Honor Band Festival logo

University of Memphis
Honor Band Festival

February 3-5, 2022


The three-day Honor Band Festival includes rehearsals and concerts of the two Honor Bands and a special performance by the UofM Wind Ensemble and Southern Comfort Jazz Ensemble. We invite high school band directors to nominate student musicians for this exciting experience.

Guest Composer and Conductors

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Michael Markowski
Composer in Residence
Curt Ebersole
Blue Band Conductor
Leo Sakomoto
Gray Band Conductor

Composer in Residence: Michael Markowski
This year, we are bringing an exciting experience for participating students and directors. Composer Michael Markowski will in residence for the duration of the festival! Each honor band will perform one of his pieces, and he will attend rehearsals to share his knowledge and insight with the students. This will be a unique opportunity for all to engage in a creative process that includes the ensemble, conductor, and composer.


  •     Blue Band: Curt Ebersole, Conductor/Music Director at Westchester Symphonic Winds
  •     Gray Band: Leo Sakomoto, Director of Instrumental Studies at California State University

Student Nomination and Selection

Students selected for the Honor Bands must arrive on campus Thursday, February 3 by 3 PM.  Auditions for the band, part assignment, and chair placement will be held between 3-6 PM.  We are using an online application on the Honor Band website to nominate prospective UofM Honor Band members.  Please nominate ONLY those students who will be able to participate if selected.  Students will be selected in the following manner:

  1. Complete the online nomination form. Please indicate the ranking order for your students on the form by entering them in the appropriately numbered tabs.  Enter all students at one time before submitting the form. After submitting the form, you will receive a confirmation email with the submitted information.  Letters to directors and student-musicians will be emailed to directors shortly after the deadline.  The list of music to be performed and final instructions will be forwarded at that time.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY WHEN NOMINATING STUDENTS.
  2. The first student-musician from each school ranked by the high school band director will automatically be selected. Please be careful when nominating percussionists and saxophonists with a ranking of first.  Remember that we will take those students nominated first by you and that we can accept only a limited number of students in those sections (saxophone and percussion).
  3. The student from each school ranked second will probably be selected, depending on the total number nominated, musical awards and achievements, and instrumentation needs.
  4. Others from each school will be selected to balance instrumentation based upon your nomination and their musical honors, awards, and/or achievements.
  5. Audition music: Each student is asked to prepare a solo or etude that will best display their ability. They may also play the music prepared for their Music Educators Association tryout: All-West, All-Region, All-State, etc.  Along with the prepared selections, students will be asked to perform scales and sightreading.  Percussionists should prepare short excerpts on snare, timpani, and keyboard.


Please note: Each student will be charged a $40 participation fee that will include dinner on Friday evening and an Honor Band patch.  This amount will be collected in advance with one combined payment from each school after student-musician selections have been completed.

We hope you will plan to nominate students to participate in the UofM Honor Band Festival.  We look forward to receiving your nominations.