Symphonic Honor Band Opportunities

Please see the information below concerning great honor band opportunities. I highly encourage ANY students to sign-up and try for these opportunities, whether a student thinks he or she is capable.

University of Alabama Honor Band Festival

High School February 2-5, 2017  – Applications Deadline: November 28

Registration for the 32nd Annual High School Honor Band Festival is now open and will remain open until Monday, November 28, 2016. Please feel free to share the High School Honor Band webpage link with your students and parents: From this link, they can access the online registration form.

The Thirty-Second Annual Alabama High School Honor Band Festival will be held at the University of Alabama from February 2-5, 2017. The Alabama Honor Band Festival is an event developed for the purpose of recognizing the achievements of exceptional high school musicians. As in previous years, we will award Alabama Concert Ensemble Participation Scholarships and Million Dollar Band Participation Scholarships. Both music majors and non-music majors are eligible for these awards. We will again award one School of Music Full-Tuition Scholarship (see Scholarship section below – at the link), which will be available to a student majoring in music.  

The festival weekend includes clinics presented by the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Music and concerts presented by the Alabama Symphonic Band, the Alabama Wind Ensemble and the “SPECTRUM” concert, which features several of our wind and percussion ensembles as well as the 400 member Million Dollar Band. This year, we will present four outstanding high school ensembles in concert, along with the five festival honor bands.


This year, we will seat four Honor Bands and one Festival Wind Ensemble at the festival. The Festival Wind Ensemble will be a smaller group made up of the top chair winners. The four Festival Honor Bands will be made up of equal strength musicians. Students will be placed alternately in the festival honor bands. Our staff feels that this provides the best experience for all participants.


Festival Wind Ensemble

  • Eugene Corporon, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

Clinic Bands

  • Dr. Josh Byrd, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA
  • Dr. Joseph Higgins, Rowan University, Glamssboro, NJ
  • Dr. Emily Moss, California State University, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dr. Marc Sosnowchik, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

2017 Auburn University Symphonic Honor Band

High School February 9-11, 2017  – Applications Deadline: November 11

We are now accepting applications for our 2017 High School and Middle School Symphonic Honor Band Festivals.

We encourage you to apply if you haven’t already done so! These selective festivals offer an excellent opportunity for young musicians to work with outstanding conductors and composers, spend time on the Auburn University campus, and have a wonderful musical experience.

This year, we are pleased to feature composers Aldo Forte and Robert Sheldon (High School Festival) and Timothy Loest (Middle School Festival).

Here is the link 

The 39th Annual Mid-South Honor Band

Ole Miss campus February 16-18, 2017

The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) Honor Band nominations are coming up.  Please click the link below to visit their website with detailed information about the event – the first page contains information about the guest conductors with links to info at the bottom.  Our very own Samantha Bodine (oboe and color guard) graduated this past May and is currently a member of both the “Pride of the South’s” Color Guard and an oboe player in the Ole Miss Wind Ensemble.

Anyone interested in being nominated and potentially attending this honor band, need to email me by the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday (two weeks).  I will be able to nominate only SIX 9-12 qualified instrumentalists. 

2017 USA Concert Honor Wind Ensemble

High School January 6-8, 2017  – Applications Deadline: November 28

We welcome students in grades 9-12 to apply for the University of South Alabama Concert Honor Wind Ensemble to be held January 6-8, 2017 on the campus of the University of South Alabama!  Hosted in the state-of-the-art Laidlaw Performing Arts Center, students will experience a rewarding weekend of music-making with nationally recognized conductor and music educator, David M. McKee, Senior Instructor of Music and Director of Athletic Bands at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, VA.  Students can apply online beginning on October 15, 2016.

Clinician and Conductor: David M. McKee, Virginia Tech

David McKee is in his thirty-first year at Virginia Tech, where he serves as director of The Marching Virginians and Senior Instructor of Music, conducting the University Symphony Band. A native of Lynchburg, he received his B.M.E. from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music in 1976 and his M.A.Ed. from Virginia Tech in 1986. He joined Virginia Tech as a graduate assistant in 1984 and took over as Director of the Marching Virginians in 1986.

Under his direction, The Marching Virginians have performed throughout the nation for football games, parades and other activities, sharing performances with bands with such schools as the University of Texas, Florida State University, and the University of Tennessee. In addition to a demanding schedule of performances throughout the football season, The Marching Virginians are the model of Ut Prosim serving the university community through nineteen Hokies for the Hungry canned food drives, two collaborative hurricane relief trips to New Orleans with the YMCA Student Programs at Virginia Tech, and countless performances and presentations for public school students in the region. In the spring of 2009, the Marching Virginians partnered with Community Housing Partners to build a home in honor of Ryan “Stack” Clark, a band member and victim of the 2007 campus shooting. Under McKee’s guidance, the Marching Virginians Alumni Association has developed into an exceptional source of networking and funding for the Marching Virginians, providing millions of dollars of support to the band. In the fall of 2015, the Marching Virginians opened the new Marching Virginians Center, a collaborative effort by the Department of Athletics, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the support of hundreds of alumni, friends and families of the band.

