Milwaukee Music Festival High School Honor Band with Frank Ticheli!

UWM milwaukee music festival

November 16–17, 2018

Location: Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

The annual Milwaukee Music Festival (MMF) High School Honor Band returns in November with internationally renowned composer Frank Ticheli as our guest conductor!  Mr. Ticheli’s music for concert band is well known throughout the world and many of his works have become standards in the repertoire.

The Milwaukee Music Festival High School Honor Band brings together an ensemble of gifted and like-minded musicians from Wisconsin and surrounding states for a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, and performances with UW-Milwaukee (UWM) students, faculty artists (including members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra) at UWM’s Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts. All interested high school band students, grades 9-12, are invited to audition.

The entire UWM Department of Music shares in the excitement of this festival and looks forward to meeting and working with you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

NOTE: Overnight accommodations (if needed) will be the responsibility of each participating student. Reduced rate lodging is available for directors, students, and family members (reservation deadline: November 2). Specific properties and information forthcoming.

Festival Details

  • Master classes with UWM faculty and guest artists who also perform with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Lyric Opera, Present Music, and other professional groups
  • Perform under renowned conductor/composer Frank Ticheli
  • Participation fee covers most meals and all instructional fees
  • Auditions accepted electronically via MP3 files or video links (Vimeo, YouTube preferred) or in person on the UWM campus
  • [NO audition/application fee]

Schedule of Events

View the tentative schedule for a breakdown of Friday and Saturday’s events. Detailed information, including audition requirements will be sent to schools in September.

Auditions (Register by Oct. 19)

Digital Submission

Please include a link to your audition video or mp3 audio file on the registration form below.


If you would prefer to audition in-person please use the registration form below. Auditions will be held in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, October 20 from 12–3pm.


Woodwinds & Brass

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


  • Perform an excerpt from a solo or etude on two of the following instruments:  snare drum (parade or concert), keyboard (marimba, xylophone or vibraphone), or timpani.  A total of two excerpts, 3 min maximum for each instrument, totaling approximately 6 min.

Register Now!


The participation fee of $75 includes dinner on Friday and lunch and dinner on Saturday.


A block of double rooms including free parking and breakfast has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Riverfront at the special rate of $109. To guarantee availability and rates reserve by 11/02/2018.

Guests have two ways to book reservations:

  1. Online: UWM Music Department Roomblock (Dates must be the exact group dates or it will show no availability. Link must be accessed from a desktop computer).
  2. By phone: (414) 962-6040Group Name: UWM Music Department Roomblock
    Check In:  November 16, 2018
    Check Out: November 17, 2018

Woodwind, Brass, & Percussion Faculty

Flute Jennifer Clippert
Oboe Katherine Young Steele
Clarinet Todd Levy
Bassoon Beth Giocabassi
Saxophone Nicki Roman
Horn Greg Flint
Trumpet Kevin Hartman
Trombone Mark Hoelscher
Tuba/Euphonium Andy Smith
Percussion Alexander Wier

Finale Concert

Saturday, November 17 at 7PM
Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

Guest Conductor

frank ticheli

Frank Ticheli’s music has been described as being “optimistic and thoughtful” (Los Angeles Times), “lean and muscular” (The New York Times), “brilliantly effective” (Miami Herald) and “powerful, deeply felt crafted with impressive flair and an ear for striking instrumental colors” (South Florida Sun-Sentinel). Ticheli (b. 1958) joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition. From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony.

Ticheli’s orchestral works have received considerable recognition in the U.S. and Europe. Orchestral performances have come from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and Austria, and the orchestras of Austin, Bridgeport, Charlotte, Colorado, Haddonfield, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Jacksonville, Lansing, Long Island, Louisville, Lubbock, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond, San Antonio, San Jose, Wichita Falls, and others.

Ticheli’s Flute concerto recently received its world premiere at the National Flute Association Convention in Minneapolis, with the composer conducting and Thornton colleague Jim Walker as soloist. In February, 2018, Ticheli’s third symphony, THE SHORE, will receive its East Coast premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall by NYChoral Society and Orchestra.

Ticheli is well known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition to composing, he has appeared as guest conductor of his music at Carnegie Hall, at many American universities and music festivals, and in cities throughout the world, including Schladming (Austria), Beijing and Shanghai, London and Manchester, Singapore, Rome, Sydney, and numerous cities in Japan.

He is the recipient of a 2012 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, his third award from that prestigious organization. His Symphony No. 2 was named winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest. Other awards include the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music.

Ticheli was awarded national honorary membership to Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, “bestowed to individuals who have significantly contributed to the cause of music in America,” and the A. Austin Harding Award by the American School Band Directors Association, “given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the school band movement in America.” At USC, he has received the Virginia Ramo Award for excellence in teaching, and the Dean’s Award for Professional Achievement.

Ticheli received his doctoral and masters degrees in composition from The University of Michigan. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Southern, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Albany, Chandos, Clarion, Klavier, Koch International, Mark and Naxos.


John Climer


DMA, Conducting, University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music
MM, Conducting, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Cognate in Trombone Performance
BM, Music Education, University of Akron


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. Before his appointment in Milwaukee, he served for fourteen years as Director of Bands at Ohio University, where he served as conductor of the Wind Ensemble and New Music Ensemble. As a guest conductor and clinician, Dr. Climer has led performances at festivals, universities, and concert venues nationally and internationally including the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Eastman School of Music, and the Conservatorio di Musica in Salerno, Italy. Ensembles under his direction have performed for four conferences of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), including the 2013 National Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina, five conferences of the Ohio Music Educators Association, the North Dakota Music Educators Association, the Wisconsin State Music Conference, and the Society of Composers Inc. In July of 2015, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble performed for the 16th International Conference of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) in San Jose, CA.

An avid supporter of new music, Climer has participated in numerous commissioning projects culminating in works by composers Roberto Sierra, Chen Yi, Walter Mays, John Orfe, Robert Rodriguez, Andre Previn, Warren Benson, Akira Miyoshi among others. In addition, the UW-Milwaukee band program has collaborated with renowned composers Joseph Schwantner, Michael Colgrass, John Mackey, Michael Markowski, Mark Camphouse, Jack Stamp, Aaron Perrine, Mark Phillips and Frank Ticheli. In April of 2019, the UW-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble will give the premiere performance of Roger Zare’s new concerto for oboe and wind ensemble with Katherine Young Steele as the soloist.

John is the recipient of three university teaching awards including the Ohio University College of Fine Arts Outstanding Teacher Award, the Ohio University School of Music Distinguished Teaching Award, and 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 CBDNA Report. 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 Bands and Ensembles. His biography is published in the third edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and in the spring of 2019 he will be inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association.

Dr. 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. He studied conducting with Gary W. Hill and Terence Milligan, and trombone with Edward Zadrozny, Tony Chipurn, and John Leisenring. He has held teaching 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.

Director of Bands

Professor, Conducting