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TMEA music events and meetings scheduled from March 16th through 29th are to be suspended.
Decisions on the impact of COVID-19 on all future TMEA events and competitions will be communicated as they become available.

The online entry link is at the bottom of this page.


The concept of the Honor Band originated during the term of Joe Frank, Sr., who served as Band Division Chair from 1958 to 1960. The purpose was twofold. Many educators believed that through the process of hearing and observing the results of quality teaching, directors could develop their own instructional skills to a higher level. In addition, selection of an honor band in each classification recognized communities and school systems that successfully supported music in education through their instrumental music programs.

Through the years, participation has been active and the recognition of exemplary programs through the Honor Band selection process has become a most sought after goal by many directors. As a result, the quality of honor groups has remained high and the original purpose of growth and development through observation of superior teaching and performance has been addressed annually and maintains its validity. Teachers throughout the state have definitely had the opportunity to learn from master teachers by attending honor band performances and clinics.

In 1958 a set of rules and regulations was developed for the selection of Honor Bands. While these guidelines have been refined on several occasions, the original policies to protect the integrity of the competition have remained intact. Ultimately, however, it is the responsibility of the participating director and administration to maintain the integrity of the Honor Band process. In order for the selection system to accomplish its purpose, all involved must honestly adhere to established procedures and share responsibility for maintaining high ethical standards. In the final analysis, preparation and participation must be consistent with worthwhile educational goals without exploitation of students or the system.

The many outstanding bands that have followed established procedures through the years and emerged as TMEA Honor Bands are evidence of the strength of the concept and regulations. It is the responsibility of all music educators who participate in the honor band selection process to model their preparation and participation after these exemplary programs.


The responsibility for the Honor Band Competition lies solely within the domain of the Band Division Chair. For the sake of clarity, these guidelines are arranged by Region Level, Area Level, All Classes, State Level, Ranking Procedures for Area and State Levels, and Honor Band Payment Procedures.

(Revised 1/29/2016)



1. Each Region is responsible for the selection of its TWO (2) Honor Band representatives from each classification being considered each year.

2. In the event there is a tie for first place and a third band has received a majority second place or better votes, three bands will advance.

3. Selection procedures and finances shall be determined by the Region Band Chair and that Region's membership, with adherence given to the rules, procedures, and guidelines within this document.

4. All Honor Band Contests at all levels shall use five adjudicators.

  • No Region may use a judge for Region Honor Band Competition who lives or teaches within its Region.
  • A Region may use a maximum of two judges outside their area that have a recording entered in the same classification. Those two judges cannot be from the same area.
  • The honorarium paid to judges shall be equal to the amount paid to UIL Concert Contest judges.
  • A Region may determine the number of panels to be used for the respective sessions.

5. A school that will have a different director of bands for the next year may not have a recording auditioned at the Region, Area, or State level. A band director who submits a recording in the competition at any level but accepts a new position at a different school must immediately notify submit a certified letter or a hand delivered letter informing the State Band Chair of this change as soon as the change is made. Failure to follow this procedure may result in a penalty to be determined by the TMEA Executive Board.

6. Bands entering the Honor Band process will enter and perform in the class UIL has designated for that school prior to March 1 of the year of entry. Classification changes for the performance year will have no effect on the Honor Band process.

7. A band cannot succeed itself as an Honor Band This will include an Honor Band which changes classification.

Performance rotation schedule:

  • Even Year Convention Performance - Classes 2C, 3C, 3A, 5A
  • Odd Year Convention Performance - Classes 1C, 1A/2A (combined), 4A, 6A

8. Recordings submitted must contain performances from the current school year.

9. No voice identification should appear on the recording.

10. Each group that enters the selection process must have a TMEA Honor Band Entry Form I on file with the Region Chair by submission online no later than March 1 - Online Entry Deadline. Failure to file by March 1 renders any organization ineligible to enter the selection process.

  • Each group may have a maximum of four performances scheduled for recordings.
  • Three of these performances may be non-competitive. (Competitive events are adjudicated festivals in which more than one school is represented, and a rating and/or ranking is assigned, and/or critique or comments are given.)
  • The fourth performance must come from the UIL Concert Contest. A recording may not be submitted from any performance other than the four which are on file by March 1.





