What student programs does ILMEA offer?
ILMEA currently offers a district festival experience for Elementary through Senior High students in Illinois. This includes general music events, band, chorus, jazz and orchestra ensembles.

The ILMEA Composition Contest is open to students in grades 6-12. All students entering the contest receive feedback on their musical work and high school students who are honored with 1st, 2nd or 3rd place can participate in the All-State Composition Track.

The Future Music Educators Seminar (FMES) is a program to encourage high school students who are interested in music education as a career gain more practical understanding of the profession. (ILMEA Policy Manual, Participating School Policies - III.b and IV.a)


What level should I use to nominate - elementary, junior or senior?
Elementary levels include K-5th or 6th grade students.*
Junior Levels include 6th-8th or 9th grade students.*
Senior Levels include 9th-12th grade students.

*Please check with your ILMEA district to verify what grades are included for Elementary and Junior Level programs.


How do we get involved?
Student programs are organized around nine geographic districts. Schools within these districts become ILMEA Participating Schools, which allows the music educators at the schools to nominate students for ILMEA programs. 

Please contact your student's school music educator to find out if they are a participating school. If they are not yet, it is easy to sign up. They should visit to find out how to become an ILMEA participating school.


Can I nominate my student myself?
Students must be nominated through a school music program and must participate in the school ensemble to be nominated.

ONLY in cases of an ensemble not being offered in the school (ie: no orchestra for a violin player, no choir for a vocalist), may a student be nominated without being part of a school ensemble. (ILMEA Policy Manual, Audition Eligibility, IV)

If a student is homeschooled, the family or homeschool co-op may register to become a Participating School and nominate for auditions. (ILMEA Policy Manual, Home School Policy)


How should my student prepare for the audition?
Auditions for different divisions (band, chorus, jazz and orchestra) and different levels (junior high and senior high) do vary. Please ask you school's music educator for details on what will take place during the audition and what your student needs to prepare. (ILMEA Policy Manual, Responsibility for Obtaining Audition Materials)


My student requires accommodations. How should I let you know about what is needed?
Requests for accommodation must go through your student's director and the ILMEA District President. Please allow for ample time for arrangements to be made (ILMEA Policy Manual, Special Needs Form)


When and where do auditions and festivals take place?
Please check your ILMEA district page for information or ask your school music educator for the dates, times and locations. 


We have a conflict and my student cannot attend the entire festival. Can they come late or leave early?
No, district festival students must attend the entire festival in order to participate. (ILMEA Policy Manual, Audition EligibilityI, V)


What students are eligibile to be selected for All-State?
Students in grades 10-12 who are selected for the district-level ensemble are eligible for All-State. In order to be selected, students MUST attend the district festival in its entirety. (ILMEA Policy Manual, Audition Eligibility, IX)


When will we know if my student is selected for All-State?
Results are sent to school music educators in early December.


My student was selected for All-State - are they eligible for a scholarship?
ILMEA does not give out scholarships. Individual colleges and universities may offer recognition or scholarships; Please contact the institution to inquire about opportunities for All-State students.