These students "worked on" the All-Region music and even got help from band directors and others. When it was time to sign up, they were fired up to audition and followed through with recording their etudes. I listened to all of my students' recordings on Thursday and I did not "verify" these students, as would be expected. On Friday, I changed my mind. They put in the work to get everything done, even though they lack the talent to place high/mid in their "room." My primary goal is to honor their commitment to the process. My secondary goal is for them to see that they still have a loooong way to go to achieve the kind of success they think they are currently achieving.
Will it be an excruciating 30 seconds for whomever has to judge that? Sure, and I offer my apologies. However, I think there's a bigger picture for these students and these auditions are simply the vehicle being used to facilitate these lessons, both positive and negative.
Happy Judging to all!