District Large Ensemble Assessment – 2023-24

Committees from the Vocal and Instrumental Divisions have completed a “redesign” of the large ensemble assessment information and procedures to address members’ concerns in both stage performance and sight-reading. The following changes have been approved and will go into effect this year.

New Materials for All EnsemblesAdopted for 2023-24 Assessments


Classification and Performance Requirements

Louisiana PML – Band
Texas UIL PML – Orchestra and Strings

Sight-Reading Information

Adjudication Forms & Rubrics


Classification and Performance Requirements

Louisiana PML

Sight-Reading Criteria & Examples

Sight-Reading Procedures

Adjudication Forms & Rubrics


Copyright Permissions for Performance
Important information related to copyright laws has been compiled and prepared jointly by NFHS and NAfME.

General Information for ALL Ensembles

The Large Ensemble Festival is planned to serve the students of teachers who are members in good standing of NAfME/LMEA. Teachers who are non-members may enter their students in the large ensemble assessment upon payment of a non-member fee, along with the regular student entry fee. An entry may participate in only one LMEA District Large Ensemble Assessment  for a rating.


  • Large Ensemble – Band, Choir, or Orchestra with no minimum number
  • Training Groups (2nd Groups) – a group whose membership is comprised of students who have not attained a level of musical maturity to warrant membership in the top or first performing group in the same classification (examples: Mixed Choir and Mixed Choir – Training; Men’s Choir and Men’s Choir – Training; Treble Choir and Treble Choir – Training). Students may not perform in both training groups and top performing groups. (see exceptions below)
  • Wind Ensemble – one player per part. Instrumentation must be attached to the registration form. (Exception: 1st flute, Bb Clarinet, 1st trumpet, and tuba where there may be two players per part.

Student Eligibility

  • Only students within the participating school, unless certified as a parish group or combined group taught by the same teacher, may participate in the large ensemble assessment.
  • A high school student may not participate in a junior high (middle school) or elementary ensemble, nor may a junior high (middle school) student participate with an elementary ensemble. Exception: Combined schools
  • An elementary student may participate with a middle school or high school group, but will not be eligible to also perform with their own elementary group.
  • A middle school student may participate with a high school group, but will not be eligible to perform with their own middle school group.
  • A band or orchestra member of the first concert ensemble may participate in the second ensemble or training group of the same type provided he/she plays a different instrument. 


  • Choirs – Accompanists are not required to be a member of the participating school.
  • Choral Sight Reading – A competent accompanist will be provided for the choral sight reading event. (A minimum honorarium of $75.00 per day (district festival) will be paid by LMEA.)
  • Bands and Orchestras – accompanist must be a student from the participating school. (Exception: elementary/middle strings) 
  • Band directors may petition the Band Division Chairman for inclusion of a non-student pianist in circumstances when piano/keyboard is specifically written for and no qualified student pianist is available. This exception shall not apply to pieces where the piano is the featured/solo instrument (piano concerto, sonata, etc.).

Student Teacher

  • An assessment performance may be conducted by a student teacher in part or whole.

Student Conductor

  • The student conductor event is limited to one student conductor per large ensemble. This event is conducted in the sight reading room after the group has completed sight reading.
  • An original score of the selection must be given to the sight reading judge.
  • Student Conductor Adjudication Form

Entry Form

  • All entry forms for the Large Ensemble Assessment must be certified by the signature of the school principal.
  • Parish groups must be certified by the signature of the parish superintendent or his representative.
  • Large Ensemble entry forms are posted on this website.
  • In order to participate in the assessment, these entry forms must be completed and returned to the event chairman with a postmarked no later than thirty (30) days prior to the opening of the event.
  • Each large ensemble entry must be on a separate entry form with fee(s) attached.

Participation Fees

  • Check current assessment entry forms for the current fee(s).  Each district will set the recording fee. A school check or money order is accepted as payment.
  • Included with the large ensemble entry form must be a photocopy of the teacher’s or director’s NAfME/LMEA membership card.


  • Directors of large ensembles must provide three original scores of each selection for the adjudicators. These scores must have each measure numbered.
  • Duplicated scores will be accepted only if accompanied by written permission from the copyright owner. Directors with illegal material will not be allowed to participate.
  • Directors with no scores will not be allowed to perform for a rating.


  • There will be three (3) performance judges and one (1) sight-reading judge for all district assessments.
  • For all BAND assessments, two of the three performance judges must be selected from the recommended list of LMAA approved judges. The selection of the sight-reading judge is at the discretion of the district director.

Audio Recordings

  • Recorders for adjudicators’ comments, including sight reading, are required at all LMEA Large Ensemble Assessments. These recorders will be furnished by LMEA.

Sight Reading Room Information

  • Sight reading events will be closed events. Spectators not directly connected with the performing group are not permitted in the sight-reading area.
  • If an accompanist is provided for district or state festival, ALL CHOIRS must utilize said accompanist.
  • All like groups will sight read in the same room.


The following awards will be given by LMEA at the large ensemble assessment:

  • A group that performs in the concert event but does not receive a rating is not eligible for a rating in sight-reading
  • A plaque to each group rating I (superior) in concert and a lower rating in sight reading.
  • A plaque to each group rating I (superior) in sight reading and a lower rating in concert.
  • A sweepstakes trophy in lieu of a plaque to each group rating I in both concert and sight reading.
  • A blue medal to each Student Conductor rating I (superior).
  • Engraving of the metal plate on each Plaque or Trophy will be the responsibility of the recipient.
  • To order medals for individual ensemble members of bands, choirs, orchestras, and wind ensembles rating I in concert, sight reading or sweepstakes:
    • Directors may be purchase them directly from LMEA by submitting the LMEA Medal Order Form.
    • Each order must be certified by the appropriate festival chairman.
    • For further information contact:  Scotty Walker, Executive Director at swalker@lmeamusic.org


  • If an individual, organization or director violates any of the above rules and regulations, except for penalties for individual events already stated elsewhere, the entry will be disqualified from the event in which the violation occurred.