University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Milwaukee Music Festival For High School Musicians: January 29-30, 2016

milwaukee music fest 2016

Two highly select ensembles:
String Orchestra & Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Audition | Schedule | Lodging/Costs | Guest Artists | Conductors | Contact

The Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pleased to announce the second annual unforgettable music experience for exceptionally talented high school musicians. The Milwaukee Music Festival will bring the finest high school students from Wisconsin and surrounding states to the UWM campus for a weekend of rehearsals and master classes with UW-Milwaukee faculty artists, including members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. This year’s festival will be joined by two internationally renowned guest artists, Austrian Conductor Hans Graf (Music Director of the Houston symphony from 2001-2013, and Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra) and American Composer John Mackey. The finale concert will be under the direction of Dr. Jun Kim, Director of Orchestral Activities, and Dr. John Climer, Director of University Bands. All interested high school music students, grades 9-12, are invited to audition.

  • Master classes with UWM faculty artists and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra members
  • All accepted students receive a full scholarship to cover instructional fees (nominal fee for lodging & meals, approximatley $75)
  • Supervised lodging at Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Downtown Milwaukee
  • Work with the Guest Artists : John Mackey, and Maestro Hans Graf
  • Live and online video auditions available [No audition or application fee]

Invitations to perform at the Milwaukee Music Festival will be extended to students who complete a successful audition. Accepted students will receive a scholarship to cover all instructional fees for the weekend. The only cost to participants will be a nominal fee for housing and select meals. Supervised lodging will be at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott in Milwaukee. Conductors John Climer, Mark Norman and Jun Kim, will select personnel for the festival with assistance by studio faculty members at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, many of whom are members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Detailed information, including audition requirements will be sent to schools on or around October 30, 2015. Please mark the dates on your calendar and announce this opportunity to your students.

The entire faculty of the UW-Milwaukee Department of Music shares in the excitement of this new festival and looks forward to meeting and working with your talented students. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

William Obst, Festival Coordinator (Woodwind, Brass and Percussion auditions)

Matthew Makeever, Festival Coordinator (String auditions)

Audition Information

There are two ways to audition (see requirements below):

  1. Live Audition  – Register Now (Deadline: Dec 2)

  2. Live auditions for String Players - String Orchestra

    • Friday, Dec. 4,  4:00pm - 5:00pm @ New Trier High School, IL
    • Saturday, Dec. 5,  9:00am - 1:00pm @ UW-Milwaukee, WI
    • Saturday, Dec. 5,  1:00pm - 3:00pm @ Wisconsin Youth Orchestra, UW-Madison
    • Monday, Dec.7,  4:00pm - 6:00pm @ Libertyville Highschool, Libertyville, IL

    Live auditions for Woodwinds,Brass, and Percussion Players - Symphonic Wind Ensemble

    • Saturday, Dec.5,  9:00am - 12:00pm @ UW-Milwaukee
    • Tuesday, Dec.8,  4:00pm - 6:00pm @ Appleton East High School
    • Tuesday, Dec.8,  3:30pm - 5:30pm @ Preble High School
    • Wednesday, Dec.9,  4:00pm - 6:00pm @ Fond du Lac High School
    • Thursday, Dec 10,  3:30pm - 5:30pm @ Sun Prairie High School

  3. Online Video Audition - Register Now (Deadline: Dec 12)
    Provide the URL link (YouTube, Vimeo), title and movement of your pieces on the application form.

Audition Requirements (for both live and video auditions)


  • Two Contrasting Pieces of applicant’s choice – between 8-10 minutes total
  • Two scales (one major and one minor) of students choice- three octaves

Woodwinds & Brass

  • A two-octave chromatic scale beginning on a note of your choice. You may perform more than two octaves if you wish. Perform the scale in eighth-notes at the tempo of approximately quarter-note equals 112, legato ascending, staccato descending.
  • A slow, lyrical section of a solo or etude demonstrating expressive capabilities and musicianship (2 minutes max)
  • A technical section of a solo or etude demonstrating facility and technique (2 minutes max)


