Middle School Honors Band Festival

uwm middle school honors band festival

November 22–24, 2019

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 7–18)

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 22.

Special note to Directors: If you or your band-related organization plan to pay for student registration fees, please contact Dr. Scott Corley (scorley@uwm.edu) during the Director Nomination Period about this.

Nomination Form

Student Registration (Oct 22–Nov 15)

Students who are nominated by their Band Director and selected for acceptance to the festival will be emailed on or around October 22 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.

Basic Festival Schedule

Participating students must be able to commit to the full duration of all activities listed below. A more detailed schedule will be available to students who register by Nov. 15.

Friday, Nov. 22 – UWM Union (2200 E. Kenwood Blvd.)

  • 4:00-5:00pm – Registration (Union Lobby)
  • 5:00-8:00pm – Seating of Ensembles & First rehearsals (various Union spaces)

Saturday, Nov. 23 – UWM Union

  • 8:30-10:45am – Rehearsals/Sectionals (Union)
  • 11:00-11:45am – Concert by the UWM Symphony Band
  • 11:45am-1pm – Lunch Break (on your own)
    • UWM Jazz Combos will be playing in the Union Concourse during lunch.
  • 1:00-5:00pm – Additional Rehearsals/Sectionals (Union)

Sunday, Nov. 24 – UWM Union and Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts (2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.)

  • 9:00-11:00am – Final/Dress Rehearsals (Union or Zelazo Center)
  • Lunch Break (on your own)
  • Final Concerts at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm (Zelazo Center)
    • These concerts are open and free to participating students, their families, and band directors – no tickets necessary.

Final Concert (Sunday, November 24)

  • 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.