The Thirty-sixth Annual Alabama High School Honor Band Festival will be held at the University of Alabama February 3-5, 2022. 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.
THE HONOR BANDS
This year, we will seat two 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 two Honor Bands will be made up of equal strength musicians.
Applications are closed for the 2022 High School Honor Band
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 2022 Alabama Honor Band Festival will be posted on this website mid-December. Please note that attendance at ALL concerts, classes, rehearsals, and events for the entire Honor Band Festival are REQUIRED for all student participants attending the festival! No one may leave early or arrive late.
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 2021 Alabama Honor Band, students chosen to participate will be required to pay a participation fee of $95.00, 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.
Festival Wind Ensemble Clinician
Paula Crider Following a distinguished 33-year teaching career, Paula Crider continues to share her passion for making music as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator in the U.S. and abroad. She is Professor Emerita at The University of Texas, where she was twice awarded for distinguished teaching.
Crider has taught in the public schools at all levels, and holds the unique distinction of having been the first female in Texas to serve as director of bands at a class 5-A high school. She presents seminars throughout the U.S. She serves as coordinator for the National Band Association Young Conductor/Mentor Program, is Educational Consultant for Conn-Selmer, and was recently appointed to the Midwest Clinic Board. She is a Past President of the National Band Association and American Bandmasters Association.
Crider has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist, The Band Director’s Guide, and National Band Association Journal, and manuals for brass techniques, marching band methods and instrumental conducting. She is co-author for the Masterwork Studies series (Hal Leonard) and author of The Conductor’s Legacy (GIA).
Awards and honors include the Tau Beta Sigma/Kappa Kappa Psi “Outstanding Service to Music Award,” Sudler “Legion of Merit,” Women Band Director’s International Rose, Grainger Society Medal, Kappa Kappa Psi Bo Makvosky Memorial Award, National Band Association AWAPA Award, 2004 Texas Bandmaster of the Year, Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame, and Midwest Medal of Honor. She considers her greatest honor to be the privilege of working with all who share a passion for excellence in making music.
John A. Thomson served for twenty-five years as Director of Bands at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. Earlier in his career, he was Director of Bands at East Allegheny High School near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Under his leadership, NTHS and EAHS ensembles developed into premiere ensembles performing at numerous state and national events including three appearances at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago. The ensembles regularly performed with established guest conductors, accompanied well-known solo artists, and collaborated with various contemporary composers leading to sixteen world premiere performances.
For more than thirty-five years, Mr. Thomson has been a contributing editor and new music reviewer for The InstrumentalistMagazine with multiple articles and interviews to his credit.
Mr. Thomson is an elected member of the American Bandmasters Association, a multiple recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence, a recipient of the American School Band Directors Association’s Stanbury Award, a member of the Phi Beta Mu Illinois Band Director’s Hall of Fame at Northwestern University and a past honoree of that organization’s Outstanding Band Director of the Year Award. He chairs the ABA Goldman Memorial Citation Committee and serves on the NBA William D. Revelli Composition Award Committee.
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 ENSEMBLE 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.