University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Milwaukee Music Festival For High School Musicians: February 6-7, 2015

milwaukee music festival

Thank you to all students who auditioned for the 2015 Milwaukee Music Festival! We were fortunate to hear a large number of auditions, both live and through online YouTube submissions. The quality of those auditions was outstanding, and admission into the festival was highly competitive. If you were not selected for participation this year, we hope that you will audition again in the future. If you were selected, congratulations on performing a truly outstanding audition on your instrument! Below you will find a link to information for all accepted students. Please follow it to find registration and housing information, a detailed schedule, and other important items regarding your participation in the festival. We look forward to having you on campus in February!

If you were selected as an alternate, please do not register yet. We will contact you regarding your participation if any positions in the ensembles become available.

accepted student registration

Two highly select ensembles:
String Orchestra & Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Schedule | Lodging/Costs | Guest Artists | Conductors

The Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pleased to announce the establishment of a one-of-a-kind 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 Guest Artist, Andrew Litton, Michael Markowski and UW-Milwaukee faculty artists, including members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. 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 accepted students receive a full scholarship to cover instructional fees (nominal fee for lodging & meals)
  • Supervised lodging at Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Downtown Milwaukee
  • Work with the Guest Artists : A renowned American Conductor, Music director of Colorado Symphony, Andrew Litton, and Noted Composer Michael Markowski
  • Live and online video auditions available [No audition or application fee]

Schedule (subject to change)

Friday February 6, 2015
1:00 Welcome Meeting (Bader Concert Hall)
1:30-3:15 Rehearsal #1 (Wind Ensemble - Room 280; Strings Orch - Bader Hall)
3:30 Rehearsal #2 (Same Locations)
5:30 Dinner (Sandburg Dining Hall)
7:00-9:00 Rehearsal #3 (Wind Ensemble - Room 250; String Orch - Bader Hall)
9:00 Social Activity and Pizza (Room 280)
10:30 Return to Hotel (Courtyard Marriott; supervised lodging
11:30pm Lights Out
Saturday February 7, 2015
6:45-7:30am Breakfast at the hotel
7:45 Depart for campus
8:15-9:45 Rehearsal #4 (Wind Ensemble - Bader Hall; String Orch - Room 280)
10:00-10:50 Clinics with UWM Faculty & Guests (Locations TBA)
11:00 Session with MSO Guest Conductor, Maestro Andrew Litton (Room 280)
12:00 Lunch on your own (student union)
1:15 – 2:15 Faculty Showcase Recital (Bader Concert Hall)
2:30 Rehearsal #5 (Wind Ensemble - Bader Hall; String Orch - Room 280)
4:30 Combined Rehearsal (Bader Hall)
5:00 Dinner (Sandburg Dining Hall)
6:30 String Orch

Milwaukee Music Festival Concert

Saturday February 7, 2015
6:45 Hall opens (free concert, general admission)
7:00 Concert
8:15 Concert Concludes

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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 Feb. 6,
breakfast and dinner on Feb. 7.
  Double Room (two queen beds) $70, includes dinner on Feb. 6,
breakfast and dinner on Feb. 7

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Guest Artists

andrew_litton_webAndrew Litton currently serves as Music Director of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver, Artistic Director of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, and Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony. He guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies and has a discography of over 120 recordings with awards including America’s Grammy, France’s Diapason d’Or, and many British and other honors.

First appointed Bergen Philharmonic Music Director in 2003, Litton will have the distinguished honor to celebrate the orchestra’s 250th Anniversary in 2015. It is one of the world’s longest established orchestras. In recognition of Litton’s achievements with the Bergen Philharmonic, Norway’s King Harald knighted Litton with the Royal Order of Merit. Under Litton’s leadership the Bergen Philharmonic has taken numerous tours, including debuts at the London BBC Proms and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as appearances at Vienna’s Musikverein, Berlin’s Philharmonie, and New York’s Carnegie Hall - the capstone of its first American tour in 40 years. Litton and the Bergen Philharmonic record for the BIS and Hyperion labels, and have won extraordinary critical acclaim for their Mendelssohn, Stravinsky, and Prokofiev series.

In addition to his continuing work with Bergen and Colorado, Mr Litton opens this season with a flourish leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra of London first at the London Proms and then again with that orchestra to open its Barbican series of concerts. Litton also will make welcome returns to the BBC Scottish Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the RTE Symphony Orchestra Ireland, the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, and will make debuts with the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hannover, the Bremen Philharmonic, the Tampere Philharmonic and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Elsewhere in the world, he returns to the Minnesota Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra with concerts in Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Notably, last season, after collaborating in his student days as piano soloist with the legendary Rudolph Nureyev and Natalia Makarova, Litton returned to the world of ballet and conducted the New York City Ballet’s new production of Delibes Coppélia to great acclaim.

Conductor of many of the world’s top opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Australian Opera, Litton participated with the Bergen Philharmonic in founding the Bergen National Opera. Now its Artistic Advisor, Litton has conducted critically acclaimed, sold-out performances of Tosca, Carmen, Flying Dutchman, and La Bohème. This season he conducts Aida having led a new production last year of Fidelio, directed by Oskaras Korsunovas. Litton also conducts Carmen with the Mannheim Opera as well.