Feb 15

Winter Concert (or competitive event)


April 10

Spring Concert (or competitive event)


May 13

Other Concert (or competitive event)


March 20

UIL Concert Contest only


  • Date and site for UIL Contest must be listed on online entry form.
  • One date may be substituted provided that the Region Band Chair is notified PRIOR to the originally scheduled date and time with the newly scheduled date and time (except in the case of an emergency cancellation during a performance. Refer to #12h.

11. Three selections will be submitted, one march and two selections of other types.

12. Each selection submitted must be a continuous performance that was recorded at a concert, festival, or contest. All movements submitted of a multi-movement work must be from a continuous performance and performed in the order of the printed score.

13. Five scores of each selection WITH SCHOOL IDENTIFICATION MARKED OUT must be submitted with the recording. Submitting Permanently Out of Print scores or rental scores must follow publisher and copyright policies. 

14. When entering a recording:

  • A Principal's Certification (online - complete, print and sign) must accompany each entry. The school principal verifies the details and circumstances of the recording and in behalf of his school accepts responsibility for any irregularities or unethical practices.
  • In classes 1C, 2C, 3C middle school and 1A/2A, a Letter from the Superintendent must accompany the recording stating whether or not the band will perform at the TMEA Convention the following year if it is selected. Director and principal should note the limited flexibility of performance schedules during the convention prior to entering their recording. Each organization must be prepared to perform at the time scheduled by the Band Division Chair.
  • A Director's Statement of Responsibility (online - complete, print and sign) must accompany each entry.
  • A Director's Clinician Report (online - complete, print and sign) must accompany each entry.
  • Once CD's are made, complete online entry by submitting titles (with movements) and composers in the order the selections appear on the CD's.

15. Some examples of unethical and unacceptable practices:

  • Private recording sessions.
  • Recording in a recording studio or under studio conditions (i.e. use of microphones for individuals or small groups).
  • Multiple recording (recording the same selection or a part thereof more than once in a given concert).
  • Splicing within a single composition
  • Any engineering, editing, or tampering in any way with the recording after the performance. After the initial recording compression of the recording in any fashion is not allowed. Note: The only allowable technical alteration to a recording is adjustment of master volume.
  • Impromptu scheduling of performances for selected students or classes during the school day. Refer to 7.
  • Students not dressed uniformly in the formal concert attire designated by the director for the organization.
  • Rescheduling a concert date for reasons other than student illness, school scheduling conflict, defective recording equipment, inclement weather, or emergency cancellation during a performance. Refer to 7.
  • Any other practice which could be construed as being unprofessional, unethical, or in violation of the spirit of the competition.

These statements of unacceptable practices serve only as some possible violations of the SPIRIT and PURPOSE of the Honor Band competition. Verified occurrence of any unacceptable practices will serve as grounds for disqualification from auditions and/or Honor Band performance. Protests and charges of unethical procedures must be filed in writing with the State Band Chair.

16. All selections must be recorded and submitted in a CD format and must be edited to remove any introduction of the band performing or comments regarding the band.

17. A band entering Honor Band competition will submit to the Region Band Chair three compact disc (CD) masters. The director and principal must have signed Forms G and H the printable Honor Band Entry Form and checked these forms for accuracy certifying that the three recordings are a master and exact copies. The Region Band Chair will retain one recording and the other two will be placed into the Honor Band Selection Process. If a recording is lost or damaged during any step of the selection process, the Region Band Chair will make available the back-up copy.


1. All recordings are to be postmarked by determined date(s). Recordings, statement, scores, etc. postmarked after this date will be returned to the sender. Recordings and information are to be mailed to the appropriate Area Chair by the date published in the Southwestern Musician and on the online entry pages.

2. Once a recording is entered into the competition, no substitution of a recording shall be allowed unless specifically requested by the State Band Chair. 


