensemble Festival. Solo and Ensemble Festival is the month of January or February, determined by the State MSBOA.

District and State Band Festival (Middle School and High School)

Band Festival is an opportunity for ensembles from member schools to perform a program of three pieces for adjudication, one of which must be from MSBOA's required list. District-level festivals are held at the end of February through the beginning of March. Each group is evaluated by three performance judges and one sight-reading judge.


Ensembles are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest rating possible. The overall score is computed using a formula which combines the ratings of each judge. Ensembles that earn an overall 1 rating (or "Superior") are qualified for State Band Festival which is held in late April or early May. The basic structure of State Band Festival is the same as District, but the ensembles are held to a higher standard. Participating ensembles that earn a rating of 1 or 2 at District or State Festivals receive a certificate and are eligible to purchase plaques for display at their school and medals for each student.

District 7 Marching Band Festival (High School)

MSBOA Marching Band Festivals are held at the District level only. There is not a State Marching Band Festival. At the Festival, Marching Bands are adjudicated by three judges one in each of the following captions: Music, Marching and General Effect Showmanship. A group may enter any classification the director chooses. A final rating is determined by a predominance of ratings. Each band has a 15 minute block of time to enter the field, perform their show and exit the field.

State Jazz Band Festival (High School)

The MSBOA State Jazz Festivals provide adjudication for traditional "Big Band" ensembles. The festival is unclassified. The "Big Bands" are adjudicated by a panel of three judges and a fourth judge works with the group for a 25 minute clinic session following the groups performance. The groups have free choice of music although it is recommended that one selection come from the Basic Music List.