Large Ensemble Vocal Assessment – Classification and Performance Requirements

Beginning 2023-24, the requirements and guidelines for Large Ensemble Assessments – classification, performance, and sight reading – have been updated:

  • To reflect the current situations of schools and music programs across the state.
  • To create a more equitable and inclusive assessment.
  • To eliminate school size as a factor in determining classification and performance requirements.

The following charts provide the classification descriptions and minimum requirements for both the stage performance and sight reading performance for all levels of participation.

As long as the ensemble meets the minimum requirements explained below, the director can choose to perform their required music selection from a higher grade and/or choose to sight read at a higher level without changing its classification.

All choirs, except Elementary, will be categorized according to the voicing in their ensemble:

  • Mixed (SB, SAB, SATB, etc.)
  • Treble (SA, SSA, 2pt, etc.)
  • Tenor-Bass (TB, TTB, etc.)

Voicing is to be selected by the teacher according to the range and voice quality of their choir.


The following charts provide MINIMUM performance and sight-reading requirements. Any choir may choose to perform or sight-read up one or more levels.

LMEA PML (Prescribed Music List) 2023-24

Sight-Reading

All directors should review the following information carefully before the assessment.

Procedure for all ensembles – clarified (not changed) 5/18/24

Sight-Reading Room Scripts for all ensembles clarified (not changed) 5/18/24

Elementary School Ensembles

The level of classification for Elementary School Ensembles will be determined by the grades represented by the majority (51%) of the students in the ensemble.

Elementary School Ensembles
(3rd – 6th Grade)
Classification Description Minimum State Level Requirement Minimum Sight Reading Level Requirement
Elementary Level .5 Majority of the students in the ensemble are 3rd/4th graders 3 selections from any source Elem. Level .5
rhythm only
SR optional*
Elementary Level 1 Majority of the students in the ensemble are 4th/5th graders 3 selections from any source. Elem. Level 1
rhythm only
Elementary Level 2 Majority of the students in the ensemble are 6th graders 3 selections from any source. 1 selection must include 2nd parts, descant, or partner song in at least one section Elem. Level 2
Unison
*To qualify for a Sweepstakes trophy, the ensemble must sight read.

 

Middle School Ensembles

The level of classification for Middle School Ensembles will be determined by the years of instruction of the majority (51%) of the students in the ensemble.

Middle School Ensembles
(4th – 8th Grade)
Classification Description Minimum State Level Requirement Minimum Sight Reading Level Requirement
Middle School Level 1 Majority of the students in the ensemble are in their 1st year of instruction** 1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 1 list;
2 selections from any source
MS Level 1
2-part Treble*, TB
Middle School Level 2 Majority of the students in the ensemble are in their 2nd year of instruction** 1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 1 list;
2 selections from any source
MS Level 2
2-part Treble*, TB,3-part Mixed*
Middle School Level 3 Majority of the students in the ensemble are in their 3rd year of instruction** 1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 2 list;
2 selections from any source
MS Level 3
2-part Treble*, TB,3-part Mixed*, SATB
*Directors reserve the right to choose where changing voices sing.
**Instruction can be defined as a Large Ensemble Assessment experience.

Sight Reading Voicings listed in red are available upon request and are not included in the standard LA Sight Reading Materials.  Please contact your District Director upon registration to request this voicing be included in your district’s materials.  See Sight Reading Criteria Chart for criteria at all levels.

Combined Schools

Combined schools can include students in 4th-12th grades. This classification addresses situations in which one director teaches at multiple schools. In that case, the director may choose to combine those ensembles and participate as one ensemble at assessment.

Multiple Ensembles at the Same School: If a participating school(s) has multiple ensembles with the same majority of students and the same level of instruction, each ensemble’s classification label must include its category (Mixed, Treble, or Tenor-Bass): “School Names/Voicing”

Example:  City HS-City MS/Mixed and  City HS-City MS/Treble

Participation in Multiple Ensembles: Members cannot participate in multiple ensembles from the same school unless the ensemble has a completely different voicing. 

Example:  A treble voice may sing in a Mixed Ensemble and in a Treble Ensemble, however, a treble voice may not sing in a Mixed Ensemble 1st Group and a Mixed Ensemble 2nd Group.

Exception: Select Groups. Only members of a High School select group chosen from a school’s top group can participate in both groups. The select group must perform on stage and sight-read up one level from the top group. The maximum number of members in the select group is 50% of the top group. Members of the top group cannot sing with a school’s second group of the same voicing.