1. Each Region nominee advancing to the Area Honor Band auditions will pay an Area Honor Band Entry Fee of $350.00 to underwrite expenses for the Area Listening Center.  Checks must be made payable to “TMEA Band Division (P.O. Box 14065, Austin, TX, 78714). Checks must be mailed or hand delivered to the appropriate Area Chair along with other materials for adjudication. a MINIMUM DEPOSIT of $350.00 (check to be made payable to "TMEA-Band Division" PO Box 140465, Austin, TX 78714 - Hand deliver the check to the Area Chair) which will underwrite the expenses of the competition. Should there be a deficit, the balance will be pro-rated and collected from the participating schools. Failure to send a check for the deposit with the recordings will result in disqualification for that band. All checks are to be mailed to the appropriate Area Chair along with other materials for adjudication.



1. All financial business for the AREA Level Contest including but not limited to payments to judges, Area Chairs, hosts, and recording operators, etc. will be managed by TMEA State Headquarters. Area Chairs should refer to the Best Practices and Guidelines for Area Honor Band document for contest stipends and expense report completion.  Expense reports must must be filed with the TMEA office in a timely manner.

2. Each Region may submit two entries per class to the Area Audition Chair. In the event there is a tie for first place and a third band has received a majority second place or better votes, three bands will advance. Note: Class 1A/2A A and AA may submit three entries provided a minimum of four organizations participated at the Region level.

3. Region recordings sent to the Area Auditions Chair must be postmarked no later than the date published in the Southwestern Musician.

4. The Honor Band Competition shall use the same alignment map as the TMEA/UIL Region and Area competitions. Class 1A/2A A and AA will use the UIL small school alignment

5. Area Hearings will take place at three Area Listening Centers.  Each panel will judge the same classification for all Areas at that Listening Center.  These Listening Centers will be located in the following general locations with specific sites to be determined by the State Chair and published in Southwestern Musician:

  • Areas A, B, and C – Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Areas D and F – North Houston (by Bush Airport)
  • Areas E and G – San Antonio

6. The state Band Chair will insure that all Area Listening Centers will have uniform playback equipment. Equipment will be supplied by the State Chair or his/her designee.


Area A, B, C: Chair - Chris Cansler; Site - Keller Central HS, Keller

4A/6A Judging Panel: John Benzer, Jim Drew, Dana Pradervand, *Gloria Rameriz, Peter Warshaw

1C/1A-2A Judging Panel: Brian Casey, Cheryl Floyd, Robert Herrings, Susan Meyer-Patterson, George Trevino 

Area D, F: June 23-24; Chair - Todd Clearwater; Site - Spring High School

4A/6A judging panel: Levi Chavis, Barbara Lambrecht, Scott Taylor, Albert Lo, Larry Matysiak

1C/1A-2A judging panel: Cindy Bulloch, Rey Meza, David Puckett, Paul Flinchbaugh, James Smith 

Area E, G: Chair - Walt Sparkman;  Site: Canyon HS, New Braunfels

4A/6A judging panel: *Ryan Agard, Rich Armstrong, Rodney Klett, Joey Paul, Danny Prado

1C/1A-2A judging panel: Jim Cude, Benjamin Katz, Cindy Lansford, Susan Scarborough, Elmer Schenk

*Subject to advancement in the process
Updated: 4/28/2016


1. Each AREA may submit two recordings per class to State Auditions. In the event there is a tie for first place and a third band has received a majority second place or better votes, three bands will advance. Note: Class A and AA may submit three entries provided a minimum of four organizations participated at the area level.

2. A current Region Band Chair in each Area will be appointed Area Listening Center Chair by the Band Division Chair. In the event that all the Region Band Chairs in an Area have entered the Honor Band process, the State Band Chair shall select the Area Chair at the State Chair's discretion.

3. Directors or Assistant Directors of participating bands at the Area Level Recording Competition will not function as an organizer, a facilitator or a recording playback technician. They will not hire the judges or tabulate results.

4. At the AREA level, two panels of five adjudicators will be established. One panel will be assigned the 6A and 4A or 5A and 3A classifications 5A, or 2A and 4A classes, and the other panel will be assigned the 1C and 1A/2A or 2C and 3C 3A, 1A and 1C or 2C and 3C classes. Every effort should be made to pick panels appropriate for each classification being adjudicated.


1. All Honor Band Contests at all levels shall use five adjudicators. Adjudicators at every level of the Honor Band Competition must be current TMEA members.

