Band Sight Reading Requirements


  • Sight-reading is required for all bands and wind ensembles in classes AAAA, AAA, AA, A, B, D, F, and all groups with a 7, 8, or 9 preceding their classification.
  • Sight-reading is optional for all other groups. Ensembles that opt for Comments Only on stage will be required to sight-read for Comments Only. They will have the option to sight-read one level below the required selection, if one exists. This includes class G with 100% beginners.
  • A group that performs in the concert event but does not receive a rating is not eligible for a rating in sight-reading.

Sight-Reading Levels

The sight-reading levels assigned to each ensemble at District Assessments are listed in the chart below. With the exception of grades 4-7, all levels are U.I.L. Sight-Reading Levels. At State/Regional Assessments, each ensemble will sight-read one level higher than at district.

Note: Sight-reading levels are not the same as the levels of the required selection.

    Classification    U.I.L. Sight-Reading Level
    Grades 4-7    Piece easier than UIL Level I
    8A, 8B, 8C
   Level I
    9A, 9B, 9C, B     Level II
    A    Level III
    AA    Level IV
    AAA, AAAA    Level V
    AAA, AAAA Wind Ensemble    Level VI
    2nd Groups (Training Groups)    Two levels below first group
    3rd Groups    One level below second group
    Wind Ensembles
   One level higher than first group
    Class D, F, and G    See information under classification


The sight-reading music and the assignments for all classifications will be selected by the Division Chairperson and sent to the respective assessment chairperson.

Additional Information

  • Sight-reading events will be closed events. Spectators not directly connected with the performing group are not permitted in the sight-reading area.
  • All like groups will sight-read in the same room.
  • See LMEA Handbook for additional information.

Sight-Reading Criteria for Band – All Classifications

Sight-Reading Information about COVID added levels (.5 and .25)

Level: .5 (will use the UIL .5 piece)
  • Range  = 5-6 notes
  • Time Signature  = 4/4 or 2/4
  • Keys = Bb or Eb
  • No Key Change
  • Rhythms = nothing faster than eighth notes in both winds and perc.
  • No dotted quarters
  • Length = no longer than 2.5 minutes.
  • Percussion parts = Snare, Bass, Crash Cymbals, Bells
Level:  .25
  • Range  = 5-6 notes
  • Time Signature  = 4/4 or 2/4
  • Keys = Bb or Eb
  • No Key Change
  • Rhythms = nothing faster than quarter notes in winds and eighth notes in percussion
  • No dotted quarters
  • Length = no longer than 2 minutes
  • Percussion parts = Snare, Bass, Crash Cymbals, Bells

Sight-Reading Procedure:  8 Minute Examination Time

Eight minutes will be allowed for the examination and discussion of the music.

Neither the director nor the students may look at the music until directed to do so by the adjudicator.

The director may utilize the allowed time as he/she sees fit.

Students may ask the director questions and the director may call attention to key and meter changes, difficult rhythms, repeat signs, etc.

Directors may sing phrases to illustrate how they should be played, but no student may play his part during the discussion period or at any time prior to the beginning of the performance.

Sight-Reading Procedure:  Performance of Selection 

At the end of the eight-minute examination period, the judge will ask the director to conclude his/her remarks and to begin sight-reading.

The director is prohibited from giving any further verbal instructions during the sight-reading performance. Violations by the director and/or the students will result in lowering of the rating one division.

A one-minute warm-up, with sight-reading music face down, is allowed before or after the eight- minute discussion period. It must be an organized warm-up consisting of a chorale or scale and chord exercise, etc. It will not be any part of the sight-reading material.

Tympani may be tuned during the warm-up time or immediately prior to performance.

A verbal count-off is allowed to begin the performance.