The Thirty-Fourth Annual Alabama High School Honor Band Festival will be held at the University of Alabama from January 31 – February 3, 2019. The Alabama Honor Band Festival is an event developed for the purpose of recognizing the achievements of exceptional high school musicians. As in previous years, we will award Alabama Concert Ensemble Participation Scholarships. Both music majors and non-music majors are eligible for these awards. We will again award one School of Music Full-Tuition Scholarship (see Scholarship section below), which will be available to a student majoring in music.
The festival weekend includes clinics presented by the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Music and concerts presented by the Alabama Symphonic Band, the Alabama Wind Ensemble and the “SPECTRUM” concert, which features several of our wind and percussion ensembles as well as the 400 member Million Dollar Band. This year, we will present four outstanding high school ensembles in concert, along with the five festival honor bands.
THE HONOR BANDS
This year, we will seat four Honor Bands and one Festival Wind Ensemble at the festival. The Festival Wind Ensemble will be a smaller group made up of the top chair winners. The four Festival Honor Bands will be made up of equal strength musicians. Students will be placed alternately in the festival honor bands. Our staff feels that this provides the best experience for all participants.
Festival Wind Ensemble
Captain Brian Walden, Director of Bands/Former Conductor, US Navy Band
Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia
Mr. Keith Hodgson, Music Education Director
The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dr. Richard Suk, Director of the Marching 110 and Prof. of Music Education
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Music Education
Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, Tennessee
Mr. Bo Sodders, Director of Bands
McEachern High School, Powder Springs, Georgia
SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS
Students will be selected by a committee of University of Alabama School of Music faculty. Information included on the student application (resume) and the band director’s recommendation will be the primary criteria used to select participants. In most cases, the committee will use the student resume and band director recommendation as sole sources of information about the students. Students and directors are encouraged to complete the resume and recommendation in detail and be sure that the required information is available to us prior to the close of registration. Each director who submits a nomination is guaranteed that at least one student from each school will be selected to participate in the festival. Students selected to participate must attend all rehearsals, master classes, and performances during the Honor Band Festival. A list of students chosen to participate in the 2019 Alabama Honor Band Festival will be posted on this website by mid-December.
The Alabama Honor Band does not provide housing or meals. Arrangements for housing, supervision, transportation and meals should be taken care of by the high school director. For the 2019 Alabama Honor Band, students chosen to participate will be required to pay a participation fee of $85.00, which includes admission to all clinics, concerts and includes a Festival Participation t-shirt. This participation fee will be due AFTER students have been notified that they have been selected to participate in the Alabama Honor Band. Much more detailed information will be available to those students selected to participate in the festival.
THE ALABAMA HONOR BAND FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIP
A full tuition scholarship will be awarded at the final Festival Concert on Sunday to a qualified student. This award is based upon a superior level of performing ability as evidenced in the student’s Honor Band placement audition, band rehearsals and the recommendations of the auditioning faculty members and conductors. No additional audition is necessary. The Alabama Honor Band Full Tuition Scholarship pays all tuition and academic fees for four years and is limited to music majors. It does require participation in selected University of Alabama ensembles.
ALABAMA CONCERT BAND PARTICIPATION SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships, in varying amounts, are awarded to incoming students whose standard of performance is commensurate with membership in the University of Alabama concert ensembles (Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Concert Band and University Band) who have a sincere interest in outstanding band performance. These awards are based upon a superior level of performing ability as evidenced in the student’s Honor Band placement audition, band rehearsals and the recommendation of the auditioning faculty members and conductors. The Honor Band Chair Placement Audition is used to qualify students for these awards. No additional audition is necessary. These scholarships, in varying amounts, are awarded for the fall semester with the understanding that the student participates in one of the concert ensembles during the fall and spring semester. These awards are based on talent and the instrumentation needs of the University Bands, and the awards can be renewable for up to four years. These awards are available to qualified students regardless of major.
MILLION DOLLAR BAND MEMBERSHIP AUDITIONS
Million Dollar Band membership is available for any University of Alabama full-time student regardless of major. Membership is awarded through auditions and any senior attending the Honor Band Festival may audition that weekend while on campus. Honor Band seniors will receive an email with specifics about signing up for the MDB membership audition prior to arriving on campus for the Festival. Included in the email will be an active link for seniors to sign-up for a MDB membership audition. Audition times will be assigned by the University Bands Office to ONLY those who complete the sign-up request included in the packet. The audition times will be posted during the Honor Band Festival. Seniors who signed up for an audition will receive information regarding audition times during their first rehearsal at the Honor Band Festival. The MDB membership audition is a separate audition from the Honor Band chair placement audition as well as the School of Music audition (Music Majors only). The email containing audition specifics will be sent to all Honor Band seniors by mid-January.