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The State Large Ensemble Festival is open to all Maryland public and private school ensembles that have performed and qualified at a county/district festival event.   

Ensembles for the State Large Ensemble must qualify at one of the following district/county events. 

District 1 – Prince George’s County

District 2 – Montgomery County

District 3 – Anne Arundel County

District 4 – St. Mary’s County

District 5 – Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties

District 6 – Harford County

District 7 – Baltimore County

District 8 – Carroll County

District 9 – Allegany and Garrett Counties

District 10 – Baltimore City

District 11 – Charles County

District 12 – Calvert County

District 13 – Howard County

District 14 – Frederick County

District 15 – Washington County

District 16 – Cecil County

2024 Qualification

MMEA is following the most recent set of Policy and Procedures for MBDA, MCEA, and MODA, linked below. For the 2024 festival, all qualifying ensembles must have participated in a county/district event and earned a rating of Superior (I) on music grade levels indicated in the Policy and Procedures. All choral ensembles can qualify for state at Grade 2 or higher. Middle school bands and orchestras can also qualify for state at Grade 2 or higher. High school bands and orchestras can qualify at Grade 3 or higher. Pieces performed at state events must be on the MMEA approved repertoire lists (exception: warm-up pieces).

Component Policy & Procedure Reference

Please reference the following Policy & Procedures for Festival procedures
Note - for nomination and registration processes, as well as financial matters, please reference the information on this page and not the information in the Policy & Procedures linked below. 


Maryland Band Directors Association

Maryland Choral Educators Association

Maryland Orchestra Directors Association

Festival Format, Date, Location

The 2024 State Large Ensemble Festivals will be held as in-person events.

High School Festivals - April 29 to May 3, 2024


  • Dates - Monday (4/29), Tuesday (4/30), & Wednesday (5/1) 

  • Venue - Morgan State University, Baltimore


  • Dates - Wednesday (5/1), Thursday (5/2), & Friday (5/3) 

  • Venue - Maryland Hall, Annapolis 


  • Dates - Wednesday (5/1), Thursday (5/2), & Friday (5/3) 

  • Venue - Morgan State University, Baltimore

Middle School Festivals - May 13 to 17, 2024 (No festivals on 5/14 - Primary Election Day)


  • Dates - Monday (5/13) & Wednesday (5/15)

  • Venue - Morgan State University, Baltimore


  • Dates - Wednesday (5/15), Thursday (5/16), & Friday (5/17) 

  • Venue - Maryland Hall, Annapolis 


  • Dates - Thursday (5/16) & Friday (5/17)

  • Venue - Seneca Valley High School, Germantown


​​Festival Timeline

High School Festival

March 25 - Districts submit qualifying high school ensembles to MMEA Office

March 26-27 - Invitations sent to educators - registration window opens 

April 8 - High school registration deadline (5:00 pm)

April 15 - High school festival schedule published

April 29-May 3 - State Large Ensemble High School Festival  


Middle School Festival

April 10 - Districts submit qualifying middle school ensembles to MMEA Office

April 11-12 - Invitations sent to educators - registration window opens 

April 22 - MIddle school registration deadline (5:00pm)

April 29 - Middle school festival schedule published

May 13-17 - State Large Ensemble Middle School Festival


The eligibility rules for this festival are as follows:

  1. The ensemble must be representing a Maryland private or public middle or high school. 

  2. The ensemble must have participated in the county/district event in order to participate in the state festival. 

  3. The ensemble must have earned a Superior (I) rating on the qualifying level of repertoire.

    1. ​​The two adjudicated musical selections performed at county/district must be from an appropriate MMEA approved repertoire list. (The warm-up is not required to be on the repertoire lists)

  4. Music educator membership in MMEA/NAfME is not required but encouraged.

State Festival Requirements

All educators must abide by the following requirements:

  • Ensemble performances must match the grade level of music performed and adjudicated at the county/district event.  See State Festival Repertoire requirements below. 

  • Each registration for band and orchestra must have a seating chart uploaded. Educators may use their own seating chart or create one at (Information on stage layout/choral risers will be sent to choral educators closer to the festival)

  • The public or private school music educator will serve as contact.

