University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Milwaukee Music Festival High School Honor Band: November 18-19, 2016


The Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pleased to announce the third 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 run concurrent with the annual Middle School Honor Band Festival. The finale concert will be under the direction of Dr. John Climer, Director of University Bands. All interested high school music students, grades 9-12, are invited to audition.

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 meals. Supervised lodging will be at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott in Milwaukee. Conductors John Climer and Scott Corley 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.

Festival Highlights Include

  • Master classes with UWM faculty artists and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra members
  • All accepted students receive a scholarship to cover instructional fees (nominal fees apply for lodging & meals, approx. $80)
  • Supervised lodging at Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Downtown Milwaukee
  • Work with the renowned composer Aaron Perrine
  • Auditions accepted electronically as mp3 files or links to video [No audition or application fee]

Detailed information, including audition requirements will be sent to schools on or around September 1, 2016. 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)

Audition Information

There are three ways to audition -  Register Now

1. Live Audition
   Mon. OCT 17
   Madison Area Auditions
   Sun Prairie High School Band Room, 3:30-5:30PM

   Thur. OCT 20   
   Fond du Lac Area Auditions
   Fond du Lac High School Band Room, 4-6PM

   Thur. OCT 20
   Green Bay Area Auditions
   Green Bay Preble HS Band Room, 3:30-5:30PM

   Sat. OCT 22
   Milwaukee Area Auditions
   UW-Milwaukee Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 10AM-2PM

2. Digital Video Audition
3. Digital Audio Audition

Audition Requirements (for both live and digital auditions)

Woodwinds & Brass

  • A slow, lyrical section of a solo or etude demonstrating expressive capabilities and musicianship (2-3 minutes max)
  • A technical section of a solo or etude demonstrating facility and technique (2-3 minutes max)


  • Audition in all three areas, snare drum, timpani, and mallets.
  • Perform an excerpt from one solo selection or etude on a keyboard percussion instrument, snare drum [parade or concert], or timpani. (2 minutes each max totaling 6 minutes)

Back to top


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 some meals. Participants will be required to provide their own transportation to and from Milwaukee.

Two lodging options: Quad Room (two queen beds) includes dinner on Nov. 18,
breakfast and dinner on Nov. 19.
  Double Room (two beds) includes dinner on Nov. 18,
breakfast and dinner on Nov. 19

Back to top

Guest Artist


With works in a variety of genres, Aaron Perrine’s music has been performed by some of the leading ensembles and soloists across the United States and beyond. Recently, one of his compositions for wind ensemble, Pale Blue on Deep, won the 2013 American Bandmasters Association Sousa/Ostwald Award, and was performed by the University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble at the 80th annual ABA Convention. Another one of his compositions, Only Light, will be included on the latest University of Kansas Wind Ensemble Naxos recording. Additionally, April, was a finalist in the first Frank Ticheli Composition Contest and was included in the series, Teaching Music through Performance in Band. His music for band has also been featured at The Midwest Clinic, The Western International Band Clinic, and at numerous all-state, state conference and honor band concerts.

Perrine’s chamber music has received many notable performances. Most recently, Primal—for saxophone quartet—was performed at the 2014 NASA Biennial Conference in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and the 2012 World Saxophone Congress XVI in St. Andrews, Scotland. Further, Bridge Suite—for alto saxophone and cello—was performed at the 2012 NASA Biennial Conference in Tempe, Arizona.

Perrine has received degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota, Morris, and is currently an assistant professor of music at Cornell College. Most of his music is self-published under the name, Longitude 91 Publications, while some titles are published with C. Alan Publications. For more information, please visit


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 has held faculty 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.

Master Classes

Flute Jennifer Clippert
Oboe Katherine Young Steele
Clarinet Todd Levy
Bassoon Beth Giocabassi
Saxophone Curt Hanrahan
Horn Greg Flint
Trumpet Kevin Hartman
Trombone Mark Hoelsher
Tuba/Euphonium Matthew Gaunt
Percussion Tom Wetzel


The finale concert will take place on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:
Saturday, November 19 at 7PM
Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts-Bader Concert Hall
2419 E. Kenwood Blvd; Milwaukee, WI

Contact Info

Festival Coordinator: Will Obst |
Director of Bands: John Climer |
Assistant Director of Bands: Scott Corely |


Back to top