MusicFirst Enables Virtual Audition Process for Texas and New York Music Students

Mike Lawson • News • April 8, 2021

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The two largest music education associations in the U.S., the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), have turned to MusicFirst to take auditions online.

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NEW YORK – Every year, music students in Texas and New York prepare to audition for All-State and Festival ensembles — a traditional rite of passage for middle and high school music students across the country. Each festival season, music students line hallways awaiting their turn to play meticulously prepared pieces for a panel. This year, however, the typical student audition nerves were replaced with a more fundamental anxiety: Would auditions be able to take place at all?

The conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic made the prospect of in-person auditions fraught, but the importance of these festival auditions made finding alternative solutions a top priority for music education association boards. The two largest music education associations in the United States, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), and the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), turned to MusicFirst to take auditions online.

To facilitate their virtual audition processes, TMEA and NYSSMA turned to MusicFirst. MusicFirst, an industry leader in cloud-based music education software, had already proven themselves as an indispensable resource for music educators during the pandemic, but MusicFirst Classroom, a music education learning management system, had never been leveraged for auditions. Working closely with the TMEA and NYSSMA boards, the software development team at MusicFirst made slight alterations to the MusicFirst Classroom functionality, customizing the platform for these organizations to make the virtual auditions possible. To date, thousands of students from all across Texas and New York state have successfully submitted their audition recordings.

“MusicFirst has been an excellent partner working with NYSSMA to build and run our solo- evaluation platform. There are a specific features of our process which are unique and needed to be preserved. Jim and his staff have worked hard to accommodate our needs and have stayed on-board now that the season is in full operational mode, running daily tech support for all our students, teachers, and festival personnel.”

-Edmund Chiarello, NYSSMA 2nd Vice President

“The Executive Board of Texas Music Educators Association could not be more pleased with the collaboration of MusicFirst in conducting our Texas All-Region and All-State auditions in a remote environment for the 2020-2021 school year. The entire process was a smooth operation with the MusicFirst platform, training sessions from Keith Dye, and an entire technology system than was well-explained in trainings, and was quite user-friendly. Keith Dye and the MusicFirst staff were on call for tech help, and were most helpful over a span of many weeks of auditions. When TMEA decided to host remote auditions, Texas music educators could not have had a better platform or better staff with which to work. I highly recommend MusicFirst.”

-John Carroll, TMEA President


MusicFirst was founded with one mission: to offer music teachers and their students easy-to-use, affordable, cloud-based solutions that enable music learning, creation, assessment, sharing, and exploration on any device, at any time, anywhere. At the heart of our software is the MusicFirst Classroom — the only learning management system designed specifically for music education.


Wise Music Group is a wholly-owned global independent family of music publishing companies, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen, Berlin Tokyo and Sydney.



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