Senior High Honor Band Festival

Department of Music

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weber music hall


This is your chance to allow your best students to come and play with top performers at their same level. When recommending students keep our criteria in mind.

Each fall, the UMD Bands host their annual high school honor band festival. This festival typically features 2 honor bands each totaling between 60 and 100 musicians.

If you have questions please email us at Mark Whitlock, or call 218-726-6124.

Our Honor Band Philosophy

The purpose of this festival is to give the best students in your program a chance to participate in an ensemble that not only performs well but provides the students an opportunity to learn more about music and hopefully inspire them to become more excited about music. While we want bands that play well at the concert, we are more concerned about what your students learn while they are here at UMD. The level of performance does not always reflect what has been learned. Having said that, I would like you to consider the following when you are nominating your students.

  1. Nominate only those who you know have achieved a level of skill beyond beginner level.
  2. Please nominate students who have good attitudes and want to learn.
  3. Please nominate students who want to work hard.
  4. Nominate those who will appreciate the opportunity you/we are providing them and want to take there experiences back home to help improve your program.

Guest Artists

To be determined . . .


On Friday, October 13th and Saturday, October 14th the University of Minnesota Duluth's Department of Music will be hosting its 60th Annual Senior High Honor Band Festival. As always, our hope is to provide you and your students with the best experience possible. This year there will be two bands, the Gold Band and the Maroon Band. We will keep membership for the Gold Band to around 65-70 members. 


Membership in this ensemble should be limited to only the best musicians in the state. In most cases, students should have been members of one of the All-State ensembles, be in the first section of your band and/or have received a I rating at solo and ensemble contest. If you have a student that you feel is truly outstanding you may submit their name. Be sure to document the student’s accomplishments. Students not selected for this band will automatically be considered for the Maroon Band.


I am asking that you recommend other outstanding students from your band program for this ensemble. Your strongest juniors and seniors, other students who have attended honor bands or students who are serious musicians in your program should be considered.

The UMD Faculty will also be on hand to give clinics and performances throughout the weekend. A more complete biography is available in the honor band information packet. I am looking forward to having the chance to meet your fine students. All of us at UMD sincerely hope that you can find the time to become involved with this special festival.

How to Nominate

Nominations for the Senior High Honor Band Festival can be done online (see link below).

Entry Deadline is September 29th and Acceptance Notifications will be sent out by October 6th.

Please be specific about percussionist’s strengths (tympani, mallets, snare, etc.) and also indicate whether the baritone players read bass clef or treble clef.

Please nominate only students who have expressed an interest in participating and who can guarantee that they will attend if selected. We would like to make this event as musical and memorable as possible. So a commitment is essential.

On-line nominations will be available by mid June. Also please remember that you must fill out and submit a form for EACH student that you would like to nominate.

Click here to nominate students (available by mid June)

If you have questions or problems please email:

For daily up-dates and further information on the 2017 Senior High School Honor Band Festival visit us here often!


The Edgewater Hotel has two buildings that we have made arrangements with and they are right across the street from each other on London Rd. in Duluth. For those of you who need housing for this event we have reserved a block of rooms at each hotel. You will notice that the rates are different for the two buildings.  For the Edgewater Hotel with the water park the rates for the weekend will be posted here when the information is confirmed . The other hotel is the Days Inn Duluth Lakewalk it is across the street from the Water Park and the rates will also be posted here when the information is confirmed. For more information you may look at their web site at: 

Edgewater Resort & Waterpark
2400 London Road
Duluth, MN 55812 218-728-3601 toll free 800-777-7925

Payment and Final Concert

There will be a $25.00 charge per student for participation in the UMD Senior High Honor Band Festival.
Payment will be due on the day of registration. Checks should be made payable to UMD Bands.

Contact Information

Mark Whitlock, Director of Bands
p: 218.726.6124
f: 218.726.8210
212 Humanities Building
1201 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812