Drake University Honor Band Festival

December 2-3, 2016

The Drake University Honor Band Festival provides outstanding high school musicians with the opportunity to work with our nation's finest conductors in select band settings.

During the two-day festival, students and directors develop their skills through rehearsals and clinics with guest conductors and members of the Drake music faculty. The culminating events are the two evening concerts that feature the Drake Bands and the Honor Bands presenting a wide variety of the finest music for wind band. The Honors Concert Band and Honors Wind Ensemble are comprised of over 200 students from throughout Iowa and Nebraska. These students are among the finest in the nation.


To provide an exceptional ensemble experience for high school students to perform under the baton of our nation’s finest band conductors.

Festival Location

All activities of the High School Honor Band will be conducted in the Harmon Fine Arts Center, located on the Drake University campus.

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The festival features two distinct honors ensembles. Membership in the Honors Wind Ensemble is reserved for high school seniors and members of previous Iowa All-State bands. Membership in the Honors Concert Band is open to students of all grade levels and abilities.

Eligibility/Selection Process

High school students may, with the recommendation of their instrumental director, apply for membership in the Honor Band. Deadline for application is Friday, November 6, 2015. Applications will be accepted at a later date if openings exist in specific sections. Applications will be reviewed on November 7 and parts will be assigned following the recommendation of directors, wherever possible. Music will then be sent to each accepted member for practice prior to the festival.

Honor Band Festival Information Bulletin

Honor Band Festival Director Evaluation

Honor Band Festival Student Application

Registration Fee

A registration fee of $20.00 per student is payable upon arrival on campus. A registration desk will be located in the lobby of the Performing Arts Hall of the Fine Arts Center. Students are asked to register upon arrival between 8:00-10:00 a.m.

Chair Placement Auditions

Chair auditions will consist of performance of the Honor Band music sent to students. Passages utilized are left to the discretion of the auditioner.


All rehearsals are open to parents, directors and friends.

Music Scholarship Auditions

High School Seniors who interested in auditioning for Drake Music Scholarships are invited to participate in the Drake Music Scholarship Auditions to be held in February 2016. Plan now to attend one of the two dates for scholarship auditions: February 5 and 19, 2016. 

For further information about the Honor Band Festival, contact the Drake University Bands at: du.bands@drake.edu or call the band office at 515-271-3164.

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The inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking of U.S. colleges placed Drake University at 149 in a list that includes more than 1,000 schools nationwide.