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VMEA Blue Ribbon Award

2 high school students playing the bassoon in a band concert

The VMEA Blue Ribbon Award is the highest award given to schools music programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia and recognizes achieved excellence in Band, Orchestra, and Choral Performance.

All disciplines in a school must receive a rating of "Superior" at assessment to qualify for this award.


All schools must complete the Online Declaration Form which designates the top performing group of the genre.  This must be one of the groups performing the highest grade of literature.

The Online Form must be submitted to the VMEA office by February 15th. Those received after this date will not be eligible for the award. The form will be deleted from the VMEA website at 12 O'clock midnight on the 15th of February.

Evaluation Criteria

Superior performance as evidenced by the district festival rating from each of the top performing groups of each ensemble course taught at the school (band, choir, and orchestra).

In order to be considered for the Blue Ribbon Award the top performing groups MUST perform two pieces from approved graded music lists (Band and Orchestra from the VBODA manual, Choirs from the Virginia, New York or Texas lists), not to include the warm-up selection.  When performing music of two different grade levels the group will be classified at the lower grade level of music.

All groups must sight read or sight sing to be eligible for this award at the District Performance Assessment.  Bands and Orchestras must select Option 1 as listed in the VBODA Manual.

Note: All top eligible performing groups must receive a final Superior rating at VMEA District Concert Performance Assessment. Multi-school combined ensembles are not eligible as an individual school's representative ensemble for this award.


The recognition will consist of a certificate and cover letter of congratulations mailed to the Principal of the school.  

Eligible schools may obtain the Blue Ribbon Pin for individual students as listed at the top of this page.

Blue Ribbon Award Medals may be ordered from the Bale Company.


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