Middle School Honors Band Festival

uwm middle school honors band festival

November 16–18, 2018

Questions: ms-honors-band@uwm.edu or (414) 229-5641

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 regionally and nationally recognized wind band conductors. In addition, students interact with UWM performance staff, and they hear performances by UWM ensembles.

Director Nominations (Oct 1–15)

Only students who are nominated by their school band director are eligible to attend. Students will receive notice of their acceptance to the festival or their “wait-list” designation by email on or around October 24.

If you have yet to receive information in the mail, you may download the Director’s Packet in advance.

Nomination Form

Student Registration (Oct 24–Nov 9)

Students who are nominated by their Band Director and selected for acceptance to the festival will be emailed on or around October 24 and should complete the registration by following the link in the acceptance email. (If computer access is limited, please contact the Box Office at (414) 229-4308 for assistance) 

Festival registration is $95.00 per student which includes all instruction, rehearsal spaces, and music. It also includes admission to the final concert for the students’ family and other supporters (no physical tickets necessary). An optional purchase of a CD recording ($12 each) of the final festival performances will also be available.

Festival Schedule

Participating students must be able to commit to the full duration of all activities listed below. Activities labeled with an asterisk(*) are optional portions of the schedule.

Detailed Schedule

Friday, November 16

4:00-5:00pm On-site Check-In: UWM Union, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd – Be sure to have a snack before you check-in
5:15pm Seating of the ensembles (UWM Union)
5:30-8:00pm Rehearsal segment #1 (UWM Union) – Periodic breaks at the conductors’ discretion

Saturday, November 17

8:00-11:00am  Rehearsals resume (UWM Union) – Periodic breaks at the conductors’ discretion
11:00am-12:30pm Lunch break – Bring a bag lunch, or limited UWM Union food court options available
12:30-5:00pm Rehearsals and sectionals (UWM Union) – Periodic breaks at the conductors’ discretion. A snack will also be provided during the afternoon. 
*5:00-7:00pm Dinner Break – Students/families not wishing to attend the Saturday evening concert are excused from the Middle School Festival activities at 5pm.
*7:00-9:00pm Milwaukee Music Festival High School Honor Band concert (Zelazo Center) – Free and open to middle school festival participants and band directors

Sunday, November 18

Morning Staggered Rehearsals (UWM Union) & Lunch Breaks (on your own) – A more detailed schedule will be provided during the on-site check-in. 
1:00-4:00pm Final Concert performances – Band nicknames are associated with the home state of each group’s conductor.
1:00pm Georgia” Honor Band (Matt Koperniak, Georgia Southern University)
2:00pm Illinois” Honor Band (Matthew Temple, band director at New Trier (IL) High School)
3:00pm “New York” Honor Band (Matthew Cool, band director at Williamsville (NY) South High School)

Students will receive a more detailed schedule for Sunday at the festival. Students are dismissed from the festival immediately following their final concert performance.

Final Concert (Sunday, November 18)

  • All Sunday final performances will take place in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, 2419 E Kenwood Blvd.
  • Enter the Zelazo Center through the WEST side of the Zelazo Center (Prospect Ave). This entrance does require the use of stairs.
  • Special needs access (ramp/elevator) is on the South side of the Zelazo Center via the small parking lot.
  • All patrons should wait in the concert waiting area, Zelazo Center ROOM 280 prior to each concert performance. This area will be available to all beginning at 12 noon on Sunday.
  • Each Middle School honor band will perform on its own separate concert. Because of this, the concert hall will need to be cleared after each middle school performancePatrons who are attending multiple performances should leave the concert hall, and re-enter with the other patrons waiting for the next performance.
  • Please meet your student outside of the building immediately following their performance. Students are dismissed from Festival activities upon completing their concert performance.
  • Band Directors are welcomed to attend all of the Sunday final concerts – no ticket is necessary.

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 Attire

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

  • Option 1: Top: White button-down, long-sleeved dress shirt (a tie is optional). Bottom: black dress or dark chino-style pants and belt, dark (black) socks, black dress shoes (no sneakers or athletic shoes).
  • Option 2: Top: White long-sleeved top/blouse with a close neckline. Bottom: Black skirt/dress with a hemline at the calf or to the floor and black socks/hosiery. Black dress pants are also acceptable. Black dress shoes (no sneakers or athletic shoes).

Casual (appropriate for school) clothing is appropriate for festival rehearsals and other activities.


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. Participants will not be accompanied by Festival staff to/from meals. Students and parents are free to make any arrangements necessary for meals.


Office staff is available at (414) 229-5641 during the festival schedule, should any emergency arise. UWM Police Non-Emergency line is (414) 229-4627.


You are encouraged to use metered street parking, the university parking structures, or other university lots.  Additional information is available at uwm.edu/parking. 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.