2. The State Band Chair will form a committee to help select the Area Listening Center judging panels.  The selection of these judges will take place prior to the March 1 entry deadline between September and November.  The committee will adhere to the following when hiring each judging panel:

  • The judges must reside outside the AREA they are asked to judge.
  • The five (5) judge panel shall have no more than two (2) judges come from any single Region or any single Area. Judging panels should represent at least 4 separate areas.
  • No one may judge at the Area Level if he/she has held or participated in a clinic with a participating band. Entering bands must notify the Area Chair of anyone who served as a clinician, rehearsed, or conducted the band by means of the Director’s Clinician Report form. by means of the online forms the Area Chair of anyone who had held a clinic, rehearsed or conducted the band.
  • No one may judge the classification at the Area or State level if he or she has a recording entered in that classification that has not been eliminated at the Region or Area level.

3. At the Area level the honorarium paid to judges shall be $275 $300 plus expenses. An amount equivalent to a judge's honorarium will be paid to the Area Chair. Hosts and recording operators will receive a $150 stipend per day plus expenses.


1. Area recordings sent to the State Band Chair must be postmarked no later than the date published in the Southwestern Musician.

2. All recordings must be hand-delivered or sent by CERTIFIED EXPRESS MAIL. It would be wise to insure SECOND DAY DELIVERY is recommended. The address will be determined each year.



1. For the State Honor Band audition, a panel of five (5) judges will be selected for each classification. They will represent as wide a geographical area as possible and will be selected by the Band Division Chair from the ranks of currently active or retired Texasmusic educators. The Band Division Chair will be autonomous in his selection of these judges. (An Honorarium, is not offered at the State level.)

2. Recording will be identified by a letter code rather than by the name of the school. Each panel will hear the recordings and rank all bands. The first listening will be open to the general public. This session will normally be scheduled on the first day of the Texas Bandmasters Association Convention.

3. At the end of the adjudication period, a verification period will begin. At that time, all competing directors should report to the TMEA Band Division Office to review and verify the results from that classification.

4. Rankings for all State-Level Honor Bands will be posted at the TMEA Registration booth at TBA and included in the TMEA Honor Band online archives.




1. The Chair shall compile all judges' rankings. The TMEA Honor Band Tabulation program shall be used to calculate the results.

2. Individual judges' rankings will be available to all directors involved in the competition, but not made available to the general public. The judges' rankings will be provided from low to high so as to maintain the anonymity of the individual judges. The results will be posted as final after the verification period has concluded.

3. In the use of a five (5) judge panel, the Olympic scoring system will be used. Each band's high and the low score will be dropped. The band with the lowest composite score of the remaining three (3) scores will have the highest ranking except if a majority of the remaining three (3) judges have a band as first. In this event, that band shall be declared as first. If a majority of the remaining three (3) judges have a band ranked as second or better, that band shall be declared as second. The two-way tie this action creates between the “declared second band” and the “originally scored second band” will be resolved by a second hearing of those two bands. All other bands will be ranked according to the remaining three (3) judges composite scores. This paragraph super-cedes the possible situations described in Section A below:

  • In the case of a tie, the majority of ALL judges selecting one band over the other will decide the winner. For example, if two bands are tied by virtue of each receiving identical sum ranks as in this sample:


Judge A

Judge B

Judge C

Judge D

Judge E


First Band







Second Band







  • It should be noted that Judge A ranked the first band above the second; Judge B ranked the first band above the second; Judge C ranked the second band above the first; Judge D ranked the first band above the second; and Judge E ranked the second band above the first. This results in:


Judge A

Judge B

Judge C

Judge D

Judge E

First Band






Second Band






... with the winner of the "Judges' Preference" (First Band) being placed above the other band at the point of the tie in the overall ranking.

  • Two-way ties will be broken by using the judges' preference with the following exception: A second hearing of any band's recording will occur if advancement to the next level or performance at the TMEA Convention is impacted.
  • Three-way or more ties involving advancement to the next level or performance at the TMEA Convention shall be broken by a re-hearing of all tied recordings continuing traditional scoring methods. Ties that remain after the single re-hearing will be broken using traditional TMEA audition tie-breaking procedures.




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