Senior High Honor Band Festival

Department of Music

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PERFORM AT UMD. This is your chance to allow your best students to come and play 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 or 3 honors 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

Mr. David Gillingham – Conductor/Composer
Mr. Steve Lyons, Director of Bands, Champlin Park High School

Fall Festival Dates & Schedule

On Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, the University of Minnesota Duluth's Department of Music will be hosting its 59th 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. 

PDF icon2016_UMD_Honor_Band_Schedule.pdf


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 honors 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: Friday, October 14 , 2016. Acceptance Notifications will be sent out: Monday, October 24, 2016

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.

Entry Deadline: Friday, October 14, 2016

Acceptance Notification: Monday, October 24, 2016

Please click on the following link to submit on-line nominations. 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

If you have questions or problems please email:

For daily up-dates and further information on the 2016 Senior High School Honor Band Festival go to:


Arrangements are the same this year. 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 $71.00 per room per night on Thursday, November 3 and $81.00 per night for Friday the 4th and Saturday the 5th . The other hotel is the Days Inn Duluth Lakewalk it is across the street from the Water Park and the rates are $71.00 per room per night on Thursday, and $81.00 per night for Friday and SaturdayBoth offers are good for up to 4 students per room.  You may pay for your room upon arrival. When you call ask for Sarah Warner and mention that you are making reservations for the UMD Honor Band Festival.   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
Please make your reservations by November 1st to make sure you have a room for your students.

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