ILMEA audition information from the state:

Information from ILMEA about auditions:


ILMEA has switched to a virtual audition model for the 2020-2021 school year ONLY. The entire audition process will be completed through the ILMEA Nomination Platform.  


September 24 → The specific portions of the excerpts and truncations of the audition etudes will be released for all divisions at both the Junior and Senior levels.

October 1-October 15 → Directors are allowed to add in their students’ audition video links. All nominations need to be completed by October 15.

November 1 → Ensemble results released

Audition Material

We are striving to keep the audition material as close to the traditional ILMEA audition as possible. However, due to the digital nature of auditions, and the lack of in-person district festivals, a few adjustments have been made:

  • There will be no sight-reading for this fall’s auditions.
  • This fall’s auditions will not be blind.

Audition Videos

The student audition videos will be submitted via unlisted YouTube link, as we have done for FMES. Only one video link that contains the entirety of the student’s audition will be submitted. Each component of the audition (scales, etudes, excerpts, etc.) can be recorded individually and put together into one video, but the individual components of the audition SHOULD NOT BE EDITED. For example, a student can record their scales, then take a break and record their etudes, but they cannot edit the scale portion. If the student wishes, they can also record the entire audition on one take. There should be no text, audio or video effects added to the video submission.

The components of the audition will mirror what has been performed for ILMEA auditions in the past, with the exceptions listed above.

All prompts, background tracks and other audition items needed from ILMEA will be posted to the ILMEA website. We will also be posting sample audition videos to assist directors and students in making sure they understand what is expected in the YouTube link.


In a typical ILMEA Fall Festival Season, over 10,000 student musicians gather over the Saturdays of November to take part in the ILMEA District Festivals. Bringing students together from different schools to experience an ensemble experience under an exemplary guest conductor, these events are the foundation of ILMEA student programs.

With the onset of COVID-19, the ILMEA Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person District Festivals. Determined to provide a high-quality musical experience for students who would have been accepted into these ensembles, we have designed two half-day digital master class events.


November 21, 2020 – Senior Level District Festival Day (9:00am – 12:00pm)

ILMEA Fall Festival Masterclass Day Schedule

9:00-9:30am – Motivational Keynote for all student musicians

9:45-10:45am – Masterclass #1 

11:00-12:00pm – Masterclass #2 

All students will have a combined motivational keynote address and then will break out by voice part and instrument to participate in two different 60-minute master classes on the Zoom platform. To keep the size of each masterclass manageable, the students will be split into two groups in their voice part or instrument. They will attend the first session with one clinician and then change to the other clinician for the second session. All students that are selected for their District Festival will be eligible to participate.

In addition, students will also be receiving a 2020 District Festival t-shirt, and directors will receive a digital certificate to print for each student selected. These items will be included in the District Festival participation fee and will not be an additional expense.