FAQ

Below you will find answers to some of questions that are asked most frequently about the festival.  If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact music-ce@umkc.edu or call us at (816) 235-2741.

Nomination Questions:

How does the nomination/acceptance process work?
The process for nominating/sending students is as follows:

  1. Students are nominated by their directors.  We ask that directors nominate the students that are most deserving of participating in an honor ensemble (good players, hard workers, etc).  Directors may nominate up to 12 students in grades 7-8, up to 12 students in grades 9-10, and up to 12 students in grades 11-12.
  2. We accept students to the festival based on the number of nominations we receive, the instrumentation that we need in our ensembles, and director recommendations for each student.  At least one student from each nominating school will be accepted.
  3. Once we have made acceptance decisions, acceptance lists will be posted on our website and mailed to all nominating directors by November 4, 2019.  We do contact accepted students directly, but we also ask that directors make sure that all accepted students know they have been accepted.  With the acceptance email, we send a letter with information about how to register; this should be distributed to accepted students by their directors.
  4. Accepted students will then register and pay for the festival by December 16, 2019.

Can students register for the Festival if they have not been nominated?
No, students must be nominated and accepted to the festival in order to attend.

I am a student at a school that does not have a band or orchestra program – can I still be nominated?
Yes; you will need a nomination from your private instructor or a teacher whom you work with regularly.  You may not nominate yourself.

I am a band/orchestra teacher at multiple schools – how do I handle nominations?
Please fill out separate nomination forms for each school – you may nominate up to the maximum number of students for each school (i.e., if you teach at two middle schools, you may nominate twelve students from one school and twelve from the other).

I teach at a school that has multiple directors – can we all nominate?
We ask that each school submit only one set of nominations.

Acceptance List Questions:

Where can I find a copy of the acceptance list?
Once we have made our selections, a list of accepted students will be posted on our website and sent out to all nominating directors. Please note: we do contact accepted students directly, but we also ask that directors make sure that all accepted students know they have been accepted. Students should check our website or check with their nominating director to see if they have been accepted.

How many students are accepted to the Festival?
We would love to accept all nominated students to the Festival, but we are limited by space and ensemble instrumentation availability.  We accept as many students as we can, to fill out as many bands and orchestras as we have space for.

I am listed as an “alternate” on the acceptance list – what does that mean?
If your name is listed as an alternate, we cannot yet offer you a spot in the festival.  However, you are on the top of our list to accept if a space becomes available.  We will contact your nominating director if a space opens up for you.

How will I be notified by the Festival on upcoming dates and deadlines?
Once you are accepted into the festival, all communication is done via email directly to participants, using the email their nominating director provided. If you would like to add additional emails to our emails list, we are happy to do so. If you have not been receiving our emails, please check your spam/junk folders or contact us at music-ce@umkc.edu to verify the email address we have on file.

I am a student who was nominated but not accepted to the Festival.  Can I still come?
Only accepted students may register for the festival.  Throughout the registration period, we may accept additional students, based on cancellations and our instrumentation needs at this time.  Students who are accepted may register at this point.  If accepted students are unable to attend the festival, we may accept students from our alternate list.  We will contact these students’ school directors if their acceptance status changes.

Registration Information:

When will students have more details?
The schedule and information packet will be available the day after registration closes and will be emailed to all registered participants.  Physical packets may be mailed upon request.  Parents and students will also want to periodically check the website leading up to the Festival for any pertinent final information.

How much does the Festival cost?
Registration is $160 and is due at the time of registration.  Our registration system requires us to charge administrative fees, as well – mailed registrations will be charged a $3.00 processing fee, and online registrations will be charged a fee based on a percentage of the total amount due.

What does the registration fee cover?
The registration fee includes all rehearsals and clinics, a festival t-shirt, a performance by the UMKC bands, and all meals that take place between rehearsals.

What forms of payment may I use?
We accept check, money order, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

Checks for registration should be made payable to UMKC and mailed to our office, along with all registration forms and paperwork.  Credit card payments may be taken online through our website.  There will be an administrative fee assessed for all payments.

Payment deadline: December 16, 2019.

I registered for the festival, but I need to cancel.  Can I get a refund?
All registration fees are non-refundable.

What information do students have to provide on the medical release form?
Please make sure to list any allergies, current medications, or other special medical needs.

Students who are taking medications will only be allowed to keep these medications on their person if we receive permission from their parent or guardian.  All other medications will be handed in to a staff member at program registration, and will be administered each night and morning, as required.

