Each year the Cattaraugus County Music Teachers' Association sponsors an honor band made up from the best student musicians in the county. Each group is directed by a guest conductor. At the high school level, an outside director is sought after, while the elementary and junior high bands are conducted by one of the local band directors.
How are ALCS Students Selected?
High School All-County Band students are selected from grades 9-12 and are based on their rating they received from Solo Festival of that year. If the county is short players in a certain section then it is based on county teacher recommendations.
Junior High All-County Band students are selected from grades 7-8. A balanced (see below) group of ten students is sent to represent ALCS. Generally these students tend to be eighth graders(ALCS policy, not CCMTA), but in a few circumstances a seventh grader may be sent; example- the county's need for a specific instrument - tuba. Please note that some other schools in the county may sent students from grade seven, ALCS often does not.
Elementary All-County Band students are selected from grade six (ALCS policy, not CCMTA). A balanced (see below) group of ten students is sent to represent ALCS. Please note that some other schools in the county may sent students in grade five, ALCS does not.
What is a Balanced Group?
A balanced group means that ALCS can not send too many of one instrument, for example, sending five out of ten students who play flute, even if all five are deserving of the honor! In order to make the All-County Band sound its best and make this group better than the individual's own school band, it is imperative to send a balanced group! In many cases ALCS has more than ten deserving students but unfortunately only ten can be sent. ALCS selection criteria is not only based on the student's ability but also takes into consideration the student's character and past year's practice habits. Remember only ten students balanced from the list of flutists, oboist, clarinetists, saxophonist, trumpeters, french hornist, trombonists, tubist and percussionist can be submitted.