COVID-19 Updates

All in-person TMEA meetings and events are suspended for the remainder of the school year. For the latest updates, go to the COVID-19 Updates page. The information on the COVID-19 webpage supersedes any standard program information presented on this website.

The TMEA Executive Board based its decision to cancel the 2020–2021 HS Full, MS/JH Full, and MS/JH String Honor Orchestra competitions on the best interest of students, programs, and members and to support fairness and equity in the process. The Board recognizes the value and importance of performances by our middle school, junior high, and high school ensembles at our annual convention. To support that, the Orchestra Division is offering this Invited Orchestra process.

Invited Orchestra Process

The following process is not a substitute Honor Orchestra competition. It is created to allow the wonderful and innovative teaching that Texas orchestras are known for to be celebrated at our convention. For one year, the Orchestra Division will invite orchestras to apply to perform during the 2021 Clinic/Convention.

What Is an Invited Orchestra?

Unlike the multi-level, adjudicated Honor Orchestra process, this invitation method allows the Orchestra Division greater flexibility to select a group of ensembles representing what orchestras in Texas offer our students and communities.

Any orchestra from any level is welcome to apply. We hope directors of high-quality programs who typically don’t enter the Honor Orchestra competition will take advantage of this opportunity. The Orchestra Division seeks to invite high-quality ensembles that represent the variety of school environments and socioeconomic makeup of programs across our state.

Understand that this one-step application will yield many applications, yet the number of Orchestra Division performance opportunities during the 2021 Clinic/Convention will not necessarily increase.

What Is It Not?

  • This is not an adjudicated competition to identify the best orchestras in Texas (an orchestra that might typically win State Honor Orchestra might not be invited to perform).
  • Orchestras will not be selected to represent each classification or a specific set of classifications.
  • This process is not subject to the TMEA Appeals process. Invitation decisions are final.


  1. The directors must be active members of TMEA.
  2. The ensemble must represent a school located in the State of Texas.
  3. The primary director must have taught the ensemble for a minimum of two years (18-19 and 19-20 school years). An orchestra director who submits a recording and application but accepts a new position at a different school must immediately notify the State Orchestra Chair of this change as soon as the change is made. The application of an ensemble that undergoes a change in primary director will not be considered for performance at the TMEA Clinic/Convention.
  4. A campus (including all orchestral ensemble types) will NOT be eligible to apply if any orchestral ensemble performed at the 2020 TMEA convention.
  5. A selected orchestra will be able to enter their respective Honor Orchestra contest for performance at the 2022 annual clinic/convention.

Entry Requirements

  1. Applications and recordings must be submitted online by 11:59 pm (CT)June 15.
    Uploading the recordings will take time. Start the application process before 8 pm, June 15th.
  2. Completed Application/Program Resume.  The application/resume must include the signature of the head director with the campus principal's permission.
  3. The following school levels are eligible regardless of classification:
    • High School
    • Middle/Junior High School
  4. The following types of ensemble are eligible:
    • Full Orchestra
    • String Orchestra

Recording Requirements

  1. All recordings must be from live concerts recorded between the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year to March 15, 2020 and must be no longer than 30 minutes of music and should contain examples of different styles of musical performance. A minimum of two selections are required with a maximum of five selections.  You may submit selections from different concerts and performances and/or from different school years.
  2. There must not have been a change of primary director between the time  of the performance and the time of submission.
  3. There should be nothing that identifies the school or its director on the recording or in the audio.
  4. All selections must be recorded and submitted in a digital format and must be edited to remove any introduction of the orchestra performing or comments regarding the orchestra. Acceptable recording formats for upload:
    • m4a (AAC-LC); Sample rate: 48000 Hz; Stereo; Bitrate: 256 kbps, constant
    • mp3; Sample rate: 48000 Hz; Stereo; Bitrate: 256 kbps, constant
    • WAV (Uncompressed); Sample rate: 44,100 Hz; Stereo; 16-Bit (required)
  5. Recordings will not be returned and will be deleted after the review process is complete.
  6. Any engineering, editing, or tampering in any way with the recording after the performance is not allowed.
    Note: The only allowable technical alteration to a recording is adjustment of master volume.
    1.  The following are allowable edits of recorded submissions:
      1. Submitted recordings may be edited to eliminate excess time between movements of a multi-movement work.
      2. Submitted recordings may be edited to eliminate audience applause.
      3. Submitted recordings may be edited to combine multiple tracks of a multi-movement work into a single audio file for online submission.
        1.  Movements must be combined in the same order the movements were performed.
        2. Combined movements must be from the same recording.
      4. Submitted recordings may be edited to match volume from track to track.
      5. Submitted recordings should be edited to remove voice identification.
  7. The recordings must be of registered students only. No guest artists can appear on the submitted recording.


  1. The TMEA Orchestra Division Chair will select a committee from around the state to listen to the recordings.
  2. Because this in not a competition, no written comments, rubrics or point totals will be provided to the entrants. (revised 4/13)
  3. Directors who are applying for performance will not be allowed to serve on the selection committee.
  4. This is a blind audition process. Only the State Orchestra Chair will know which schools have applied.
  5. Ensembles may be selected from any level (MS, JH, HS) or type of ensemble (String, Full).
  6. If there is a change in primary director between the time of selection and the subsequent 2021 TMEA Convention performance the invitation will be rescinded, and another group will be selected for performance.
  7. The State Orchestra Chair will take the committee’s suggestions into consideration prior to making the final decision andwill be the final authority in the selection process to assure balance in the overall program at the convention.


  1. All applicants and the invited ensembles will be notified by July 22, 2020 in conjunction with the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Annual Convention.
  2. TMEA will not provide any equipment for this performance other than chairs, stands, platform risers, and a grand piano.


  1. Online application process opens April 6.
  2. The online application form must be printed and include the signature of the director.
  3. Print and sign the application then digitally upload the form to TMEA on the website application.
  4. Deadline to complete the application process including the signed application and audio uploads is 11:59 pm (CT), June 15, 2020.

(Start a new entry or complete a previous application)