In addition to directing The Marching Virginians, McKee teaches aural skills and conducts the Symphony Band during the spring semester. Throughout the nation he is an active guest conductor, clinician, and advocate for music education in the public schools. At the 2007 Virginia Music Educators Association Conference in Norfolk, he served as a percussionist, orator, and conductor within the span of forty-eight hours. In 2005, Mr. McKee was awarded a Certificate of Teaching Excellence by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. He is a member of the ACC Band Directors Association, past-president of the Big East Band Directors Association and has served on the Athletic Band Advisory Committee of the College Band Directors National Association. He and his wife, Charlotte, celebrated their fortieth anniversary in the summer of 2016. They are the proud parents of three adult children.

Audition Process

Students currently in grades 9-12 can apply online ( ) beginning October 15, 2016 through a registration link on the Department of Music website. All students must provide a web link to their audition etude excerpt performed on video/audio through (this can be through Dropbox, YouTube, or Google Drive).  

The audition material for wind instrumentalists will be the Alabama 2017 All-State Senior High Lyrical Etude (Series A HSL)for your particular instrument (Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Bb Clarinet, Low Clarinet, Saxophones, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium (TC/BC), Tuba,  and String Bass).  A minimum 30 second excerpt from the selected etude is required (please state measure numbers in your recording).

Percussionists should prepare two minimum 30 second excerpts from two of the three 2017 Alabama All State HS Exercises for Percussion (any combination of Snare, Mallet, and Timpani).  A minimum 30 second excerpt of each selected etude is required (please state measure numbers in your recording).

You can find the Alabama All-State exercises online here.  

  •  In your recording, you should clearly state  the following 1) Your Name 2) Your High School 3) Your Instrument
  •  Applications will be accepted through Monday, November 28, 2016. 
  •  Students will be notified of their status on Friday, December 2, 2016.  

Students auditioning are encouraged to make use of the 2017 Alabama All-State Preparation Podcasts provided by the USA Music faculty, which will be available here.

Honor Wind Ensemble Features

  • Instruction by nationally recognized clinician and masterclasses by USA faculty
  • Honor Wind Ensemble Medal
  • Honor Wind Ensemble T-shirt
  • Saturday Night Dinner Provided
  • Host Concert provided by the University of South Alabama Wind Ensemble and more!
  • Honor Wind Ensemble Finale Concert (Professionally Recorded)
  • Complimentary Finale Concert DVD and Audio CD

There is no cost to apply for the University of South Alabama Concert Honor Wind Ensemble.  Students who are selected for this event will pay a $40.00 registration fee.  This registration fee covers the costs of all features and activities.


  • Friday, January 6, 2017
    • 3:00 PM-4:00PM – Registration Open (Lobby of the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center)
      • Accepted students will be assigned a part placement audition time
      • Placement auditions will consist of scales and sight reading
      • Warm-up areas will be available
    • 6:30 PM – Welcome and orientation meeting (Laidlaw Recital Hall)
    • 6:50 PM – Seating Placement audition results posted.
      • Honor Wind Ensemble – Laidlaw Recital Hall Stage
    • 7:15 PM – Rehearsal for Honor Wind Ensemble on Stage
    • 9:30 PM – Rehearsal complete.
      • Students must depart for hotels or local residences.
      • Chaperones and band directors in attendance are responsible for students.
      • Secure areas will be made available for storage of instruments.
  • Saturday, January 7, 2017
    • 7:15 AM – Laidlaw open for students wishing to warm-up or practice
    • 7:55 AM – All student participants should be seated in their ensemble, warming up
    • 8:00 AM – Rehearsal
      • Honor Wind Ensemble – Laidlaw Recital Hall Stage
    • 11:45 AM – Lunch Break (on your own)
    • 1:30 PM – Masterclasses with University of South Alabama faculty
    • 2:45 PM – Snack Break (provided)
    • 3:00 PM – Rehearsal
      • Honor Wind Ensemble – Laidlaw Rehearsal Hall
    • 5:30 PM – Banquet Dinner with Department of Music Faculty (provided, in Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Rehearsal Hall)
    • 7:30 PM – Host Concert by the University of South Alabama Wind Ensemble (Laidlaw Recital Hall)
    • 9:15 PM – Concert complete.
      • Students must depart for hotels or local residences.
      • Chaperones and band directors in attendance are responsible for students.
      • Secure areas will be made available for storage of instruments.
  • Sunday, January 8, 2017
    • 8:00 AM – Laidlaw open for students wishing to warm-up or practice
    • 8:55 AM – All Honor Wind Ensemble participants must be seated on Recital Hall stage, warming up
    • 9:00 AM – Honor Wind Ensemble dress rehearsal on stage
    • 11:00 AM – Honor Wind Ensemble dismissed
    • 11:00 PM – Lunch Break (on your own)
    • 12:30 PM – Report Time for Finale Concert
    • 1:00 PM – Finale Concert (Laidlaw Recital Hall)

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