2024 High School Honor Band Festival


Next academic year, the Marshall University High School Honor Band Festival will be held February 21-23, 2024. 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 some outstanding music educators from around the country.

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

All students must be accompanied by a parent or chaperone for the event.

The Clinicians

John Marshall Wind Ensemble

Symphonic Band

Concert Band

Registration and Selection Process

Step 1: Students are nominated by their director the Honor Band Festival. Nominations are due by January 6th and will be submitted here. Directors should be sure to gather their student information before starting the nomination process. Directors should know:

  • Student’s full name
  • Instrument
  • Grade
  • Years of Experience
  • Previous all-county, all-state, honor band, and/or musical experience/ability.

Directors can use this student information to help gather the necessary information.

Step 2: Results are provided to directors by January 11th. Students will be accepted based on recommendation of their director and the instrumentation needs of the ensemble.

Step 3: Video auditions are required from those students selected to attend High School Honor Band by January 25th. In addition, directors must remit payment for the attending students by the same date. Payment can be submitted online using this link or a check made out to Kappa Kappa Psi can be mailed in. If an invoice or W9 is needed, please contact Dr. Schletter.

Students/Directors must read these instructions for recording and submitting their audition before submitting. Then students should submit their audition video online using this link here.

Audition materials for wind players are 2 major scales and a prepared piece. Percussionists must play 2 scales, 2 snare rudiments, and 3 minutes of a prepared piece. These videos are due by January 25th and results will be posted the day of the event at registration and emailed to the directors after the checked-in process. Band placement is based on these audition results. If no audition is submitted, the student can still attend, but will be chaired lower than those who do audition.

The cost of attending the MU Honor Band Festival Band is $30.00 per student. This covers the cost clinician instruction, music and materials, as well as a festival t-shirt and certificate. Again, once you receive the list of students who have been accepted to our Honor Band Festival, you may send in one check, made out to “Kappa Kappa Psi,” or you may submit payment online here. The registration fee must be paid by January 25th. If you are going to mail in a payment, you can send it to:

Christopher Schletter
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Dr.
Smith Music Hall, room 130
Huntington, WV 25705

Important Dates:
January 6th – Nominations Due
January 16th – Result provided
January 25th – Audition recordings and payments due

Marshall School of Music or Athletic Band Auditions

Those who wish 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 2:30 p.m. rehearsal block. Those interested in auditioning to be a music major should contact Dr. Schletter to schedule a time to audition.

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 $15.00.

Very Tentative Schedule

2:00 – check-in
3:30 – Required meeting with all students in recital hall
4:00 – 4:45 Wind Symphony concert
5:15 – rehearsal (break included)
8:30 – rehearsal ends

8:45 – rehearsal (break included)
12:00 – lunch
1:30 – masterclass (performances/fundamentals/relate to music)
2:15 – transition to rehearsal
2:30 – rehearsal (break as needed) and auditions for interested seniors
5:15 – rehearsal ends – move to recital hall – quick meeting – concert/saturday logistics
6:00 – Marshall Symphonic Band Concert
7:00 – dinner

8:45 – rehearsal
11:30 – lunch
Recital Hall Rotation:

  • SB – 1:00 – 2:15
  • CB – 2:30 – 3:45

4:00 – Hall opens
4:30 – Concert Begins 

Concert Attire

The preferred attire for the concert on Saturday is concert black, concert attire, or black & white. Whatever it is that you use for your concerts will be appropriate. If your ensemble is used to wearing their marching band uniforms for concert attire, they may continue to do so. However, this will most likely be shifting to all concert blacks or black & white in the future. Thank you for your cooperation and assistance with this.


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 apologize, but 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 2023 Performance Schedule
This schedule is subject to change over the course of the summer. All performance are at at MU unless otherwise noted.


10th – 19thBand Camp
19th – Friends & Family Performance

2nd – Home game vs. Albany/Band Day
23rd – Home game vs. Virginia Tech
26th – Gazzette Mail Festival
30th – Home game vs. ODU – Homecoming! Alumni, come on back!

19th (Thurs.) – Home game vs. JMU
21st – Tri-State Marching Championships

11th – Home game vs. Georgia Southern
25th – Home game vs. Arkansas State

2nd – Possible SBC Championships

Additional post season performances – TBD