Skip Sub Menu

Drake University Honor Band Festival

December 1-2, 2023

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 Department of 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 Honor Band will be conducted in the Harmon Fine Arts Center, located on the Drake University campus.


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. The deadline for application is Monday, November 6, 2023.  Should you find the need to fax your recommendations, that number is (515) 271-2558. Please be sure to include both the Director's Nomination form and Student Application form with all entries. Applications will NOT be processed without both forms. Applications may also be e-mailed to

Honor Band Festival Information Bulletin

Honor Band Festival Director Evaluation

Honor Band Festival Student Application

Registration Fee

Drake University will employ the use of Eventbrite to secure all payments for student participants of the festival. Directors will be sent a link to Eventbrite, upon notification of student acceptances to the festival. Payment is due on or before December 1, 2023.  A registration fee of $20.00 per student (plus $1.99/student user fee for Eventbrite) is due by the day of the event (December 1, 2023). 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 8:00am-10:00am.

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 auditionee. Students must bring their music with them to their chair placement auditions.


All rehearsals are open to parents, directors, and friends.

Fine Arts Scholarship Auditions

High school seniors who interested in auditioning for Fine Arts Scholarships are invited to participate in the Department of Music Audition Days that will be hosted in February 2024. Plan now to attend one of the two dates for scholarship in-person auditions: February 2, 2024 or February 9, 2024.  Fine Arts Scholarships are available for music majors, minors and non-major participants. For more information about auditions, please click here

For further information about the Honor Band Festival, please contact the Drake University Bands at: or call the Band Office at 515-271-3164.

Fine Arts News
Fine Arts Calendar