Festival Details and Information:

What sort of activities take place at the Festival?
When students arrive on Friday, they will audition for a UMKC faculty judge.  Based on the results of these auditions, students will be placed into one of five ensembles

  • Middle School String Orchestra: All 7-8 grade string players will be in this ensemble. It will include only string instruments
  • Middle School Concert Band: All 7-8 grade wind/brass/percussion players will be in this ensemble. Chair placements will be determined by auditions.
  • High School Symphonic Band: 9-12 grade wind/brass/percussion players are eligible for this ensemble.
  • High School Wind Symphony: 9-12 grade wind/brass/percussion players are eligible for this ensemble.
  • High School Symphony Orchestra: All 9-12 grade string players will be in this ensemble, which will also include wind/brass/percussion players.

Each ensemble will follow its own schedule of rehearsals and meals, which will be posted on the website and emailed to participants in mid-December.  The bulk of Festival time is spent in rehearsal, during which students will work with renowned conductors and professional band and orchestra directors from around the country.  This rehearsal time will be spent preparing for a performance at the Finale Concert, which will take place on Sunday afternoon.  Each band will perform several pieces at the concert.

Aside from rehearsals, there are several activities that students will participate in.  On Saturday, the UMKC Wind Symphony and UMKC Wind Ensemble will present a concert that all participants will attend.  Other special activities, such as UMKC admissions presentations and additional social activities, may be added to the schedule as well.

How do auditions work?
All Midwest Honor Band and Orchestra participants are required to play an audition when they arrive at the Festival.  The results of this audition will determine which ensemble each participant will be placed in.

Please see our Audition Page for more information including audition repertoire.

When do I get my music?
All students will receive their music at the first rehearsal on the Friday night of the festival.

What time will students perform on the Finale Concert?
Festival information for 2020 will be released soon – click here to view the concert schedule from January 2019. Students will know their specific performance times once they have been placed into ensembles on Friday afternoon, Jan 17.

On the festival weekend, when can students check-in and audition?
Please visit Check-In Information for more information. You will receive a letter (by email) indicating your check-in time – please arrive during your scheduled time.  Do not throw away your welcome letter – it contains your check-in time.  You will not receive a packet in the mail – all packets are emailed.

I am coming from out of town. Will there be a hotel/dorm option?
To accommodate students traveling with their schools from out of town, the Hampton Inn on the Plaza will offer a discounted rate to those participating in the festival of $128.00 per night.

For information about booking a room at the discounted rate, please refer to our Student Information Packet.

Please note: the festival does not provide chaperones for students staying in hotels, and does not provide transportation.

Will the students be chaperoned while on campus?
The students will have constant chaperoning while on campus.  Chaperones include UMKC Faculty, graduate assistants, and current Conservatory students.  Most have public school teaching experience and all have worked with similar events and have chaperoning experience.  Student safety is our top priority so each chaperone will have passed a criminal background check.

Will students be able to drive around town on their free time?
Students arriving in personally owned vehicles will not be permitted to drive while at the Festival.  This is a University policy and will be strictly enforced.  Please note that fees may apply for parking – participants are responsible for any parking fees they may incur. See Parking for more information.

What if a student is driving themselves to the festival?
If a student under the age of 18 plans on driving themselves to the festival, parents/guardians will need to notify us by email or on their festival registration ahead of time so that the student is permitted to walk to their vehicle without a chaperone.

Can my student carpool with another family?
Yes! Students are welcome to carpool, as long as they follow our pick up and drop off policies.

I am a student with another event taking place during the Festival weekend.  Can I leave the Festival early/arrive late/leave mid-day to take a test/play in a tournament/go on vacation/etc.?
All Festival events are mandatory for all participants.  Students must attend all rehearsals and their Finale Concert performance.  Please schedule accordingly.

What should I bring to the festival?
See the attached checklist for a list of what students should bring: MHBOF Student Checklist

Can I bring snacks with me to the festival?
Yes, but we ask that you 1) do not eat them in rehearsals and 2) avoid bringing food items that contain peanuts due to some participants having peanut allergies. See Meals for more information on food during the festival.

What type of clothing should students bring?
Students are expected to wear their Sunday best for the concert and casual, “school appropriate” attire for practices.  Please do not wear a band uniform. You can refer to the MHBOF Student Checklist for more information.