An accomplished pianist, Litton often conducts from the keyboard and enjoys performing chamber music with his orchestra colleagues. Litton is recognized as an authority on Gershwin, having extensively performed and recorded as pianist and conductor Gershwin’s works in America, Asia and Europe. He led the Covent Garden premiere of Porgy and Bess and arranged his own concert Suite of that work now performed throughout the world. The University of Michigan has asked Litton to join a distinguished panel of Gershwin experts in developing a Critical Edition of all Gershwin works.

Passionate about the music and playing of the late Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Litton just recorded his first solo piano album, A Tribute to Oscar Peterson, which was released on the BIS label.

Litton was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 1988-1994, bringing it on its first American tour and producing 14 recordings, including the Grammy winning Belshazzar’s Feast. Music Director of the Dallas Symphony from 1994-2006, he hired over one third of the players, led the orchestra on three major European tours, appeared four times at Carnegie Hall, created a children’s television series broadcast nationally and in widespread use in school curricula, produced 28 recordings, and helped raise the orchestra’s endowment from $19 million to $100 million. Litton’s Dallas Symphony Rachmaninov Piano Concerto recordings with Stephen Hough, widely hailed as the best since the composer’s own, won the Classical Brits/BBC Critics Award. Litton also received a Grammy nomination for his recording of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic and Patti Lupone.

Andrew Litton, a graduate of the Fieldston School, New York, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard in piano and conducting. The youngest-ever winner of the BBC International Conductors Competition, he served as Assistant Conductor at Teatro alla Scala and Exxon/Arts Endowment Assistant Conductor for the National Symphony under Rostropovich. His many honors in addition to Norway’s Royal Order of Merit include an honorary Doctorate from the University of Bournemouth, Yale University’s Sanford Medal, and the Elgar Society Medal.

markowski-big2_webMichael Markowski (b. 1986) is fully qualified to watch movies and cartoons. In 2010, he successfully graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film from Arizona State University. While Markowski has never studied music at a university, he has studied privately with his mentors, Jon Gomez, and Dr. Karl Schindler. However, he has continued his education by participating in a number of programs including "the art of orchestration" with television and film orchestrator, Steven Scott Smalley, was invited to the National Band Association's Young Composer and Conductor Mentorship program in 2008, and most recently participated in the 2014 NYU/ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker where he was named one of ASCAP's Film & TV "Composers to Watch." Mark Snow, composer of The X-Files and one of the workshop's guest mentors, says Michael's music was "extremely sophisticated" and "complimented the mood and emotion of the scene with unusual maturity and sensitivity."

In 2006, his work for concert band, Shadow Rituals, was honored with first prize in the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, sponsored by Manhattan Beach Music. The work is now published by Manhattan Beach Music and is on several state lists including the Texas Prescribed Music List. The piece has received a number of prestigious performances since its premiere by the Arizona State University Wind Symphony.

Other notable performances include The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West, the US Air Force Band of Mid-America, Arizona State University, California State University-Fullerton, Rutgers University, San Jose State University, The University of North Texas, Arrowhead Union High School, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensembles, and the Austin Symphonic Band.

He has received commissions for new works from a number of organizations including CBDNA, The Consortium for the Advancement of Wind Band Literature, The Lesbian and Gay Band Association, Arrowhead Union High School and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Youth Wind Ensembles, Bethel High School, and other consortiums of schools.

When life is not about band, Markowski enjoys writing weird songs with friends which he pens under the pseudonym Tune & Lube. The band released their first studio-recorded EP in Spring 2011 called The Way She Goes, which features guest vocals by Canadian actor, John Dunsworth (best known for playing Mr. Lahey in Trailer Park Boys), in the titular track. The EP is available for digital download on iTunes,, and CDBaby.

For the last several years, he has arranged, co-composed, and been music director for an original musical celebrating the life of Judy Garland aptly titled Judy: The Musical. In April 2011, the musical was staged in Tempe, Arizona and starred actress and singer Paige O'Hara (best known for playing Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast).

Over the years, Markowski has also recently inherited a number of notable nick-names that include (but are not limited to) Mark Markowski, Mark Mikeowski, Mike Mikeowski, 'kowski, Marchowski, and Big Cat.

He is a member of ASCAP, the Society of Composers & Lyricists, and currently lives in Astoria, New York.

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climer3_prefered_webJohn 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. 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. He holds memberships in Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Mu, the College Band Directors National Association, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the National Association for Music Education. His biography is published in the third edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

John is the recipient of the 1997 Ohio University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award, the 2001 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 President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association and the former Editor of the Report, an online publication of CBDNA. He is currently working on a recording project that will showcase repertoire for soloists and winds and will feature the UW-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble and faculty artists. The project is funded with a grant from the William F. Vilas Trust Estate, and will be completed in 2014.

Climer earned degrees from the University of Akron, 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 has served on the faculties of 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.

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