  • You must audition in all three areas, snare drum, timpani AND mallets.
  • You must perform one solo selection or etude on a keyboard percussion instrument, snare drum [parade or concert], or timpani. Not to exceed 2 minutes
  • Examples of rudiments can be found on the Percussive Arts Society website.
Snare Drum single stroke roll (open-closed-open)
double stroke roll (open-closed-open)
flam (open-closed-open)
Timpani single stroke roll
tune drums to the following intervals:
minor 3rd, major 3rd, P4th and P5th
major scales AND arpeggios in two-octaves ascending and descending:
G, F, D, and Bb

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Schedule Coming Soon

Saturday January 30, 2016 (Final Performance)
6:45 Hall opens (free concert, general admission)
7:00 Concert
8:15 Concert Concludes


All accepted students will be housed in the beautiful Courtyard Marriott Hotel, 300 W. Michigan St, Milwaukee, WI 53203. Participants will be supervised by graduate students and as well as security personnel provided by the music department.

Through a generous grant from the William F. Vilas Trust Estate, all accepted students will attend tuition free. The only cost to participants will be lodging and two meals. Lunch on Friday, February 6 will be the student’s responsibility. Participants will be required to provide their own transportation to and from Milwaukee.

Two lodging options: Quad Room (two queen beds) $50 includes dinner on Jan. 29,
breakfast and dinner on Jan. 30.
  Double Room (two queen beds) $70, includes dinner on Jan. 29,
breakfast and dinner on Jan. 30

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Guest Artists

john mackeyJohn Mackey, born October 1, 1973, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with John Corigliano and Donald Erb, respectively.  Mr. Mackey particularly enjoys writing music for dance and for symphonic winds, and he has focused on those mediums for the past few years.

His works have been performed at the Sydney Opera House; the Brooklyn Academy of Music; Carnegie Hall; the Kennedy Center; Weill Recital Hall; Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival; Italy's Spoleto Festival; Alice Tully Hall; the Joyce Theater; Dance Theater Workshop; and throughout Italy, Chile, Japan, China, Norway, Spain, Colombia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

John has received numerous commissions from the Parsons Dance Company, as well as commissions from the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, the Dallas Theater Center, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the New York Youth Symphony, Ailey 2, Concert Artists Guild, Peridance Ensemble, and Jeanne Ruddy Dance, among many others. Recent commissions include works for the American Bandmasters Association, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and a concerto for New York Philharmonic Principal Trombonist Joseph Alessi.

As a frequent collaborator, John has worked with a diverse range of artists, from Doug Varone to David Parsons, from Robert Battle to the US Olympic Synchronized Swim Team. (The team won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics performing to Mackey's score, "Damn.")

John has been recognized with numerous grants and awards from organizations including ASCAP (Concert Music Awards, 1999 through 2008; Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, 2002 and 2003), the American Music Center (Margaret Jory Fairbanks Copying Assistance Grant, 2000, 2002), and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust (Live Music for Dance commissioning grants, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2005), and an NEA grant in 2007.  He was a CalArts/Alpert Award nominee in 2000.

In February 2003, the Brooklyn Philharmonic premiered John’s work “Redline Tango” at the BAM Opera House, with Kristjan Jarvi conducting. The Dallas Symphony, under Andrew Litton, performed the piece in both Dallas and Vail in 2004. Mr. Litton performed the work again in 2005, this time with the Minnesota Orchestra, and again in 2006 with the Bergen Philharmonic of Norway. Marin Alsop performed the work at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in the summer of 2005. John made a new version of the work for wind ensemble in 2004 -- Mackey's first work for wind band -- and that version has since received over 250 performances worldwide. The wind version won the 2004 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize, and in 2005, the ABA/Ostwald Award from the American Bandmasters Association, making John the youngest composer to receive the honor. John again received the ABA/Ostwald Award - as well as the National Band Association's William D. Revelli Award - in 2009 for "Aurora Awakes."

John served as a Meet-The-Composer/American Symphony Orchestra League "Music Alive!" Composer In Residence with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony in 2002-2003, and with the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2004-2005. He was Composer In Residence at the Vail Valley Music Festival in Vail, Colorado, in the summer of 2004, and Composer In Residence at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in August 2005.  He has held college residencies at Florida State, University of Georgia, Georgia State University, James Madison University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Florida, University of Alabama, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State University, Texas Tech, Ball State, University of Oklahoma, Arizona State, Oklahoma State University, University of Washington, University of Southern California, University of Texas, and many others. Mr. Mackey served as Music Director of the Parsons Dance Company from 1999-2003, and he taught at Cal State Long Beach in 2008-2009.


hans grafHans Graf is one of today's most highly respected musicians, known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, the distinguished Austrian conductor.

