University of Minnesota Duluth

UMD Bands: High School Honors Bands

Each fall, the UMD Bands host their annual high school honor band festival. This festival typically features 2 or 3 honors bands each totalling between 60 and 100 musicians.

Our Honors Band Philosophy

The purpose of this festival is to give the best students in your program a chance to participate in an ensemble that not only performs well but provides the students an opportunity to learn more about music and hopefully inspire them to become more excited about music. While we want bands that play well at the concert, we are more concerned about what your students learn while they are here at UMD. The level of performance does not always reflect what has been learned. Having said that, I would like you to consider the following when you are nominating your students.

1. Nominate only those who you know have achieved a level of skill beyond beginner level.
2. Please nominate students who have good attitudes and want to learn.
3. Please nominate students who want to work hard.
4. Nominate those who will appreciate the opportunity you/we are providing them and want to take there experiences back home to help improve your program.

Guest Artists

Dario Sotelo –Conductor, Brazilian National Wind Orchestra
Rogério Boccato Quarteto: – 'After Bossa Nova’ Project

Fall Festival

On Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9, the University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Music will be hosting its Fifty-Sixth Annual Senior High Honor Band Festival. As always, our hope is to provide you and your students with the best experience possible. This year there will be two bands, the Gold Band and the Maroon Band. We will keep membership for the Gold Band to around 65-70 members. Our guest artists this year will be Dario Sotelo and a most exciting group, Rogério Boccato Quarteto: 'After Bossa Nova’ Project. We will be featuring both of them at the festival.


Dario Sotelo, Director of the Brazilian National Wind Orchestra, will conduct the Gold Band. He is anxious to work with your talented students. Membership in this ensemble should be limited to only the best musicians in the state. In most cases, students should have been members of one of the All-State ensembles, be in the first section of your band and/or have received a I rating at solo and ensemble contest. If you have a student that you feel is truly outstanding you may submit their name. Be sure to document the student's accomplishments. Students not selected for this band will automatically be considered for the Maroon Band.


This ensemble will be conducted by Mr. Joe Kasparek. Joe is the Director of Bands at the Superior High School. If you don’t know him, he is a fine trumpeter, person and has a very fine program in Superior, Wisconsin. I can assure you that he’ll do wonderful work with your students and I know they will enjoy him. I am asking that you recommend other outstanding students from your band program for this ensemble. Your strongest juniors and seniors, other students who have attended honors bands or students who are serious musicians in your program should be considered.

Our Guest Artist: Dario Sotelo – Conductor – Brazilian National Wind Orchestra and Rogério Boccato Quarteto:

Dario is the director of the Brazilian National Wind Orchestra. He is a fantastic conductor and great person. I know you will enjoy him. Dario will be here to give clinic sessions on Brazilian music during the clinic.

Rogério Boccato Quarteto: 'After Bossa Nova’ Project

Brazilian percussionist and educator, Rogério Boccato coordinates the 'After Bossa Nova' Project. Rogério leads a stellar quartet through some of the lesser-known pieces by the greatest among the post-Bossa Nova generation of composers, such as Toninho Horta, Egberto Gismonti, Milton Nascinento, Edu Lobo. This group gives these songs a unique treatment, infused with improvisation. The idea revolves around openness and interaction, using the motifs of each song as a springboard for instant group compositions. It is a fresh and ever-changing approach to Post-Bossa Nova music.

The UMD Faculty will also be on hand to give clinics and performances throughout the weekend. A more complete biography is available in the honor band information packet. I am looking forward to having the chance to meet your fine students. All of us at UMD sincerely hope that you can find the time to become involved with this special festival.

How to Nominate


Nominations for the Senior High Honor Band can be done online (see link below) You can also download the fillable PDFs in documents (below).
Entry Deadline: Monday, October 14 , 2013. Acceptance Notification: Friday, October 25, 2013

Please be specific about percussionist's strengths (timp, mallets, snare, etc.) and also indicate whether the baritone players read bass clef or treble clef.

Please nominate only students who have expressed an interest in participating and who can guarantee that they will attend if selected. We would like to make this event as musical and memorable as possible. So a commitment is essential.

Entry Deadline: Monday, October 14, 2013
Acceptance Notification: Monday, October 25, 2013

Please click on the following link to submit on-line nominations. Also please remember that must fill out and submit a form for EACH student that you would like to nominate.
Nomination Form
If you have questions or problems please email:


Arrangements are different this year. This year we have made arrangements with the Edgewater Hotel in Duluth for those of you who need housing for this event. We have reserved a block of rooms. The rate for the weekend will be $71.00 per room per night on Thursday, November 7 and $81.00 per night for Friday and Saturday. This offer is good for up to 4 students per room. Also, each student will receive a wristband for admission into the water park and a free continental breakfast. You may pay for your room upon arrival. When you call ask for Sarah Warner and mention that you are making reservations for the UMD HonorBand Festival. For more information you may look at their web site at: or call:
Edgewater Resort & Waterpark
2400 London Road
Duluth, MN 55812
800.777.7925 (toll free)

Please make your reservations by November 1 to make sure you have a room for your students.

Payment and Final Concert

There will be an $25.00 charge per student for participation in the UMD Senior High Honor Band Festival. Payment will be due on the day of registration. Checks should be made payable to UMD Bands.


UMD Map | pdf
Senior High Acceptance/Instructions Letter 13 | pdf
SHHB Roster 13 | pdf
Luncheon Reservation Form 13 | pdf
Honor Bands Schedule 13 | pdf
Honor Band Poster | pdf

Gold Band Nomination Audition Music

Woodwind Music | zip
Brass Music | zip
Percussion | zip

Contact Information

Mark Whitlock, Director of Bands
p: 218.726.6124
f: 218.726.8210

231 Humanities Building
1201 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812


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For Information about music department programs and upcoming concerts, please call 218-726-8877