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Can you provide a brief description of what takes place at The Midwest Clinic?
The conference opens on Wednesday with a program of band, orchestra, jazz, and chamber concerts and clinics. Events start at 8:30 a.m. each day and continue throughout the day until the last concert concludes at around 10:00 p.m. The exhibits are open on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The conference concludes on Saturday with a finale concert that is over by 1:00 p.m.

How can I benefit from attending?
The Midwest Clinic provides outstanding professional development opportunities for instrumental music educators of all levels. These opportunities are both practical and motivational, offering tools and insights that you can apply to your own situation and the inspiration to implement them. The clinics present diverse teaching techniques and guidance, the concerts feature model ensembles of all levels and introduce you to repertoire that you can program with your own ensemble, and the exhibits feature virtually every service and industry that caters to music educators. Surrounding the conference is a genuine sense of community that makes it easy for you to make valuable connections among other teachers, composers, and music industry members.

Does The Midwest Clinic offer continuing education credit?
You may earn one or two graduate credits from VanderCook College of Music while attending the conference. Educators from all states may also be able to receive credit for attendance. Please check with your state Department of Education for information.

Are tickets required for any events at The Midwest Clinic?
Thanks to the conference’s spacious venue, McCormick Place West, all events no longer require tickets- only a registration credential. Occasionally, there are special concerts that require a separate ticket, such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass concerts that have been held at Orchestra Hall in conjunction with The Midwest Clinic. Information about these special concerts will be posted on our website.

What is College Night?
College Night is an opportunity for students and teachers looking for undergraduate and graduate music programs to meet with the representatives of more than seventy colleges, universities, and branches of the military.

How much should I budget to attend The Midwest Clinic?
You will need to budget for travel to Chicago, hotel, meals, registration, and any purchases. Once you register for the conference, there are no additional fees, unless there is a special add-on event, such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass concerts that have been held at Orchestra Hall in conjunction with The Midwest Clinic. Details of these special events will be announced on our website in advance of the conference.


Can I preregister for the conference?
Preregistration is only available online and must be paid by credit card. Typically preregistration is available online from May through the beginning of December.

How do I register?
Along with preregistration, on-site registration will be available throughout the conference. If you register as a college student, you must present a valid college ID upon registering or checking in to receive the college student discount.

Is there a separate rate for high school students?
High school students register for $25.  High school students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone at the time of registration and at conference events.

I am bringing my spouse with me to the conference. Does he/she need to register?
Registration is required for spouses to attend any clinic or concert or visit the exhibits.

Is there a daily registration fee?

The registration fee applies whether you stay a single day or for the entire conference.

Are there membership dues?
The Midwest Clinic has no membership.

Does The Midwest Clinic accept purchase orders from school districts?
Yes.  Please send your PO to for processing.  Please have your accounting department issue a check for you to bring with you to the conference or mail payment no less than 20 days before you arrive in Chicago.

I pre-registered and now I cannot attend The Midwest Clinic. What do I do?
See conference registration page for further details. 

I am bringing a group of students from my school to the exhibits. Do my chaperones need to pay the registration fee?
Yes. Chaperones must register at a rate of $25. This rate can only be purchased onsite in Chicago.

I am the parent of a student who is performing at the conference. Do I need to register to attend my child’s concert?
No. You need to tell the director of your child’s ensemble that you will be attending, so that he or she can request a participant badge for you. The director will be responsible for giving you this badge in Chicago.  The participant identification badge is required for you to attend any event at the conference, including your child’s concert.

I am an industry member who is not exhibiting. Can I still attend the Midwest?
You can register as a commercial representative at the same rate as directors.

Where do I register for press credentials?

The Midwest Clinic may be able to accommodate journalists on an individual basis. To explore this possibility, please send an e-mail describing your project, media outlet, and credentials to


Which hotels offer discounts for Midwest Clinic attendees?
Several hotels offer special rates for Midwest attendees. You can find their information at the Midwest Clinic Housing Page. Shuttle service is available between the downtown conference hotels and McCormick Place West.


When will the schedule of events be available?
The conference schedule will be posted on our website in September.

How can I make the best use of my time at the conference?
With so many events happening simultaneously, planning a daily schedule prior to arriving at The Midwest Clinic can help you get the most out of your experience. The schedule of events is posted to the website in the fall. Also available around the same time are concert programs and clinic capsules, which provide additional information about what will be covered in each session. These features give you the chance to highlight your must-see events and plan time to visit the exhibits. At the conference, you will not only receive the large program book, you will also receive a pocket schedule that you can conveniently carry throughout your stay.


Is there a dress code?
There is no dress code. Casual and professional dress are both common at the conference. The most important thing is to wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable and to remember to dress for potentially cold Chicago weather. Also, McCormick Place West and most of the hotels are dry environments, so a spare water bottle can come in handy.

What kind of weather should I expect?
December weather in Chicago is unpredictable. Temperatures are often in the 30’s, though temperatures in the 20’s are not out of the ordinary, and in some years the mercury will climb into the 40’s. Snow is possible, and rain or sleet along with windiness may be in the forecast.

How do I purchase a recording of a Midwest Clinic concert?
Mark Custom Recording is the exclusive audio and video recording company of The Midwest Clinic.

Mark Custom Recording
10815 Bodine Rd., PO Box 406
Clarence, NY 14031-0406
(706) 759-2600

What are the future Clinic dates?
December 15 - 18, 2021

Does The Midwest Clinic have a newsletter?
No. The best way to stay in touch is to subscribe to our e-news list which can be found on our homepage.

How can I bring my ensemble to perform at The Midwest Clinic?
Performers at The Midwest Clinic must submit the official Performance Application. Applications are due in March of each year. For more information about applying to perform, please read our Performance Application FAQs.

How is the music that is performed at The Midwest Clinic selected?
All of the music is selected by the performing directors according to the rules of The Midwest Clinic. These rules are in place to ensure that a wide variety of accessible music is performed, including a balance of new and old and easy and difficult literature, with a particular emphasis on publishers whose catalogs are available for perusal in the exhibit halls. Midwest Clinic concerts are designed to introduce audience members to pieces they can perform with their own ensembles, regardless of their level.

How do I apply to present a clinic?

You can propose a clinic by submitting the clinic application. Proposals are due on or around March 12 of each year. Proposals must be submitted through the online clinic proposal system.

What is the deadline for signing up as an exhibitor?
There is no exhibit deadline. Booths are available from the time Midwest Clinic Exhibitor Contracts are distributed in January until they sell out.

Do you have a question that is not answered here? Send us an e-mail and let us know what it is.