The 92nd annual Vermont All State Music Festival will take place May 8 through May 11, 2018, co-hosted this year by U-32 High School and Montpelier High School.
Sponsored by the Vermont Music Educators Association, the festival itself features 400 of Vermont’s finest high school musicians rehearsing and performing together in four All State honors ensembles: jazz ensemble, concert band, chorus, and orchestra. Students were selected to participate in the festival based on auditions held in January. Students who auditioned had to demonstrate their musical skills and perform an excerpt of a solo in front of adjudicators, who rated them. Over 1,000 students auditioned, and just over 400 of the top performing students were invited to participate in the festival. These students represent one home school and 53 different high schools.
Each ensemble will be led by a distinguished guest conductor/educator. The conductors will have about 17 hours of rehearsal time in which to prepare a challenging concert program with a group made up of students who have not performed together previously. The high quality of the final performances each year is a testament to the conductors, the students musicians, and all the music educators who played a role in teaching the students from elementary through high school.
Kicking off the 2019 festival will be the All State Parade on Wednesday, May 8, starting at 6:00 p.m. (weather permitting) when over 1,000 students from 20 school bands representing all regions of the state will march their way through the streets of Montpelier.
Festival concerts include the All State Scholarship Concert on Thursday, May 9 at 8 p.m., and the All State Jazz Ensemble Concert on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m., both of which will be in the U-32 Auditorium. The All State Chorus performs Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. in the U-32 Gymnasium, and the All State Band and Orchestra will follow with their performances starting at 4 p.m.
Advance tickets for the jazz, chorus, and band/orchestra performances can be purchased online until May 7th. Tickets will also be sold at the events. No ticket is required for the scholarship concert.
The All State Music Festival, originally a one-day gathering of school orchestras, was held in Burlington from 1928 until 1979. Since 1980, the festival has been held in a variety of communities throughout the state on a rotating basis. It is the oldest statewide honor festival in the country, and Vermont is the only state in which All State musicians are housed by volunteers in the local community. This is U-32’s first time hosting the event, and the parade returns to Montpelier for the first time since 1987. Additional information about the Vermont All State Music Festival, including a link to purchase tickets, can be found online at www.vmea.org.