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Any high school student-musician in the states of Indiana, Ohio, or Kentucky may submit an audition, provided they are currently a member of their high school music program in good standing (as determined by their band or orchestra director). In general, we are looking for the following instrumentation: Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, Contrabassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpets, Horn in F, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, String Bass, Percussion, Harp, and Piano.


There are two ensembles at this year’s Symposium, each with different entry requirements:

  • Wind Orchestra – students will need apply for participation by filling out the Student Application Form, and submitting a video audition. The video audition does NOT have to be sent at the same time as the application: you may submit your application form first, and then send the video by the deadline. Both the application and the audition must be received no later than Friday, 17 November at 5 p.m. Any applications or auditions received after this deadline may be discarded.
  • Wind Symphony – this ensemble will be filled by director nomination. The school director will need to fill out the Director Nomination Form and submit no later than Friday, 17 November at 5 p.m. The ensemble will be selected with properly balanced and appropriate instrumentation in mind, but we will do our very best to ensure that every director who submits a nomination form has at least 1-2 students selected.


Students are selected and placed in the Tri-State ensembles based on the strength of their submitted audition materials (Wind Orchestra) or their director’s recommendation (Wind Symphony).


Students (and their directors) will be notified of their selection to participate in the Tri-State Honor Band Symposium beginning on Monday, 20 November. Check the website after that date for a roster of accepted students and any alternate spots or openings.


Registration will take place on Friday, 12 January from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the lobby of Greaves Concert Hall on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.


The cost for each student will be $50, which must be paid by Monday, 18 December, 5 p.m. After this date, students who have not paid will be considered to have turned down their spot in the Symposium, and will be replaced with alternate musicians.

Payments may be made by submitting a check (made out to NKU Bands [100 Nunn Dr., Fine Arts Center 312, Highland Heights, KY 41099]. The check can be an individual check for one student, or one school check for all of your participating students). Payments may also be made via credit card online.


  • Friday: use Welcome Center Garage (gates open after 4 p.m.)
  • Saturday and Sunday: use parking lots D & I
  • Bus Parking: use Lot O (located behind Truist Arena)


A list of hotels is provided here. If staying at a hotel, appropriate behaviour is expected of all students in accordance with your school’s proper conduct and behaviour guidelines. Students who are in violation of these guidelines may be sent home.


Students are responsible for the purchase of all meals. A list of local restaurants is provided here.

Concert Dress

Students should wear concert attire for the Sunday Finale concert. The NKU Bands Program recognizes the importance of a student’s right to individual gender expression, as well as the necessity for a unified and coherent look for ensemble performances. For the Symposium Finale concert on Sunday, students may choose from the options listed below. All performance clothing and footwear should be dress/formal rather than casual material or style. If you are unsure whether something is appropriate, please check with your own Director before the Symposium.

  • Option A (M/F/O): For all of three of these options, black socks and black dress shoes are highly recommended. Cummerbund, suspenders, or vests are optional, as is a black suit jacket and black tie with the Modern Black option.
  1. Modern Black: black pants (no denim), long-sleeved black button-down shirt.
  2. Black Suit with white button-down shirt and a black tie.
  3. Black Tuxedo (regular cut) with white tuxedo shirt and a black bowtie.
  • Option B (M/F/O): For all three of these options, décolletage, shoulders, back, and midriff should be covered (no spaghetti straps, sleeveless tops, or crop tops). Open-toed shoes are acceptable with dark stockings or dark pantyhose. Simple jewelry is acceptable.
  1. Black Dress, bottom of dress should fall below the knees.
  2. Long black skirt with a black, long-sleeved blouse/shirt.
  3. Black dress pants (no denim) with a black, long-sleeved blouse/shirt.

Not Recommended: Jeans/denim, chinos, slacks, sweatshirts, sweaters, sweatpants, polos, t-shirts, tailcoats, leggings (except when worn under a skirt or dress), hats, gloves, sneakers/athletic footwear. Please, no perfumes, colognes, or other scented lotions in rehearsal or performance, as these can trigger asthmatic and/or allergic reactions for other student musicians.

You do not have to wear your school's band uniform, unless that is your program's policy.


The Tri-State Band Symposium ensembles will perform on Sunday, 14 January at 1:00 p.m. This concert is free and open to the public and will be held in Greaves Concert Hall. Directors, parents, family, and friends are all encouraged to attend.