I am planning to audition for the Texas All-State this fall and have some questions regarding the process and level:
1. How hard is it to make it into All-State Orchestra? I've been playing for almost 10 years and my current repertoire include the Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4, Bach Partita No. 3, Wienaiwski Polonaise Brilliante.
2. How does All-State work? Is it in two rounds (regional & area)?
3. Do I only have to submit the two études/ caprices?
No specific experience in Texas, just going by what I have heard, and what I know about our state (VA).
Hi, thirty-five year violin teacher in Texas here.
Virginia has a much smaller population than Texas (30%) but there is only one all-Virginia orchestra, whereas Texas has three. Virginia also has two all-state bands and two all-state choirs. My daughter (a cellist) has participated twice.
Anyone curious or skeptical about the All-State level in Texas can search on YouTube for TMEA All-State. Symphony is the top orchestra and Philharmonic is the 2nd. The third orchestra [Sinfonietta] used to be the String orchestra and is now a third full orchestra.
I think Paul was wondering, and I most certainly am wondering, how Texas is managing to produce so many good string players.
While looking for the Texas All State performances, came across this, which might help OP with his prep:
For those who wonder how it is that a state like Texas can be such a source of excellent string players:
Texas has a very large population -- around 30 million -- versus Virginia's sub-9 million. So triple the population, plus numerous large cities, each of which has at least one major longstanding professional symphony orchestra. (And several decent conservatories as part of the state university system, programs like Baylor's, plus Rice at the high end, all of whom employ good faculty, many of whom also teach precollege kids) So it's logical that there would be plenty of well-trained kids.
Sue wrote: While looking for the Texas All State performances, came across this, which might help OP with his prep:
The Virginia site seemed to indicate there were approximately 175 violin applicants for 44 positions as of a few years ago. That is opposed to 450 applicants for 120 spots in Texas.
112 spots in Texas. The third orchestra has smaller violin sections. I have had students who made the second violin section in the third orchestra who would have been at least in the middle of the firsts in many other states. I realize it can be hard to believe for those who may think of Texas as a cultural backwater, but the level of the best players here is extremely high and there are a lot of them. Texas is a big state.
Mark, even if Virginia could potentially hold its own in the strings at the highest level, I bet the level of the winds and brass is higher in Texas. Seemed like half the junior wind and brass groups at the Fischoff were from Texas.
I did not mean to derail the thread. I would agree that Texas all state is difficult to get into. (I also think certain other states are difficult as well. Texas may be more difficult.)
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