    • School music educators are responsible for completing the registration form and paying the fee. Fees may be paid at the time of submission or educators can request an invoice.

    • For registration process and financial matters, please reference the information on this page and not the information in the Policy & Procedures linked below. 

  • Clarification for Choral Ensembles from the MCEA Policy & Procedures - The size of the group is limited to 120 chorus members. Choruses larger than 120 members have the option of bringing two groups with no shared personnel. Both groups may perform the same music. Schools entering two choruses with shared personnel should check the MCEA sight-reading policies.

State Festival Repertoire Requirements

  • Each ensemble must perform a warm-up selection. This selection does not need to be chosen from a repertoire list.

  • The two adjudicated musical selections for state must be from an appropriate MMEA approved repertoire list.

    • On the registration form, list the ID number and title of the piece exactly as it appears on the MMEA Repertoire Lists (column A).

  • No changes of music may be made after the application deadline. No “TBA” indications are allowed, even for the warm-up selection.

  • The same time limits implemented at county/district will be followed for state festivals. If the selection is multi-movement or a longer work, the director should choose representative movements/selections in order to stay within the prescribed time limits, taking into account time to move on/off stage, as well as transition times between pieces.

​​Music Copyright Rules

MMEA operates in compliance with the US Copyright Act. Anyone using a photocopy of the music that is not in Public Domain must be accompanied by written verification of permission from the publisher. Music purchased online as digital copies should have clear indication of ownership/performance permission.


Sight-reading will be required. Please see the corresponding component’s Policies & Procedures documents linked below for specific sight reading policies.

Adjudication and Rating

Performances will be judged by adjudicators specifically chosen for their expertise in large ensembles. Adjudicators will have regional and national experience.

Educators/Directors will leave the festival with their rating and comments.

Adjudication Rubrics

Band (MBDA)

Chorus (MCEA)

Orchestra (MODA)


Certificates will be provided to the school music educator. Educators are welcome to share/copy the certificate for their student musicians. Individual certificates for students will not be provided.

Registration & Participation Fee

County/District Supervisors/Coordinators/Event Chairs will submit qualifying ensembles to the MMEA Office. An email to the qualifying director will be sent in late March (high schools) or mid-April (middle schools) with details to register for the State Festival. 

A fee of $150 for each ensemble is required when registering. These fees are to cover the cost to compensate the adjudicators, rent venues, festival supplies, and additional administrative expenses.

  • Note - for registration process and financial matters, please reference the information on this page and not the information in the Policy & Procedures linked above. 

  • Educators may pay online with a credit card at the time of submission or request an invoice. Invoicing terms are NET15 and must be paid prior to adjudication results being released.

  • All transactions are final and non-refundable. 

  • Late Fee Policy - Invoices not paid within 60 days will be assessed a late fee. Invoice totals of $100 or less will be assessed a late fee of $20. Invoices over $100 will be assessed a 20% late fee, not to exceed $500.

Questions and Communication

Only school music educators should contact MMEA with questions regarding the Large Ensemble Festival. Caregivers of participating students, please refer all questions to your student’s school music educator.

Please contact MMEA Staff at with questions. 

Large Ensemble Festival Committee

Phil Barnes; Large Ensemble Festival Chair, Montgomery County Public Schools
Jennier Kauffman; MMEA President, Baltimore County Public Schools
Dr. Christopher Cicconi; MBDA President, Towson University
Toni Daniel; MCEA President, Howard County Public Schools
Dana Shieh; MODA President, Prince George’s County, Private School 

John Stevenson; MBDA Festivals Chair, Carroll County Public Schools

Cindy Stevenson; MBDA Festivals Chair, Baltimore County Public Schools (retired)

Rose Alon; MODA Middle School Festival Chair, Prince George’s County Schools 

Jeannine Strum; MODA High School Festival Chair, Washington County Public Schools

TBD; MCEA Festival Chair
Anthony Conto; MMEA Executive Director

Click here to view a list of the 2023 Large Ensemble Festival participants.
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