University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

50th Annual Middle School
Honors Band Festival

School Band Directors:

The nomination period is September 26 - October 15, 2015

Access Online Nomination System

November 18-20, 2016

The UWM Middle School Honor Band Festival is one of the longest standing events of its kind! Our festival provides the region’s most motivated and accomplished middle school instrumentalists an opportunity to work with each other and with nationally recognized wind band conductors. In addition, students participate in master classes with the UWM Department of Music’s performance faculty, and they hear performances by UWM ensembles.

Important Dates

  • September 26–October 15: Director Nominations Open
    Students must first be nominated by their school band director to be considered for selection to the festival
  • October 24: Notifications and Registration details sent via US Mail to selected students, student alternates, and directors
  • October 24–November 11: Student Pre-Registration period
    This is an opportunity to verify student information, pay fees, and select concert tickets. After November 11, alternate students will be accepted in place of those who have not previously confirmed their participation through the Pre-Registration process.
  • November 18 Info
    On-site Check-in 4:30-5:30PM
    First rehearsals: 6-8PM
    Concert: UWM Symphony Band 8:15-8:45PM
    Details will be sent after October 24
  • November 19: Rehearsals, UWM Faculty master classes, and guest concerts from 8:30AM–6PM
  • November 20: Final Rehearsals on a staggered schedule depending on band performance time. Detailed timelines for each band will be distributed during the Nov. 18 On-Site Registration process
1PM Michigan Honor Band – Dr. Amy Knopps, conductor
2PM Texas Honor Band – Dr. Scott Anthony Jones, conductor
3PM Illinois Honor Band – Mr. Nicholas Carlson, conductor

Festival Fees

$75 per student (due at time of registration after the nomination process)

New Seating Process

Due to University of Wisconsin System regulations regarding minors on campus, the seating process (chair ranking) will be done by the information submitted at the time of the Band Director’s nomination. The guest conductor/clinician of each ensemble may choose to vary this order or make other assignments during the course of the festival rehearsals.

Festival Music: All festival music will be furnished by UWM Bands. Music folders for our festival and emergency repair in the UWM Union (during the Friday auditions)are provided by Brass Bell Music in Whitefish Bay.

Rehearsal items: Students must provide their own instruments, pencils, and a FOLDING MUSIC STAND for all festival activities. (Please label all personal belongings.)

Special Instrumental Needs:

  • Flute Students: Should bring a piccolo if you have access to one and want to be considered for piccolo parts. Piccolo assignments will be made under the leadership of the guest conductor/clinician.
  • Brass Students: Trumpet and trombone students should bring straight mutes. Other mutes may be requested during the course of the weekend.
  • Percussion Students: Are required to bring a pair of general-purpose snare sticks, keyboard mallets, and timpani mallets.

Concert Performance Attire:

For the UWM Honor Band concert, please wear what you would wear for your own school band concerts. Other suggestions are:

  • Gentlemen: Please wear a buttoned dress shirt with a tie, (suit coat or sports coat is optional), black dress or dark chino-style pants, dark (black) socks, and black dress shoes (no sneakers or athletic shoes of any kind).
  • Ladies: Please wear long-sleeved tops with modest necklines and skirts/dresses that are “tea-length” or to the floor (no hem-lines above the calf), with dark dress shoes and socks/hosiery. Dress pants/pant-suits are acceptable.
  • Casual (appropriate for school) clothing is appropriate for festival rehearsals and other activities.


You are encouraged to use metered street parking, the university parking structures, or other university lots.  Additional information is available at Participants and patrons are responsible for following all posted parking regulations. Students are responsible for arranging prompt pick-up and drop-off plans with their parents and/or traveling party.

Registration and Ticketing

Selected Students must pre-register online by November 11, 2016.

If computer access is limited, please contact the Peck School of the Arts Box Office at 414-229-4308 for help. Selected students who do not Pre-Register for the Honor Band Festival by November 11 may have their seat taken by one of the alternate students.

The Peck School of the Arts Box Office fulfills ticket orders for all of the Sunday UWM Honor Band Festival concerts. Reservation and payment for these concert tickets is made during the Selected Students’ Pre-Registration (Online) process. All questions regarding these tickets shoud be directed to the Peck School of the Arts Box Office at 414-229-4308.

Due to seating limits in Bader Concert Hall, only Honor Band Festival participants, Milwaukee Music Festival participants, and their teachers are invited to the Saturday performances.

Families who have students participating in more than one festival ensemble should contact the Box Office to arrange for complementary tickets to the additional performance(s). The deadline for this benefit is November 11, 2016. Band Directors will be mailed a concert pass, allowing them to attend all festival concerts for free.

All reserved and paid tickets will be available at the beginning of the festival (On-Site Registration/check-in) on Friday, Nov. 18 and just before the Sunday, Nov. 20 concerts at the Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts. Any remaining tickets will be available as “walk-up” sales during these same times.

Meals: There are limited Student Union dining facilities that will be open during the festival, but are open to the public. Other restaurants are adjacent to campus, within a four-block walk. Please note: Participants will not be accompanied by Festival staff to/from meals. Students and parents are free to make any arrangements necessary for meals. See the Honor Band website for more information ( and local recommendations.

Lodging: For students traveling further than 60 miles from Milwaukee, we recommend finding overnight accommodations. To assist you in this, we have listed a few hotel options in the near vicinity of the University. This listing is available once nominations are complete.

Emergencies: There will always be office staff at 414-229-5641 during the festival schedule, should any emergency arise. UWM Police Non-Emergency line: 414-229-4627.


  • Please enter the Zelazo Center on the WEST side (Prospect Ave.) of the building (special needs access on the South side of the building via the small parking lot). The Waiting Area will be open and available for concert patrons beginning at 12 noon.
  • Patrons needing to pick-up or purchase any remaining/available concert tickets may also find the temporary Box Office “Will Call” area in Zelazo-Room 280. This area will open at 12 noon.
  • Each Middle School honor band will be ticketed on and perform on its own separate concert. Because of this, the concert hall will need to be cleared after each middle school performance. Please invite family, friends, directors, etc. to enjoy this special concert with you!
  • Patrons who are attending multiple performances should leave the concert hall, and re-enter with the other patrons waiting for the next performance.
  • Please plan to meet your middle school student outside of the Zelazo Center building immediately after their concert performance. Students are dismissed from Festival activities upon completing their concert performance.