Appointed Music Director of the Houston Symphony in 2001, Mr. Graf concluded his tenure in May 2013 and is the longest serving Music Director in the orchestra’s history. Prior to his appointment in Houston, he was the Music Director of the Calgary Philharmonic for eight seasons and held the same post with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for six years. He also led the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra from 1984 to 1994.

Hans Graf is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras. His recent and upcoming guest engagements include appearances with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Baltimore, indianapolis, Milwaukee, Colorado, Utah and National symphonies and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra among others. Mr. Graf made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Houston Symphony in January 2006 and returned to Carnegie leading the Orchestra of St. Luke's in March 2007. He and the Houston Symphony were re-invited to appear at Carnegie Hall in January 2010, at which time they presented the New York premiere of The Planets – An HD Odyssey, featuring the orchestra playing Holst’s famous work, The Planets, accompanied by exclusive high definition images from NASA’s exploration of the solar system. Mr. Graf and the Houston Symphony returned to Carnegie Hall again in May 2012 to participate in Carnegie’s Spring for Music festival with an all-Shostakovich program.

In Europe, Mr. Graf has conducted the Vienna and London Philharmonics, Vienna Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic among others. He is also a regular guest with the Sydney Symphony and the Hong Kong, Malaysia and Seoul Philharmonics.

In October 2010, Mr. Graf led the Houston Symphony on a tour of the UK which included performances in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester and two performances at the Barbican in London. And in June 2012, the Houston Symphony, led by Mr. Graf, was the first major American orchestra to appear at the Festival of World Symphony Orchestras in Moscow, presenting two programs which included Bruckner 9, the Russian premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic Symphony, and the first performance in Russia by an American orchestra of Shostakovich Symphony No. 11.

During the summer of 2013, Mr. Graf returned to the Salzburg Festival for three different performances, including conducting a new work by Austrian composer Gerhard Wimberger with the Mozarteum Orchestra and leading an unusual, multi-media TV production of Mozart’s The Abduction From the Seraglio with the Camerata Salzburg. He has also participated in other such prestigious European festivals as the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Bregenz and Aix en Provence. His US festival appearances include Tanglewood, Blossom Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Grant Park Music Festival in downtown Chicago.

An experienced opera conductor, Mr. Graf first conducted the Vienna State Opera in 1981 and has since led productions in the opera houses of Berlin, Munich, Paris and Rome among others. His extensive opera repertoire includes several world premieres.  Recent opera engagements include Parsifal at the Zurich Opera, Boris Godunov at the Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg, and two rarely produced operas by Strauss and Korngold at the famed Volksoper Vienna.

Hans Graf has recorded for the EMI, Orfeo, CBC, Erato, Capriccio and JVC labels and his extensive discography includes the complete symphonies of Mozart and Schubert, the premiere recording of Zemlinsky's opera Es war einmal and the complete orchestral works of Dutilleux, which he recorded under the supervision of the composer with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine for BMG Arte Nova. His recordings with the Houston Symphony include Bartok’s Wooden Prince for Koch International; Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony, Berg’s Three Pieces from the Lyric Suite and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde for Naxos; and a DVD of The Planets – An HD Odyssey, available through the Houston Symphony. His most recent recordings are the complete works by Paul Hindemith for viola and orchestra with Tabea Zimmermann and the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Berlin and a live recording of Carmina Burana with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition, a recording of a live performance of Wozzeck with the Houston Symphony is due to be released by Naxos in the fall of 2015.

Born near Linz, Hans Graf first studied violin and piano. After receiving diplomas in piano and conducting from the Musikhochschule in Graz, he continued his studies in Italy with Franco Ferrara and Sergui Celibadache and in Russia with Arvid Jansons. Mr. Graf has been awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Legion d'Honneur by the French government for championing French music around the world as well as the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.

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Climer 2015

John Climer is Director of University Bands and Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. At UW-Milwaukee, John oversees all aspects of the band program, guides the graduate wind conducting area, and serves as conductor of the Wind Ensemble, the University’s premiere wind band. He is also serving as Music Director of UWM’s Youth Wind Ensemble program. Before his appointment in Milwaukee, he served for fourteen years as Director of Bands at Ohio University.

