The RIMEA all-state eligibility rule is clear and must be followed by its members.
IF A STUDENT IS NOT A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING OF HIS/HER SCHOOL PERFORMING ENSEMBLE, FOR ANY REASON, HE/SHE IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO AUDITION AND PERFORM IN THAT ALL-STATE ENSEMBLE.FURTHER CLARIFICATIONS:
- In order to be eligible for band the student must be in their school's band if there is one, choir for choir, jazz ensemble for jazz ensemble and orchestra for orchestra. RIMEA assigns every other high scoring wind and percussion player to the orchestra in order to ensure that the orchestra and band share the best players.
- If a school does not offer a particular ensemble (in most cases it is orchestra) RIMEA does not deny those students of that particular school the opportunity to audition and participate in All-State; to do so would be not be fair. Wind and percussion students can participate in their school's band. Without a school orchestra, string students are not afforded the opportunity to play in an ensemble suitable for their instrument. The same exception would be made for any type of ensemble that is not offered at a school such as a guitarist for a jazz ensemble.
- RIMEA does not recognize "good" or "bad" reasons for a student not participating in their school ensemble. The rule states, "FOR ANY REASON" which relieves directors of the responsibility of determining value judgments concerning student choices. This is an RIMEA rule and not subject to the discretion of the school director.
- At times, there have been various interpretations of this rule and how it should be enforced. This can cause confusion for some of our membership, however, the rule is absolute and can only be changed by a majority vote of the RIMEA executive board.
The membership of RIMEA is comprised of professionals who may or may not agree with this policy and other policies. We understand this and respect the opinions and views of all our colleagues. The RIMEA All-State Festival and audition process is not a right but a privilege reserved for students of RIMEA members and subject to RIMEA rules and regulations.
Finally, RIMEA rules are subject to review and change by the Executive Board and any RIMEA member has the right to petition the Board (in writing) at any time to review or change any rule or regulation.REGARDING HOME-SCHOOLED STUDENTS: (This policy went into effect in the 2005/2006 school year.)
Whether to participate in a performing ensemble is a choice that all students make. Many teachers in public schools who are RIMEA members have had home-schooled students participate in their ensembles in the past. As an example, a home-schooled student can choose to be a member of a school chorus. These students come to school for the period when chorus is scheduled then return home. The same can be said for band, jazz ensemble and orchestra. A student can choose to take the class. The ensemble experience is not something one can learn at home. This is similar to rules concerning athletic teams where home-schooled students can participate when practices and games or matches are held. No one is denying home-schooled students the right to participate in their school's music ensembles.... it is their choice.