I was lucky enough to be a judge at Connecticut All-State auditions this past Saturday. After about 15 years of judging trombones I judged Tenors this weekend as they were way short of vocal judges. I was lucky to be paired with a very talented judge.
A few observations:
1. We were shocked by how many no-shows there were. These were slots that declared and paid. We had about 30-40% no shows. Many of the kids who stayed home would have been selected. They made the wrong choice.
2. At this level everyone is "pretty good".
3. Sight reading was almost always the difference between being selected or not. I think having 20% of the score for sight reading is too much.
I feel it becomes harder and harder to make All-State without private lessons. In the most diverse state in the nation I believe All-States seems to highlight a musical achievement gap. I am curious to see what type of proposals develop.