The Quad City Symphony Youth Ensembles is opening up auditions for the following instruments in the Youth Symphony Orchestra:

Youth Philharmonic Orchestra:

Please forward this information to any students who may be interested in auditioning the for QCSYE. Thank you!

Chelsea Schwarzkopf
QCSYE General Manager

Audition Information


Dr. Christopher Ramaekers, interim conductor

Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) is a full symphony orchestra comprised of nearly 90 members and is the premiere youth orchestra in the region. Members perform several times throughout the year in a variety of rewarding performance settings, including the Side-by-Side concert with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Mark Russell Smith, where they perform advanced orchestral repertoire. YSO is primarily intended to serve students in grades nine through twelve and generally rehearses on Sundays from 5:45 - 8:15 p.m.




advertising info and picture of band students.2019 Honor Band Festival Info

Dear Colleague:

I hope your concert band season is off to a great start! Below are the application materials and information for our 2019 Cyclone Honor Band Festival. Please nominate your most deserving students to participate in this superb event. The exceptional conductors, combined with our clinics and ISU Wind Ensemble concert, will provide a truly first-class weekend for you and your students!

Here’s what you need to do to nominate your students:

1. Complete the band director information in the middle of each entry form (for each of the Gold and Cardinal Band forms).

2. Print the Gold Band Entry Form for as many students as you’d like to nominate.

3. Print the Cardinal Band Entry Form for as many students as you’d like to nominate.

4. For students whose names you are submitting for the Cardinal Band, please prioritize your nominations by numbering them. You’ll find a space for an application number in the bottom left corner of the entry form. Should you nominate someone for the Gold Band and we are unable to place that student into the Gold Band, that student would automatically be a higher priority than your first choice for the Cardinal Band.

You can mail the forms, scan and send, or fax the Entry Forms back to us.

Please do not ask us to allow your students to miss any part of their honor band rehearsals.

However, if you have a student who is participating in the IHSA State Speech event, that student will likely be able to do both – as long as they request a special time to perform and they are at a nearby site. The IHSA will gladly accept your request, as we are also a “school-approved” activity. However, know that they will not be able to move your speech students to a different site.

Thanks in advance for your support of this event. We are excited to be hosting this event and appreciate your support and participation. Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.


Michael Golemo, D.M.A.
Director of Bands
515.294.0394 / Fax 515.294.6409

Northern Festival of Bands

Northern Festival of Bands 2019

The Northern Festival of Bands is an annual weekend wind band festival for high school band students, who perform in bands led by nationally renown conductors, participate in masterclasses and workshops with UNI faculty and students, and experience performances given by UNI's outstanding ensembles. 

This year the festival will be held February 7-9, 2019. The festival features performances by the UNI Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band on Friday evening, as well as Saturday afternoon’s performance by high school participants featuring solo competition winners, percussion groups, Festival Concert Band and Festival Symphony Band. 

High school performers are divided into three bands: Wind Orchestra, Symphony Band, and Concert Band. The Wind Orchestra consists primarily of All-State Band members, the Symphony Band is mostly older students around 11-12th grade and Concert Band is typically 9-10th grade. However, there will be some crossover due to the need to create an instrumentation for three outstanding ensembles.

2019 Guest Conductors and Festival Ensembles

Wind Orchestra - Fergus O'Carroll, Royal Irish Academy of Music (Dublin, Ireland) 
Symphony Band - Brad Ethington, Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York) 
Concert Band Erin Holmes, Farmington High School (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Festival Percussion Ensemble - Ryan Frost and Matthew Andreini, conductors

University of Northern Iowa Ensembles

Wind Ensemble - Danny Galyen, conductor
Symphonic Band - Justin Mertz, conductor
Chamber and Faculty Ensembles  

The Application Process

The Northern Festival of Bands offers three festival bands: the Wind Orchestra, Symphony Band, and Concert Band. The Percussion Ensemble is selected from the three festival bands. Students are selected on the basis of the application forms submitted by each school and director. In recent years, we have received over 400 applications with approximately 100 selected for each band. 

We request that each school submit at least two names for consideration.