Middle/High School Combined** Ensembles
(4th – 12th Grade)
Classification Description Minimum State Level Requirement Minimum Sight Reading Level Requirement
Middle School Combined** Majority of students in the ensemble are in 4th-8th grades 1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 1 list;
2 selections from any source
MS Level 1
2-part Treble*, TB
High School Combined** Majority of students in the ensemble are 9th-12th grades
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 2 list;
2 selections from any source
HS Level 1
2-part Treble, TB, SB, SAB, SSA
Middle/High School Combined** For programs that combine 2 ensembles consisting of MS/HS grades.
Majority MS or HS affects SR Level
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 2 list;
2 selections from any source
MS Level 2
2-part Treble*, TB, 3-part Mixed, or
HS Level 1 2-part Treble,
TB, SB, SAB, or SSA
*Directors reserve the right to choose where changing voices sing.
**Two (2) or more ensembles from different schools, but directed by the same teacher.

Sight Reading Voicings listed in red are available upon request and are not included in the standard LA Sight Reading Materials.  Please contact your District Director upon registration to request this voicing be included in your district’s materials. See Sight Reading Criteria Chart for criteria at all levels.

High School Ensembles

High School ensembles should consist of students in 9th-12th grades.  The level of classification will be determined by the number of participating ensembles from that particular school.

Each ensemble’s classification should be categorized according to its voicing (Mixed, Treble, or Tenor-Bass). This sets the classification label(s) for that voicing.

Multiple Ensembles at the Same School: If a high school has multiple ensembles of the same voicing participating, each ensemble’s classification will then be labeled to include the voicing category (Mixed, Treble, Tenor-Bass): “School Name/Voicing/1st (or 2nd) Group”

Example: City High School – Mixed 1st Group, City High School – Mixed 2nd Group

Participation in Multiple Ensembles: Members cannot participate in multiple ensembles from the same school unless the ensemble has a completely different voicing. 

Example:  A treble voice may sing in a Mixed Ensemble and in a Treble Ensemble, however, a treble voice may not sing in a Mixed Ensemble 1st Group and a Mixed Ensemble 2nd Group.

Exception: Select Groups. Only members of a High School select group chosen from a school’s top group can participate in both groups. The select group must perform on stage and sight-read up one level from the top group. The maximum number of members in the select group is 50% of the top group. Members of the top group cannot sing with a school’s second group of the same voicing.

The stage performance and sight reading requirements increase with each added ensemble. See chart below for examples:

High School: 1 Participating Ensembles
  Single Ensemble
   
Minimum Stage Requirement
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 2 list;
2 selections from any source
   
Minimum Sight Reading Requirement
HS Level 2
SA, TB, TTB, TBB, SSA, SAB, SATB
   
High School: 2 Participating Ensembles
  1st Group
2nd Group  
Minimum Stage Requirement
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 3 list;
2 selections from any source
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 2 list;
2 selections from any source
 
Minimum Sight Reading Requirement
HS Level 3
SA, TB, SSA, TTB, TBB, SAB, SATB
HS Level 2
SA, TB, TTB, TBB, SSA, SAB, SATB
 
High School: 3 Participating Ensembles
  1st Group
2nd Group 3rd Group
Minimum Stage Requirement
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 4 list;
2 selections from any source
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 3 list;
2 selections from any source
1 selection from the Louisiana PML Level 2 list;
2 selections from any source 
Minimum Sight Reading Requirement
HS Level 4
SAB, SSA, SATB, SSAA, or more
HS Level 3
SA, TB, SSA, TTB, TBB, SAB, SATB
HS Level 2
SA, TB, TTB, TBB, SSA, SAB, SATB

 

Sight Reading Voicings listed in red are available upon request and are not included in the standard LA Sight Reading Materials.  Please contact your District Director upon registration to request this voicing be included in your district’s materials.  See Sight Reading Criteria Chart for criteria at all levels including HS Level 5 and 6.

Extenuating Circumstance Class

Extenuating or unusual circumstances many times prevent groups from participating in the normal District Assessment Classification.  A director who feels that extenuating circumstances warrant an opportunity to participate in the assessment with lessened performance and sight reading requirements may apply for this classification. Ensembles placed in this class are allowed to perform and/or sight read one level lower than their originally required minimum. 

Reasons for Extenuating Circumstance consideration are, but are not limited to:

  • New, reestablished, and/or developing programs
  • Majority High School Beginners
  • Disaster/Emergency situations (Old Class E)
  • Limited or unusual class time restrictions
  • Youth, All-City, All-Parish Groups – groups with more than one director (Old Class H and I)

The process to apply and be accepted into the Extenuating Circumstance Class will be as follows:

  1. The Ensemble Director must complete the Extenuating Circumstance Application. (Google form; for deadline, contact your District Director)
  2. The application includes all of the information and explanations needed for the selected panel to consider.
  3. A panel consisting of the District Director, Division Chair, and 1 other District Director in that specific division will review the applications and determine if the situation warrants granting the classification.

Once an ensemble is approved for the extenuating circumstance class, the director will choose to have published ratings or comments only.  Awards are given with published ratings only.

Sight-Reading Room Script for all choirs, all levels.

All directors should review these scripts before the assessment.