Placement Auditions

All Midwest Honor Band and Orchestra participants are required to play an audition when they arrive at the Festival (auditions are not part of the festival acceptance process). The results of this audition will determine which ensemble each participant will be placed in.

Each participating school will be assigned a check-in time a few weeks before the festival – students should plan to arrive during their check-in period and will audition shortly afterward.

Once students have checked-in, students will be directed to a group warm-up room. Room proctors will monitor each warm-up room.

Students do not have individually assigned audition slots. The room proctor will announce when the judge is ready for the next audition and students may volunteer once they are ready. Students will not be called by name but by instrument. The audition process should last 1 hour at most per student.

After students have auditioned, they need to be back on campus for the orientation meeting at 6:00pm. Note: After auditions have concluded, there are no chaperones provided until the orientation meeting so please plan accordingly.

Auditions for woodwind, brass, and string players will consist of two parts:

  1. Scales: Each participant will be asked to play up to three major scale, selected from the following: C, G, D, A, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab, starting on their written pitch (NOT concert pitch). Memorization is encouraged, but not required. Scales requested will be instrument and level-appropriate.Note: 9th-12th Grade participants may also be asked to play a full range chromatic scale. 
  2. Prepared piece: Please choose a piece that showcases your musical and technical skills. This piece should be no longer than 2 minutes in length, and may be a stand-alone piece or a movement/section of a longer piece. Please be prepared to play without accompaniment.

Percussionists should please be prepared to audition for each of the following percussion areas:

  1. Snare Drum: Sight-read a short piece and perform these three rudiments. These rudiments are to be played in an open-close-open or fast-slow-fast rudimental presentation. Examples of these rudiments can be found through the Percussive Arts Society here:

          1) Double Stroke Roll   2) Flam Accent   3) Ruff (Drag)

  1. Keyboard Percussion: Sight-read a short piece and perform three scales of your choice from the following list: C, G, D, A, F, Bb, Eb, and Ab.
  2. Timpani: Sight-read a short piece and perform a simple tuning test (high school auditions only).

Placement and seating results will be announced during the orientation meeting at the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center. Following the meeting, all students will pick up their name tag at a designated space, given a colored sticker for their ensemble, and directed to their ensemble’s rehearsal space. Please be in contact with your student about their placement, so you know which rehearsal space they will be in throughout the festival.