Applications should be made by the school band director. In some cases an individual student may wish to attend even if their school is not attending. In these cases the application must still be made by the high school band director or by the student with the high school band director's oversight. This is to ensure that participating students are members of their school band and have the permission of the director and school prior to attending. In the event that the director does not attend the festival, an adult chaperone must attend with the student due to the overnight nature of the festival.

Applications will be submitted via our website. Applications should be completed by Monday, November 26, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Application Instructions (please note that we changed application process for last year's festival, and with positive feedback from directors have kept the process the same for the 2019):

There are two steps for the application process:

1. Download and complete the NFB Student Nomination Form

2. Then visit the School Registration Form to provide school and director information and to attach the completed Nomination Form.

Prior to completing the Nomination Form, we ask that directors ensure that students are aware of festival dates and are committed to these dates in the event they are selected. Students are expected to attend the entire festival, since it is impossible to create an artistic performing experience in such a limited time without complete attendance.


Students accepted for either of the festival bands will audition for chair placement between 4:00 pm and 6:45 pm on Thursday afternoon, February 7.  In order to complete these auditions in time for the rehearsal and to accommodate those driving long distances, we will use the following audition schedule:

4:00-5:00 pm – Schools within a 50 mile radius of UNI
5:00-6:00 pm – Schools within a 100 mile radius of UNI
6:00-6:45 pm – Schools outside a 100 mile radius of UNI

Audition material will be sent with the notification of selection.

Concert Dress

Performance dress will be the attire normally worn by each school for performances. 

Solo Competition

Senior students accepted to the festival who wish to study music at UNI are welcome to audition for the Solo Competition.  The winner will perform at the final festival concert on Saturday afternoon and receive and an offer of a music scholarship not to exceed $6000.00 over a four year period. The award is limited to students who wish to pursue a music degree at the University of Northern Iowa.

There is a place on the nomination form to indicate students wishing to audition for the Solo Competition.
The UNI School of Music will provide an accompanist for the audition and the performance on Saturday. Each student is responsible for providing the piano accompaniment music.

Festival Fees

Students - $35.00 per student
Conductors - $30.00

The fees include a Saturday banquet meal, festival music, conductor fees, and other event costs.


The complete schedule will be available at Registration on your arrival. Currently, the following time frames are in place:

2019 NFB Schedule

Thursday, February 7
4:00-6:30 pm Auditions
7:00-9:00 pm Rehearsal I

Friday, February 8
8:30-12:00 noon Rehearsals and Concerts
1:30-4:00 pm Rehearsals and Concerts
6:00 Rehearsals
7:30 Concert - UNI Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band

Saturday, February 9
9:00-11:00 Rehearsals and Concerts
12:00 noon Festival Banquet
2:00 pm Final Festival Concert

If you need further information, please contact Meredith Tipping at mtipping@uni.edu



On Sunday, April 14, 2019 the Fort Dodge Area Symphony will present its annual Young Artists Concert.  This event offers talented young musicians the unique opportunity to perform as featured soloists in concert with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony. 



The Fort Dodge Area Symphony would like to invite your students to participate in this season’s competition.  Auditions will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at Grace Lutheran Churchin Fort Dodge, Iowa.  In case of bad weather, an alternate audition dates has been scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2019.  Detailed competition information and auditions forms can be found by visiting fdsymphony.org and clicking on Youth Programs


Please note that audition forms must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 17, 2018.  A competition schedule will be sent to all confirmed competition participants in early January 2019. 


Completed audition forms can be mailed to:

Young Artists Competition

Fort Dodge Area Symphony

P.O. Box 1291

Fort Dodge, IA 50501


Should you have any questions regarding our 2019 Young Artists Competition, please contact Paul Hochmuth, Business Manager, at 515-574-9166 or e-mail Paul at fortdodgeareasymphony@gmail.com.




The wcfsymphony is accepting applications from musicians in grades eight through twelve throughout Iowa to compete in the wcfsymphony Young Artist Concerto Competition on Sunday, February 17, 2019.  The competition will be held in Davis Hall at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Students of piano, strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion in grades eight through twelve are encouraged to participate.

Cash prizes of $400 for first place, $250 for second place, and $150 for third place will be offered. The first place winner may perform with the wcfsymphony on March 23, 2019. Deadline for applications must be postmarked no later than January 17, 2019.