Click HERE for music teacher nomination forms and instructions
(due Tuesday, November 23, 2021)

Event Description

The Ohio Wesleyan University Performing Arts Department is pleased to announce the OWU Honor Ensemble Music Festival for band and choir students in grades 7-12. Music students and their directors are invited to rehearse and perform with distinguished conductors and applied music faculty for an enriching 2-day event of rehearsals, clinics, concerts, and more!

Seating auditions are only required for high school honor bands. Part assignments in middle school bands and both choirs will be determined by music teacher nomination. Music teachers may nominate up to 10 students per school and we guarantee all schools will have at least one student represented in the festival.



Featured Experiences

Two amazing concerts in historic Gray Chapel:

  1. Thursday, February 10 at 7:30 PM. Host Concert by the OWU Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the OWU Choral Arts Society with guest conductors John Lock, Andrea Brown, and Hilary Apfelstadt.
  2. Saturday, February 12, 2022 beginning at 3 PM. Grand Finale Concert for all honor ensembles:
  • 3:00 PM – Middle School Bands
  • 4:00 PM – High School Bands
  • 5:00 PM – Middle School & High School Choirs

Each ensemble will perform for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Festival highlights for all students:

  • Rehearsals with featured conductors
  • Host Concert featuring OWU’s top band and choir
  • Masterclasses with applied music faculty
  • Two meals fully catered by OWU’s marketplace dining hall (Friday lunch and dinner)
  • Grand Finale Concert performance held in Gray Chapel
  • Festival T-Shirt!
  • Full production concert video with live stream

All participant fees are due by Friday, January 14, 2022.

$75 per student fee covers all festival activities with conductors and clinicians, full dining hall buffet lunch and dinner on Friday, and a commemorative t-shirt. Failure to pay by the due date may result in the loss of a student’s spot in their ensemble.

Timeline & Schedules

Click here for:

  • General festival itinerary of each ensemble
  • Timeline of tasks from teacher nominations to practice parts to festival performance

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

In order to keep all festival participants safe, every student must follow Ohio Wesleyan University’s COVID-19 guest procedures:

All participants, regardless of vaccination status, may participate in the Music Festival and must wear masks while indoors. Social distancing outside rehearsal is strongly encouraged, but not required.
All Woodwind and Brass players are required to use one of the following while playing their instrument: 1.) a performance mask with a slit for their mouthpiece, or  2.) wear a standard mask that can be slid down below the chin whenever you play into your instrument and then slide the mask back up whenever you breathe normally – even if only for a bar of rest.
All Brass players must bring a hand towel so that no water and/or condensation reaches the floor. Percussionists must wear a mask at all times.

All audience members and event staff are required to wear a mask while indoors.

Band Enrollment & Nomination Process

Membership in honor bands is highly selective based on music teacher nominations and balanced instrumentation needs. Teacher nominations should be ranked by ability and effort regardless of the student’s instrument.

Middle School Bands do not use auditions and will have parts assigned based on music teacher recommendation only. High School Band members will do a brief 5-minute audition (remotely or in person) to determine best part assignments. High School Band audition instructions will be provided by January 1, 2022 and will be based on scales and select excerpts from the concert music.

Target size for all honor bands is a 90-member ensemble:

  • 8 Flutes (includes Piccolo)
  • 16 Clarinets (may include E-flat Clarinet)
  • 4 Bass Clarinets (may include Contrabass Clarinet)
  • 2 Oboes (may include English Horn)
  • 4 Bassoons (may include ContraBassoon)
  • 4 Alto Saxes (may include Soprano Sax)
  • 2 Tenor Saxes
  • 1 Bari Sax
  • 12 Trumpets
  • 8 Horns
  • 10 Trombones
  • 4 Euphoniums
  • 6 Tubas
  • 1 String Bass
  • 8 Percussion

Choir Enrollment & Nomination Process

Membership in honor choirs is highly selective based on music teacher nominations and balanced voice part distribution.

High School Choir: If 10 total students are nominated, they need to represent an equal distribution of SATB voices with the 2 remaining voice parts from any voice part. If a teacher nominates 4 students then 1 SATB quartet should be represented.

Middle School Choir: If 10 total students are nominated, they need to represent an equal distribution of Soprano, Alto, and Baritone voices with the 2 remaining voice parts from any voice part.

Target size for all honor choirs is a 120-member ensemble.

Concert Attire

Dress for the concert is whatever your school band wears for concert performances. For some, this may be band uniforms, for others, concert black or Sunday dress. If more than one person is attending the festival from your school, please make sure you confer with them about their attire so that there is uniformity from school to school.

Parent and Director Participation

If accepted, students are expected to practice festival music in advance and we request that music teachers help their students prepare parts for each ensemble. All parts will be available to participating students for practice by January 1, 2022. Part assignments will not be announced until the start of the festival after all auditions have been reviewed.

Except for seating auditions, family members and band directors are welcome to attend any festival activities throughout the day.

Student Supervision

Participants will be supervised by festival staff at all times during scheduled events. For lunch on Saturday, we ask that a parent, guardian, or director be on hand to coordinate dining arrangements with their student(s). If a teacher or family member is unable to be with their student on Saturday, OWU will arrange a supervised lunch for an additional fee.

Attendance Expectations

Students are required to attend all scheduled activities. Festival participants are selected based on their musicianship, effort, and positive attitude. Any unannounced no-shows would compromise the integrity of the festival and reflect poorly on you, your band, and your school.

Event Venues

Ohio Wesleyan University:

Driving Directions & Campus Map

Dining Options

A full OWU dining hall buffet lunch and dinner are provided on Friday, February 11, 2022. On Saturday, students will be dismissed for approximately 2 hours to get lunch with their directors or families prior to the grand finale concert at any of the delightful restaurants in Downtown Delaware just a 5 minute walk from campus.

If a family member or teacher is unavailable to escort a student to lunch on Saturday, they may sign up for their student to receive lunch from OWU for an additional charge.


Out-of-town students, directors, and parent chaperones may arrange housing on their own in Delaware area hotels. Central Ohio residents typically commute. All housing arrangements are the responsibility of the student, parent, and/or music teacher.

  • Pacer Inn – (740) 362-0050
    259 S Sandusky St, Delaware, OH 43015. Located about half a mile from the OWU campus.
  • Quality Inn & Suites – (740) 363-8869
    1251 Columbus Pike, Delaware, OH 43015. Located about 2 miles from the OWU campus.
  • Baymont Inn – (740) 363-3510
    1720 Columbus Pike, Delaware, OH 43015. Located about 2 miles from the OWU campus.


Click here for questions about how to participate, obtaining an excused absence letter for your school, practice parts, and more!