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SDSU Honor Band Festival

February 23-24, 2024

Honor Band Festival
Honor Band Festival

We invite high school students from throughout the region (South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and North Dakota) to apply to participate in the fourth annual Honor Band Festival, to be held on February 23-24, 2024. The SDSU Honor Band Festival is designed to be an exceptional honor band experience for talented students and is sure to be a memorable time for all those involved!

Highlights for the 2024 Festival will include:

  • The opportunity to rehearse and perform in SDSU’s newly expanded Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center;
  • Workshops and masterclasses with the faculty of the School of Performing Arts;
  • Scholarship audition opportunities for high school seniors;
  • A side-by-side performance with members of the SDSU Wind Symphony and
  • The chance to make music with the most talented student musicians from a multi-state radius.

Students who play the following instruments are invited to apply: piccolo, flute, oboe, bassoon, B-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, French horn, trumpet, tenor trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass and percussion (mallet, battery/auxiliary and timpani). String bass and piano auditions will also be considered, depending on repertoire selected by the conductors.

There is NO application fee! Students selected to the group will be charged a $30 participation fee (payable either by the individual student or their school). Student participants are responsible for securing their own accommodations and transportation for the duration of the festival; however, select meals will be provided.

To Apply:

Students must first be nominated by a director by filling out this form:

Nomination Form

Upon receiving a nomination, the nominated students will be invited to submit a short audition recording on their instrument to include:

Woodwinds, Brass, Piano and String Bass

  • Two major scales of the student’s choosing (multiple octaves where appropriate)
  • Selection from a prepared solo/etude (30-60 seconds) of the student's choosing


  • Selections from prepared solos/etudes (30-60 seconds) of the student's choosing for all three of the following:
    • Timpani
    • Snare Drum
    • Keyboard Percussion (marimba, vibraphone, or xylophone)

Director Nominations are due by Friday, November 3, 2023.

Student Auditions are due by Monday, November 20, 2023.

Selected students will be notified by Friday, December 8, 2023.

Honor Wind Ensemble Conductor

ben lorenzo

Dr. Benjamin Lorzeno

Director of Bands
Kent State University

Benjamin Lorenzo is an associate professor of music and the Director of Bands at Kent State University's Glauser School of Music where he conducts the Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting, and provides leadership for university bands. Previously, he served as Associate Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Arkansas where he led the Razorback Marching Band and Wind Symphony. Before this appointment, Lorenzo held positions at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech University. His teaching experience also includes high schools in Florida and Texas.

Passionate about wind bands in Latin America, Dr. Lorenzo has worked with musicians in Mexico, Panama, Peru, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. He has also conducted bands in Kuala Lumpur and was a clinician for the Malaysian Band Directors Association Conducting Workshop. Additional experience abroad includes guest conducting the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project (WYWOP) in Schladming, Austria. Lorenzo remains active as an adjudicator, conductor, and clinician throughout the United States and has conducted professional ensembles such as the West Point Academy Band.

As an orchestrator, Lorenzo’s transcription of John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Chaconne, published by Boosey & Hawkes, received the composer’s praise and numerous performances from university and professional ensembles to date. In addition, he has arranged works for marching bands, wind ensembles, and the Dallas Winds. His writings on music are found in the Journal of Band Research, the WASBE Journal, and he has contributed to several volumes of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. He has presented sessions at the Texas Bandmasters Association, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, College Band Directors National Association conferences, and several state music education conventions.

Committed to amplifying diverse voices, Lorenzo serves on the advisory board of the Music Education Alliance, which sponsors the William P. Foster project, an initiative of CBDNA, Music For All, and the National Band Association, focused on supporting bands in historically underserved and under-resourced communities . Additionally, he chairs the Diversity Committee for CBDNA and is a member of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Service Sorority, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.

Lorenzo holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin under the tutelage of Jerry Junkin. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Trombone Performance from Florida International University, studying with Mark Hetzler. A native of Havana, Cuba, he is a proud alumnus of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, where he began his teaching career.

Festival Band Conductor

Erin Bodnar

Dr. Erin Bodnar

Director of Bands
University of North Florida

Dr. Erin Bodnar is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of North Florida where she conducts the Wind Symphony and Concert Band, instructs courses in conducting and coordinates the UNF Conducting Symposium. Under Dr. Bodnar’s baton, the UNF Wind Symphony performed at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Buñol, Spain in July 2019. The UNF NuMIX, co-directed by Dr. Bodnar and Dr. Venet, performed at the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference in February, 2022. Prior to her appointment at UNF, Dr. Bodnar was Director of Bands at Graceland University for four years during which time the Symphonic Band performed at the Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference. During 2013-2014, Dr. Bodnar was the conductor of the Wind Symphony and Orchestra at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Bodnar maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician, traveling to Argentina, Thailand, Indonesia, and throughout the United States and Canada. Dr. Bodnar has contributed to A Composer's Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band, Volume 5, the GIA Teaching Music Through Performance Series for Volume 7 and the revised Volume 1. She excelled at teaching both middle and high school band in Alberta, Canada for which she received the Keith Mann Young Band Director’s Award and the Edwin Parr First Year Teacher Award. Dr. Bodnar has presented at conferences in Canada, the United States, Scotland, Thailand and Austria. Her research interests include conducting pedagogy and motor cognition, and her articles have been published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education and Music Perception. An avid runner and group fitness instructor, Dr. Bodnar has completed 50 marathons, including 6 Boston marathons, ten 50 km races and one 100 km race.