The Foundation for Music Education is a not-for-profit organization committed to the support and advancement of music education.


The Mark of Excellence project seeks to recognize and award outstanding achievement in performance by high school and middle school percussion ensembles. The project will gather entries from throughout the United States and provide valuable feedback for all entrants. A unique competitive environment is created which allows percussion ensembles to compare their performance quality to other outstanding ensembles from across the country.


Directors upload a WAV file recording of their ensemble from the current 2023-24 school year. The adjudicator will listen
to entries and provide detailed recorded comments and brief written comments. All entrants will receive a compilation recording of the winning percussion ensemble performances. Winners will also be recognized in regional and/or national publications and at national and regional conventions. National winners will receive a trophy and commended winners will receive a plaque. It is hoped the critiques and the compilation recordings will prove helpful in improving performances in high school and middle school percussion ensembles.


1. Upload a WAV file recording, mail one set of scores of the two (2) selections. These selections may be of any level or source, but higher consideration will be given to works of appropriate difficulty for the school classification. Entrants are encouraged to submit selections of varying styles and a third selection may be submitted (optional) if desired.
2. The adjudicator will listen to recordings and record a live critique commentary, as well as brief written comments.
3. The level one adjudicator will select the top 25% as the National winners. The National winners will be recognized in regional and/or national publications and at national and regional conferences. Winners will receive a trophy.
4. The second 25% will receive Commended status, will be recognized in national publications, and receive a plaque.
5. The adjudicator will pick selections for inclusion in the compilation recording of the winners which is provided to all entrants.


June 5, 2024 (Results announced September 15, 2024)


• High School Percussion Ensemble
• Middle School Percussion Ensemble


The audio submission should be in compliance with the Mark of Excellence guidelines and not engineered, edited, or tampered with in any way except:
• Editing to eliminate excess time between movements of a multi-movement work.
• Editing to eliminate audience applause or announcements
• Combining multiple tracks of a multi-movement work into a single audio file for submission.
• Matching of volume from track to track. Recorded selections must have been recorded at a live concert during the current school year

There should be no announcements or any verbal identification on the recordings submitted.

Verification of unethical recording practices is grounds for disqualification. Examples of unethical practices are:
• Private recording sessions
• Recording in a recording studio or under studio conditions (i.e. use of microphones for individuals or small groups, or multiple microphones placed within the ensemble. – an exception is made for jazz entries.
• Multiple recordings of the same selection during a concert
• Any engineering, editing, or tampering with the recording after the performance in any way.
• Splicing within a single composition
• Any other practice which could be construed as being unprofessional, unethical, or in violation of the spirit of the competition.


After submitting the form online application, print a copy and include with the entry materials.
• Copy of the online application
• One set of scores with the school name deleted
• $375.00 application fee (Check payable to The Foundation for Music Education/Mark Of Excellence)
• Postmark Deadline is June 5, 2024

Mail to:

Rick Yancey
Mark of Excellence Registrations
39 Travis Park Dr.
Sugar Land, TX 77479


Will my scores and materials be returned?

How will I receive my compilation recording?
You will receive a download code to download the recording from Mark Custom Recording.

Can different students perform in various ensembles?

What if I only have a video recording of my ensemble?
Please contact your local recording professional to extract a WAV audio file.  If that is a problem or too expensive, please contact us for assistance.


>>> Click to Register <<<