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Fall Festival of Winds 2021 Director Information

Fall Festival of Winds 2021 Director Information


Fall Festival of Winds

Saturday, November 6, 2021
Crete Campus, Doane University
Honor Band conducted by Dr. Jay W. Gilbert 
Festival Band conducted by Dr. Larry Blocher


The Doane University Fall Festival of Winds is a one-day honor band event featuring two ensembles. The Honor Band is an auditioned ensemble that requires you to upload an audio audition. There will be no video auditions this year. The Festival Band will be selected by nomination.



By Friday, September 3 - Fill out the Band Director Interest Form, Distribute Student Letter and FFW Schedule 2021.

Starting Tuesday, September 7 - A confirmation will be emailed to you. Students may start to apply. 

From September 15 through October 4 - Students may upload their Fall Festival of Winds Honor Band auditions at

By Monday, September 27 - Student application forms must be submitted.

The Week of September 27 - A list of students who have applied will be sent to you.


By Monday, October 4 - Honor Band Auditions are to be uploaded by the students. You are welcome to assist them. 
By Monday, October 4 - Band Director FFW Nomination and Rating Form submitted online for all Fall Festival participants. See Instructions for Ranking and Rating Students below.
Friday, October 15 - Selection results will be emailed to you, Honor Band music will be available electronically, and invoices will be sent via email.


Saturday, November 6 - Fall Festival of Winds - 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Concert at 3:45 p.m.)


1. Encourage interested students to apply
2. Encourage talented students to audition
3. Direct students to the FFW student pages
4. Complete the Band Director Ranking and Rating Form for all Fall Festival participants
5. Assist students in the process


Directors are welcome to assist their student(s) with the recording or download the Honor Band audition.
Directors must rank and rate students auditioning for the honor band in the event that they are not accepted into the honor band and would placed in the Festival Band.
For students who are not preparing a Nebraska All-State audition, an etude and exercises for the Honor Band audition are available directly to students online at:


Please give careful attention to the completion of the Ranking and Rating Form. The placement of students within the band will be based on the information given in this form. Each item will be given a point value. Please consider the following:

  • This is not a competition, but rather an opportunity to give talented high school students an excellent band experience.
  • You must rank every student - both auditioned and nominated.
  • You must rate students who are auditioning. (Tone, Technique, etc.)
  • Students must be enrolled in grades 9-12.
  • I will try to represent as many schools as we can.
  • I must give some consideration to balance of the band.
  • It is in the best interest of the band that out of every three students nominated, at least one is a clarinet, horn, baritone, or tuba. Encourage clarinets, horns, and euphonium players to participate, or we will have a band of flutes and saxohpones.
  • I will try to include everyone's top ranked player.
  • It is in the best interest of the band if the principle players in a section are upperclassmen. Therefore, if a sophomore is your number-one ranked player, they may not be the principle player in a section.
  • If something is unclear, I may call you for clarifcation.


Evaluation Rubric PDF

I have created a Student Evaluation Rubric to assist you in making judgments about your students. The Fall Festival is blessed to be able to have two bands, so together we should try to create an ensemble of the most deserving players who apply and a second ensemble of the best developing players we have. It is very important that you use the rubric to help determine what a fair rating is. If every school accurately rates their nominated students, the bands should be properly formed. You will rate students based on the five elements of performance: Tone, Technique, Range, Sight Reading, and Rhythmic Independence. Each player can get fifty possible points. Please be conservative in your appraisals. Since we need clarinets for the Festival and Concert Bands, if the player has rhythmic issues, rate them as a 3 or a 2.
If ten students apply from your school, you should rank all students from your program from 1 (your “best” student) to ten (your “least best” student). Your rankings (1 – 10) should generally be reflected in the performance ratings; your number one ranked player should have a stronger performance score than your number twelve ranked player. Percussion should be included in your ranking of the winds. Therefore, no school should have more than one top-ranked student. Please be assured that these ratings are confidential and will not be discussed with or disclosed to students.


Percussion presents a special challenge in that many students are not equally proficient on all percussion instruments. The more instruments a student can play, the more useful they are in the band setting. I will try to ensure that everyone gets a chance to play at least one piece on their strength. Therefore an evaluation in each of the percussion areas is important. When ranking your percussionists, please insert them into the appropriate ranking position in relation to the wind players. REMEMBER: There should be only one wind player OR one percussion player who receives the #1 rank from your school.


Students who wish to play in the Fall Festival Honor Band should submit a recorded audio audition. Instructions for submitting auditions are available both in the email directions and on the website.

Students Who Have Prepared An All-State Audition

Students who are auditioning for the NMEA All-State may upload their All-State audition recording for the Fall Festival of Winds, or they may make a new one.

Students Who Are Auditioning For The Honor Band But Not All-State

Students who are not auditioning for All-State will need to record an audition for the Fall Festival of Winds. These may be uploaded at  

In order to create a balanced Honor Band, I reserve the right to fill out sections with students who have been nominated but did not audition. I have also had to find students to play when I did not have enough players (horns for example). Please be sure to include your students who audition for the Honor Band on your Ranking and Rating form. Include them in rankings and give an evaluation (last year we had two auditions out of one hundred that we mistakenly cut because of technical issues with their recordings).


In this section, I would ask you to provide me with any additional information you feel would be important for me to know. Any comment is better than no comment. Here are some examples of what I would find helpful. Since I am asking you not to make a saxophone your top ranked player, you may wish that I knew that your alto saxophone was the 1st alto sax in the All-State Jazz Band. Sometimes directors have sent in students they really do not wish to nominate, but feel pressured to do so. So in addition to a low rating, you could say something like unable to recommend. You may also wish to encourage me to place a developing student into the Festival Band. Please know that I will try to honor all of your requests, but with more than two hundred students being consistently nominated, that may not be possible. Your comments are confidential and will not be discussed with or disclosed to students.




For questions regarding the application process or audition guidelines, please contact Jay Gilbert at or 402-826-8671.