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What is the deadline for performance applications? The performance application portal typically opens in late January and applications are due in mid-March.  Exact dates will be posted on the website and shared via email and social media.

What is needed by this deadline?
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.  You will need the following when you complete your application:

  • High resolution photo of your ensemble
  • High resolution photos of all ensemble directors
  • Bios for the ensemble and each director
  • Current ensemble roster
  • Three concert programs
  • Audio recordings of audition pieces
  • Video recordings of audition pieces
  • Three evaluators

The Midwest Clinic requires that performing groups who appear at the conference wait four years from the year AFTER they performed before they may apply again.  For example, if you want to apply to perform in 2022, your group must not have played in the 2021, (2020), 2019, or 2018 conferences. Additionally, the following also apply to an ensemble's eligibility for performance:

A school can be represented by any chamber ensemble only once in five years. If your ensemble has been selected to perform at Midwest in the past, then you must allow four years from the year AFTER any chamber ensemble performed before re-applying.
A school can be represented by any concert band only once in five years. If your ensemble has been selected to perform at Midwest in the past, then you must allow four years from the year AFTER the school's concert band performed before re-applying.
If an ensemble is student-led, the faculty member must remain as the contact with The Midwest Clinic for all required communications.

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 matter is the quality of the application.

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 music performance. 

What is on the application?
Part I – Ensemble & Director Information
Part II – School/Organization Information
Part III – Audio & Video Recordings
Part IV – Application Evaluators (Evaluations will be sent electronically only AFTER the submission of your completed application and therefore cannot be done beforehand.)

Sample Evaluation

Is the choice of literature (grade level) on the audition recording important, and does it make any difference if the recording 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. No concerti or repertoire featuring a soloist(s). If the orchestra applying is a full symphony (strings, winds and percussion), one of your submitted titles must be for string orchestra only.

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. Concert bands of ALL levels are also required to include a traditional march. Please see below for the recommended march composer list.

Jazz:  Jazz applicants are welcome to submit recordings reflecting various jazz styles using either published charts or manuscripts. Include no more than one work by any one composer or arranger.

We encourage middle schools graduating 75% or more of its members before December to include one additional piece (audio and video recordings) performed by your second ensemble, if one exists.

Chamber/Percussion Ensembles: Two contrasting works in both style and tempi.  Standard literature is preferred, though good quality arrangements or transcriptions are acceptable.

The recording 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 concert band's audition recording?  Recommended March Resource List

Why is a march required on the band audition recording? 
The performance of a 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 march is an important aspect of our band heritage. The Midwest Clinic is committed to ensuring this form of musical expression is not lost to future generations of directors, ensemble members, and the world.  The march requirement is of equal importance to the other selection(s) you include on your recording, so the same care should be given to each.

Is a video recording required and must it be the same music that appears on the audio recording? 
Yes, a video recording of your ensemble playing or rehearsing the "same music" that is on the audio recording is required.  It does not need to be the same performance that was recorded on the audio recording.

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.  The Midwest Clinic board members are ineligible to submit evaluations.

How can I confirm my recommendations were sent?  When you submit your finished application, the system will automatically generate an email with a code  and a link for each evaluator. They will follow the link and use the code to access their individual evaluation forms.  You can access these codes by logging into your account, clicking on Guest Home, and selecting your clinic application. 

On occasion, the automated evaluation emails are filtered into a recipient's SPAM or junk folder.  It is always advised that you follow-up with your evaluators to ensure they received your evaluation request.  If they have not received your evaluation, you can send them a copy of their code and link. For a tutorial on how to access a copy of your evaluator's codes and to see if they have completed their evaluation, click here. Late or missing evaluations will render an application ineligible for consideration. 

Should recommendation forms be included with my application or sent separately?  Recommendation forms must be sent electronically to The Midwest Clinic office by the person who is making the recommendation. The final section contained within the online performance application system requires that you identify three individuals to whom you would like to send an evaluation form. Evaluations will be sent via email to each individual only AFTER the submission of your completed application, and therefore cannot be done in advance. The system will automatically generate a code for each individual, which they will in turn enter (via the link provided) to access the evaluation page. Following their assessment they will electronically return the form to The Midwest Clinic. The deadline for evaluations is typically one week after the application deadline.

How should I prepare my application? 



a. Audio and Video recordings MUST be recorded after September 1 of the preceding year.

b. Your administrator must certify that the selections on these recordings are unedited.

c. Each selection and/or movement must be a separately uploaded track and should be itemized on the video recording.

d. Your ensemble must not be identified within the sounds recorded on the audio itself, such as in an announcer's introduction or a director's voice (This does not apply to the video portion). Any ensemble that is identified on the audio recording will be disqualified. 

e. ONLY the following audio formats will be accepted by the performance application system: .aiff, .wav, .mp3, .mp4, .m4a, and .wma. We recommend .aiff or .wav file formats due to their superior fidelity over .mp3.

f. ONLY the following video formats will be accepted by the performance application system: .mp4, .wmv, .mov, and .avi.

g. The performance application system will only accept UP TO 30 minutes of audio and video files (separately) so please prepare your submissions accordingly.  Additionally, the maximum acceptable file size is 500 MB.  If your upload time exceeds 90 minutes, the system will timeout and the file will not upload.  For a quick video on how to compress a video file, click here.

How will The Midwest Clinic notify groups whether or not they have been accepted?  All applicants will be notified sometime around the beginning of April.  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 to perform, 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.

"The Orange County School of the Arts Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble is VERY excited to be performing at the Clinic in December. We are especially honored to have received this historic invitation as the first band from Southern California (2nd ever from the entire state, I've been told, too!) in the Clinic's distinguished 68-year history!"

Click Here to view a video of the announcement to Orange County School of the Arts Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble.

Teren Shaffer, Orange County School of the Arts

"We are excited and filled with joy to have this amazing opportunity."

Click Here to view a video of the announcement to Nipher Middle School Orchestra.

Fariga Etoza Drayton, Nipher Middle School Orchestra

"It is with great humility and tremendous excitement that I accept, on behalf of the Vista Ridge Wind Ensemble, the invitation to perform at the 2014 Midwest Clinic. I look forward to an opportunity to personally express my gratitude to you, the Board, and if appropriate, the panel of evaluators, for the wonderful experience that I know this will be for my students, my staff, and me.""

Bryan Christian, Vista Ridge High School

"We are honored, humbled and grateful for the invitation to perform at the Midwest Clinic next December! Many, many thanks for this once in a lifetime news. I simply cannot wait to share the students from Reading Junior High School with you next December."

Kevin Cranston, Antoinette Reading Junior High Band

"We are looking forward to the opportunity to get to know and work with your staff and continue the tradition of great performances at the Midwest Clinic. I am deeply aware of what an incredible honor this is and cannot begin to describe my personal and the entire KHS Orchestra, School and Community's excitement."

Chris Reidlinger & Elisabeth Hale, Kingwood High School Orchestra

"We have received enthusiastic support from our administration for this endeavor, and the student performers are positively brimming with pride and anticipation. Thank you for this honor – we are looking forward to an amazing journey!"

Ginger Wolfe, Clements HS Orchestra & Daniel Galloway, Clements HS Band