2021 All-State Orchestra

All-State Orchestra Conductor Bio

Born in 1964 in Châteauroux, France, Professor Barry Ford received his Bachelor of Music in Education from Northwestern University and his Master of Music from the University of Missouri. While at Northwestern University, Ford studied trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz and Luther Didrickson. He also studied conducting, arranging, and composition with John P. Paynter, Don Owens, and Jay Kawarsky. After teaching for several years in the public-school system, Ford began studying composition and conducting at the University of Missouri with Edward Dolbashian, Dale Lonis, John Cheetham, and Thomas McKenney. His doctoral studies were in Composition at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he studied under the guidance of Randal Snyder, Eric Richards, and Tyler White.

In 1996, at the request of the Carlos Gomes Foundation, Ford accepted a position as Professor of Trumpet at the Carlos Gomes Conservatory in Belém, Brazil. Concurrent to this appointment, he played principal trumpet with the newly formed Orquestra Sinfônica do Theatro da Paz and Amazônia Jazz Band. Two years later, he was named music director and conductor of both groups. Ford continued in all of these positions while also later serving as the inaugural Professor of Trumpet at the State University of Pará where he remained until returning to the U.S. to begin work at the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO) in 2004. While at UNO, he taught a wide range of subjects including composition, music history, music theory, and world music. In 2007, he was named Director of Orchestral Activities at UNO and directed the Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra and UNO Chamber Orchestra. He has served as Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Missouri-Columbia since 2017.


August 16 - September 6: All-State registration for students open ($25 application fee).

September 7 - September 13: Late registration for All-State available ($45 application fee).

September 13 @ 11:59 PM CST: Registration closed, no more applications accepted.

September 15 - September 25 @ 11:59 PM CST: Website portal opens and closes for instrumental audition uploads.

October 18 @ 8:00 AM: All-State Selections announced.


The 2021 All-State Ensembles have been selected and are available for DIRECTORS ONLY to view. You must log into the NMEA website in order to access the page. The selected participant lists will be available to the public at a later time. 

2021 All-State Selected Participants



Overture to Nabucco  Giuseppe Verdi 
Mother of God, Here I Stand  John Tavener 
Finale from Gaelic Symphony  Amy Marcy Cheney Beach 



Click the link below to view the audition materials for the 2021 All-State Orchestra - Excerpts are now available!

2021 All-State Orchestra Audition Materials

Audition manuals are available to download by clicking the buttons below.

2021 Auditions Manual & General Info 
2021 Strings Auditions Manual


Registration for the 2021 All-State Orchestra auditions is closed.


NMEA acknowledges and respects the diversity of situations existing in our state regarding COVID-19 protocols. Since the majority of our conference and all-state events will occur on UNL property and all events occur within the city of Lincoln, NMEA will follow UNL and Lancaster County guidelines for masking at the time of the conference. Currently Lancaster County has a mask mandate, meaning that the NMEA Conference and All-State would similarly require masking while indoors, including bell covers on wind instruments. This policy may change to reflect updated guidance from UNL and Lancaster County. Individuals who cannot wear a face covering because of a medical condition, mental health condition, religious reasoning, or a disability that prevents the wearing of a face covering may seek an approved face covering exemption individually by contacting the NMEA board through: [email protected] by November 1, 2021. We have provided links to both the City of Lincoln and UNL's COVID-19 response pages on our quick links menu for you to view the latest information.