High School Honor Band Festival

This academic year, the Marshall University High School Honor Band Festival will be held February 9-11, 2023. The Honor Band Festival is an event developed for the purpose of recognizing the achievements of exceptional high school musicians and provide an opportunity to work with great guest conductors from around the country and get to know the amazing faculty at Marshall University. This year we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Brian Silvey as one of our fine guest clinicians. He serves as Director of Bands at the University of Missouri.

The weekend includes workshops and master classes with world-renowned musicians, performances by the Marshall Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and demonstrations by student ensembles. Participants will audition on Thursday and be placed into one of four honor bands. The weekend will conclude with a concert by all four of the ensembles.


The Clinicians
John Marshall Wind Symphony
Dr. Brian Silvey
Director of Bands, University of Missouri

Symphonic Band
Stephen Visnage, M.M.
Orchestra Director, Perkins School of the Arts & Sarasota Youth Orchestra

Green Clinic Band

White Clinic Band
Mr. Blake Garcia
Interim Director of Athletic Bands, Marshall University

Selection Process

Step 1- Students can be nominated by their director for consideration as we have done in the past. Students will be accepted based on recommendation of their director and the instrumentation needs of the ensemble. Nominations are due by January 9, 2022 and will be notified on January 16th of the selected students.

This year we also have an option of individual auditions for students who’s school may not be bringing a group.​ These students must be accompanied by a parent or chaperone for the event.

Step 2- Video Auditions will be required of those selected to attend High School Honor Band. For more information about the submission process of the audition video click HERE. Audition materials for wind players are 2 major scales and a prepared piece. Percussionists must play a scale, 2 rudiments, and a prepared piece. These videos are due by January 30th and results will be posted the day of the event at registration and emailed to the directors after the checked-in process.

The cost of attending the MU Festival Band is $30.00 per student. For this, each student receives a custom instruction from our instrumental faculty, guest clinician instruction from highly qualified music educators for the festival bands, Festival Band T-Shirt, and a participation certificate. Once you receive the list of students who have been accepted to our Honor Band Festival, you may send in one check or several, made out to “Kappa Kappa Psi”. The registration fee must be paid by, or at, check-in. Payment options include check (mailed or brought to check-in), or paid with a credit card ($1 processing fee required) online or in-person at check-in. Please pay the registration fees when you check in. (Directors or accompanying chaperones for individual student must make the payments, please!)

Each student is given a Festival Band certificate and MU Festival Band T-shirt.  The MU Chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. will be recording the concert and offering CDs for $12.00.

Very Tentative Schedule

Thursday (2/9)
3:00 Check-in
4:30 Welcome Meeting and Wind Symphony Concert
6:30 Rehearsal
9:00 Rehearsal Ends

9:00 Rehearsal
10:30 Break
10:45 Rehearsal
12:00 Lunch
1:15 Rehearsal
1:30 Auditions for MU music – interested seniors
4:30 Rehearsals conclude
5:00 Marshall Symphonic Band Concert
6:00 Master Classes
7:00 Dinner on your own

9:00 Rehearsal
10:30 Break
10:45 Rehearsal
12:00 Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 Rehearsal (Recital Hall Rotation)
4:00 Hall opens for seating
4:30 Concerts begin

MU Department of Music and Marching Band Auditions
Seniors wishing to audition for scholarships, entrance into the MU School of Music, and/or tuition waivers for Marching Thunder participation will have an opportunity to do so on Friday, during the 1:15 p.m. rehearsal block. Those interested in auditioning to be a music major should check back here at the beginning of the spring semester and follow the steps to sign up for auditions.

All campus dining facilities at the Memorial Student Center and Harless Dining Hall will be open. Students may also go off-campus to eat. There are several restaurants and fast food places within easy walking distance from campus. We will not offer lunch on Friday through our music department as we have in the past.

There are many hotels in the Huntington/Barboursville/Ashland area available for housing during the Honor Band Festival.

Parking for Buses

For those schools bringing buses, you may unload the students on 3rd Ave. in the left lane or in the new parking lot north of the new Engineering Building across 3rd Ave. from Smith Music Hall.  On Thursday before 7 p.m. and Friday all day, we ask that you park the buses at the stadium parking lot on the corner of 20th St. and 3rd Ave. (please remember that 3rd Ave. is one way going west, the stadium is east of the music building).  On Saturday, you may park in the new lot behind the new Engineering Building across 3rd Ave. from Smith Music Hall (corner of 3rd Ave. & Hal Greer Blvd.) or in the West Stadium Parking Lot.

Parking for Cars/Vans

On Thursday evening cars and vans arriving before 7 p.m. should unload students at Smith Music Hall and then move to the West Stadium Parking Lot to park for the auditions.  On Thursday all cars and vans arriving after 7 p.m. may park in the parking lots directly across 3rd Ave. from Smith Music Hall.  All other areas will be ticketed.  On Friday, all cars should park in the West Stadium Parking Lot until after 6 p.m.  On Saturday, all cars and vans may park in the lots across 3rd Ave. from Smith Music Hall.  Parking in areas other than those instructed above may result in a parking ticket.


Please contact Christopher Schletter with any questions


Upcoming Wind Band Performances

The Marshall University Wind Bands new concert season begin this fall. Stay tuned for dates and times.

All concerts can be found on our YouTube Channel here.


Marching Thunder Events

Fall 2022 Performance Schedule
This schedule is subject to change over the course of the summer. All performance are at at MU unless otherwise noted.


11th – 20th – Band Camp
20th – Friends & Family Performance

3rd – Home game vs. Norfolk State & Band Day
10th – Side-by-side concert with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra

1st – Home game vs. Gardner-Webb
12th (Wed.) – Home game vs. Louisiana
22nd – Tri-State Marching Championships
29th – Homecoming vs. Coastal Carolina

12th – Home game vs. App. State
26th – Home game vs. Georgia State

3rd – Possible SBC Championships

Additional post season – TBD