National Concert Band Festival

National Concert Band Festival


A non-competitive experience 
Being invited is the achievement! The Festival’s non-competitive atmosphere at the Festival provides a place for growth, cooperative encouragement and mutual respect among music programs, students, parents, boosters and administrators. Directors select their own programs; there is no required repertoire. There are no ratings or rankings so directors and their ensembles are free to stretch themselves, reach for new heights, and strive for innovation, growth and excellence, instead of focusing on a rating or placing.

Participating students experience an atmosphere of mutual respect while enjoying concerts from other outstanding ensembles. The Festival’s dress code and standards of conduct enhance the world-class atmosphere of the Festival. Ensembles that perform at the Festival are recognized as being among the finest in the nation. Participation is a “credential” worth having. The preparation process itself can have a positive effect on your music program.

Participating bands in the National Concert Band Festival are strongly encouraged to consider repertoire in the National Concert Band Festival Core Repertoire Guide.
Quality educational experience
In order to provide world-class educational opportunities for more bands, the National Concert Band Festival now includes two unique stages for high school bands –“Featured Bands” typically perform at Clowes Memorial Hall and“Invited Bands”on the Festival Stage at the new Howard L. Schrott Center for the Performing Arts, both on the campus of Butler University.

This opportunity will provide the same world-class offerings as the “Featured Band” such as master classes, leadership sessions, social gatherings, one-on-one conductor feedback and a gala awards banquet, but with more “hands-on” and collaborative treatment such as multiple clinicians simultaneously working with bands, interactive audience participation and other aspects that will enhance the student’s experience. Clinics for this stage typically take place on the performance stage, and allow for other "Invited Bands" to observe and learn from the audience. Applying high school bands select on their application form which of the two stage experiences they are applying for.

Featured Stage
The Featured Stage is the Festival experience that Music for All has presented since the Festival’s debut in 1992. Bands perform in beautiful Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. Up to 18 bands who apply for the Featured Bands experience will be selected to perform.

One-on-one mentoring for conductors. Each “Featured Band” will receive a one-on-one mentoring session for the ensemble’s conductors with one of the Festival evaluators or clinicians. This mentoring session affords the conductor the opportunity to engage one-on-one with the evaluator about the program and topics of interest to both the conductor and the mentor.

Invited Stage
The“Invited Band”stage began in 2014, and is designed for up to 12 bands interested in experiencing a great, educational, “life-changing experience.” The Invited Stage experience is for those bands that not quite ready to apply for a Featured Band performance but that want the opportunity for growth this enrichment opportunity provides. This experience is also for additional bands from the Featured Band programs.
Invited Bands will perform for nationally recognized evaluators and clinicians in a completely supportive non-competitive environment – to be invited is the achievement.
All bands interested in the Invited Band opportunity must submit an application and recording.
Invited Band students participate in all master classes, social activities and the Gala Awards Banquet available as part of the Festival experience.The Invited Band experience is envisioned as an in-depth education experience. In addition to the performance, which includes written and recorded evaluation, each Invited Band will have a 30 minute clinic that will involve three evaluators who will work simultaneously with each band.

Each band’s conductor(s) will receive a 30 minute, one-on-one conductor-led session with an evaluator following each performance block. A face-view video of the conductor will be provided for the conductor evaluation session.
Each band member will receive a DVD and CD package of their concert performance, and formal group photo.
Bands will participate in audience time for each other. Student ensemble audience members will have the option to complete an evaluation form with positive comments and thought-provoking questions to provide additional educational experiences.

Read about the Highlights for both Featured and Invited Bands Here!
Chamber Music National Festival
The Chamber Music National Festival is for chamber ensembles up to 16 players. Multiple ensembles from a school may apply.