As a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Climer has led performances at numerous festivals, universities, and concert venues including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Eastman School of Music, and the Rocky Mountain Music Festival among others. Ensembles under his direction have performed for four conferences of the College Band Directors National Association including the 2013 National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, the Ohio Music Educators Association (1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008), the Wisconsin State Music Conference, and the Society of Composers Inc. In July of 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble performed at the 16th International Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in San Jose, CA. Most recently, he served as a guest conductor at the Conservatorio di Musica in Salerno, Italy.

John is the recipient of the Ohio University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award, the Ohio University College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher Award, and in 2007, he received the Outstanding Music Educator Alumni Award from the University of Akron. He is Past-President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association and the former Editor of the Report, the online journal publication for CBDNA. He is a contributing author for the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series and his professional memberships include Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, the College Band Directors National Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Band and Ensembles. His biography is published in the third edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Climer earned degrees from the University of Akron, the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. His principal conducting teachers were Gary W. Hill and Terence Milligan, and he studied trombone with Edward Zadrozny, Tony Chipurn, and John Leisenring. He teaching includes appointments at Ohio University, the University of North Dakota, Ohio Northern University, and Emory University (Atlanta, GA) where he also served as the conductor of the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony.


jun_kim_web"Jun Kim conducted the UWM Symphony Orchestra, which played Ravel's challenging, jazzy score with snappy energy and a terrific ear for detail..." -Milwaukee Magazine-

"... emotions spilled wondrously over into a performance...led by Jun Kim, a young conductor ...." - Duluth News Tribune-

The recent prize winner of 2013 Orquesta de Cordoba Conducting Competition (2nd prize) in Spain and 2012 Black Sea Conducting Competition (3rd prize) in Romania, Jun Kim has conducted extensively in North America and Europe.

Jun Kim has appeared with the orchestras such as the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the St. Petersburg State Symphony, Moscow Symphony in Russia, Constanta Symphony, Pitesti philharmonic and Bacau Philharmonic in Romania, Lithuanian State Symphony in Lithuania, Radom Chamber Orchestra in Poland, Symphony Orchestra of Elche in Spain, Berlin Sinfonietta in Germany, Winnipeg Symphony in Canada, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and Richmond Symphony in USA. He has been selected as a Discovery Series Conductor at the Oregon Bach Festival under Maestro Helmuth Rilling. He has participated at the National Arts Center of Canada Conducting program and was personally selected by Maestro Kurt Masur for the Kurt Masur conducting seminar in New York. In addition, he has worked for the production of Verdi's La Traviata at National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania and has returned to conduct the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra by musicians' invitation for their subscription concert.

Most recently, Jun Kim has been selected to participate at St. Magnus Festival in U.K. to work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He was also chosen to work with Cincinnati Symphony and the May festival Chorus, and also with Baltimore Symphony with Marin Alsop. His guest conducting engagement in next season includes the National Orchestra of Opera and Ballet in Constanta, Romania and Cordoba Symphony Orchestra in Spain.

Jun Kim has worked with Maestros such as Dumitru Goia, Jorma Panula, Martyn Brabbins, Kenneth Kiesler, Xian Zhang, Colin Metters, Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar.

Active as a violinist and an avid chamber musician, Jun Kim has played numerous recitals and concerts and he has been invited to give violin masterclasses and performances at universities in US and in his native Korea, and served on many competition juries. He has won prizes and awards including the Starling Competition, the CCM Concerto Competition, CIBC Canada National Music Competition and was a recipient of the Aspen Music Festival Fellowship, British Columbia Cultural Scholarship, Bowdoin Festival fellowship, and CCM Spoleto Fellowship, among others. Jun Kim studied violin with Miriam Fried, Victor Danchenko and Won-Bin Yim and played in masterclasses by Cho-liang Lin, Pamela Frank, and Federico Agostini. He has worked chamber music with the members of the Juilliard Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, La Salle Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, and the Peabody Trio.

Currently Jun Kim is the Director of Orchestral Activities at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and music director of UWM Symphony Orchestra in Milwaukee, USA.

Jun Kim has received the Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, the Master of Music degree from Indiana University, the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and the Artist Diploma from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Contact Info

John Climer |

Jun Kim |


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