Performance Application FAQs
What is the deadline for performance applications?
2014 performance applications are due by 5:00 p.m. (CST) on Monday, March 10, 2014.
What is needed by this deadline?
2014 performance applications can be found on this website, by clicking on the 2014 Performance Application.
Your complete application must be postmarked no later than March 3, 2014 or received in The Midwest Clinic office by 5:00 p.m. (CST) on Monday, March 10, 2014. Applications received by the deadline, but without all the required items, will not be considered. Please do not call The Midwest Clinic office requesting an extension for any item. Please schedule your photo and recording sessions well in advance of the deadline and submit your materials as early as possible to avoid any last-minute delay.
The Midwest Clinic requires that performing groups who appear at the conference wait five years before they may apply again. For example, groups that performed in 2010 or later would ineligible to submit a performance application in 2014.
Do ensembles that have applied before have a higher chance of being selected than ensembles that are applying for the first time? The number of times an ensemble has applied is not a factor in the decision. What does matters is the quality of the application this year.
Some of the questions on the application do not apply to my group. Is there another application I should be using? All performing organizations should use the same performance application form. If there are questions that do not apply to your group, indicate that they are not applicable by typing N/A in those spaces.
Which application form should I use if I would like to bring a chamber ensemble to The Midwest Clinic? You should use the performance application if you would like to play a concert at Midwest. Please use the clinic application if you would like to present a clinic session that combines instruction with chamber performance.
I’ve read the programming procedures for that is included with the performance application. Do these procedures apply to chamber groups, as well? Chamber ensembles may perform music of their choosing that best suits the style of the group.
Is the choice of literature (grade level) on the audition tape or CD important, and does it make any difference if the tape is weighted toward transcriptions, contemporary or older, more established and well-known repertoire?
Orchestra: One selection should be a slow tempo piece or movement and one should be fast. Standard literature is preferred, though good quality arrangements or transcriptions are acceptable.
Band: Traditional accepted quality standard repertoire would be preferred. It is probable that a more difficult selection, whether new or old, that is played well, would tip the scales in comparison to a less difficult selection played equally well.
Jazz: Jazz applicants are welcome to submit recordings reflecting various jazz styles using either published charts or manuscripts.
The recordings of your ensemble is the single most important part of your application. You, therefore, will want to select music that best reflects your players' capabilities.
What kind of March should I include on my band's audition CD? Your band should perform a traditional military style march by one of the composers listed on the application form.
Why is a traditional military style march required on the band audition CD? The performance of a traditional “military style march” demonstrates to the band selection committee much about the ensemble. It exhibits a clear understanding by the director and individual musicians of the character, phrasing, dynamic contrast, articulation style, pitch control and transparency of musical lines often overlooked or under rehearsed by many bands. Additionally, the standard march is an important aspect of our band heritage and we want to ensure this form of musical expression is not lost to future generations of directors and ensemble members. The traditional “military style march” requirement is of equal importance to the other selection you include on your CD, and the same care should be given to each.
Is a DVD required and must it be the same music that appears on the CD? Yes, a DVD of your ensemble playing or rehearsing the "same music" that is on the CD is required. It does not need to be the same performance that was recorded on the CD.
Who should write my recommendations? If possible, you should ask directors who are most familiar with your work and can write on behalf of your ensemble's record over an extended period of time. The committee is interested in learning if there has been a consistently high quality program over the years and if the director has a reputation as a musician and a builder of music programs. Adjudicators at festivals are suitable as well, but may not be aware of a tradition of quality, which may exist in your organization. Midwest Clinic board members are not eligible to submit evaluations.
Should recommendation forms be included with my application or sent separately? Recommendation forms should be sent directly to The Midwest Clinic office by the person who is making the recommendation.
How should I prepare and present my application? In processing the application, The Midwest Clinic will separate your materials and photocopy your application forms. It is helpful if your materials are collected loosely, in a large envelope. Large, bulky notebooks with materials collected in individual folders or mounted to backing sheets take up more space than is necessary and require extra effort to process. A simple presentation is best. Though a professional appearance reflects well on a director and ensemble, the presentation of application materials is not a factor in the selection process.
How will The Midwest Clinic notify groups whether or not they have been accepted? All applicants will be notified by email within two weeks of when the Group Selection committees meet. Results will not be shared over the phone.
When will The Midwest Clinic announce which groups have been invited? When all of the invited groups have confirmed that they are accepting the invitation, The Midwest Clinic will post the roster of performers on the website. We hope to announce the list of performers by the beginning of May.
How have others reacted to their invitations to appear at The Midwest Clinic?
Some of our former performing directors shared reactions to their invitation to perform at Midwest.
“I announced to the kids yesterday that we had been accepted and they burst into applause.”
— Lafe Cook, Dobyns-Bennett High School Symphonic Band, Kingsport, TN
“Our community is extremely excited. Since Monday we have been overwhelmed with congratulations and well wishes. This is an honor and we are excited and humbled.”
— Tanner Ledford , Dobie Chamber Orchestra, Houston, TX
“My initial reaction was one of total disbelief, soon followed by shouts of sheer joy. One week later, I am still in shock that we were accepted to perform at this most prestigious event. Like I told my students the next day, this is like going to the Super Bowl for concert bands. The students are extremely pumped about going to Chicago and performing for thousands of fellow musicians who truly appreciate the hard work put into such an endeavor.”
— Andy Pettus, Hillcrest High School Wind Ensemble, Tuscaloosa, AL