52nd Annual UMD Junior High Honor Band Festival Draws Hundreds

350 students representing more than 56 junior highs were nominated by their directors to attend.

DULUTH, Minn. – Hundreds of junior high students from around Minnesota and Wisconsin gathered at UMD for the 52nd Annual Junior High Honor Band Festival.

350 students representing more than 56 junior highs were nominated by their directors to attend.

The students split up and formed three different bands for the one-day event.

They practice different selections all day before performing them at a concert at the end of the festival.

Many of the students are from schools with very small bands, so performing with more than 100 other students is special.

“I want them to walk away with first of all they learned something about music about themselves just about their neighbors but I want to get them excited about music and about working hard at something all day long and achieving something really worthwhile,” said Mark Whitlock, the director of the UMD Music Department.

The day also allows directors from the different schools to meet and learn what other bands in the area are doing.