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The Selection Process

A Brief Explanation of the Selection Process

I am going to attempt to briefly explain the selection process for the Kentucky Intercollegiate Band. It is a process which is understood by few and misunderstood by many. The selection process hinges upon the use of a formula – which was approved and agreed upon by our general membership many years ago. The formula guarantees some things – but also allows for other things. The success of the formula hinges upon the truthful and forthright nominations of each director. 

As is well-stated, each director may nominate up to 20% of their total concert/symphonic band membership. Additionally, each band member nominated must be fluent with and able to positively contribute to literature of a Grade VI level. Each director is asked to make appropriate nominations – listing their personnel in “rank order” regardless of instrument [i.e. Tommy is the very finest player in my band – and Tommy plays the tuba – hence Tommy would be listed first, etc.]. 

When the KIB Coordinator receives the nominations, he or she then establishes a database or spreadsheet with all raw nominations [these calculations used to be done by hand which was not a pretty sight]. Listed on the database or spreadsheet will be the band member’s name, their instrument and the “rank” as established by the nominating director. This is the first – of the four very important numbers – which establish selection. The second of the columns of numbers – is a reverse listing of the numbers of nominated band members. The third column is the total number of members nominated from the institution, and the fourth and final column is the “rating” as established by the formula. [column two – divided by column three – equals column four] Hopefully, the following “example” grid will help clarify.

Hypothetical Nomination Grid

Last First Instrument School Rank Reverse Divisor Rating
Smith Tommy tuba Central St. 1 5 5 1
Jones Sue bassoon Central St. 2 4 5 .800
Jackson Bob flute Central St. 3 3 5 .600
Grant Ellen trombone Central St. 4 2 5 .400
Lee Jack percussion Central St. 5 1 5 .200

After the Coordinator has entered all of the raw data [and for the last several years we have been averaging between 220 and 240 nominations] and the “rating” has been established, the raw data is then “sorted” by instrument. This generates a listing of say all of the flute players nominated and their respective “ratings” – from highest to lowest. At this time the KIB Coordinator [sometimes with the advice and consent of some colleagues forming an informal KIB Selection Committee to help sort-out anomalies] looks at the raw, data – sorted by instrument – and says “we need ten flutes” – and simply goes down the list and takes the ten, nominated flautists – with the highest “ratings”. [alternates are selected in the same fashion – if two flute alternates are needed – they would be the #11 & #12 nominees of the flute category].

As is easily seen, one thing the formula guarantees is participation from each and every institution – as each college or university will always have a student with a “1.000” rating – even if there is only one nomination from that school – and that student will undoubtedly be selected for participation. It also guarantees that not necessarily the “best” players are chosen – which is why the Kentucky Intercollegiate Band is specifically billed as being only “representative of the finest wind and percussion players from college and universities in the Commonwealth”. This is why, the key to a successful KIB is very honest nominations from each director.

I hope that this may clarify the selection process – and give everyone in our membership a more clear view of how the selection process is conducted. Thank-You. Pete LaRue

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