Keep a look out for 2019 dates

The 20th Annual Quad State Honor Band Festival brings together the finest high school musicians from the quad state region. Students participating in the Honor Symphonic Band will have the opportunity to work with John LaCognata, USD's director of bands. Students selected for the Honor Concert Band will work with Todd Cranson, USD's director of athletic bands. 

In addition to rehearsal, students will enjoy a performance by the USD Symphonic Band. The festival concludes Monday evening with a finale concert featuring both honor ensembles in Aalfs Auditorium.



The registration form and photography waiver must be completed, signed by your parent or guardian and returned to your band director. Your director will mail all registration materials from your school to us in a single package. Do not mail your individual registration form. In order for you to participate in the festival, we must receive your forms from your band director by Friday, January 19, 2018.

Register for the Quad State Honor Band Festival

Fees and Costs

There is a $30 fee per student for those selected to participate in the festival. This fee covers participation and a festival tee shirt. Your director will collect your fee and must send all student fees, along with the registration forms, to the USD Department of Music by Friday, January 19, 2018. If you are unable to attend the festival, have your director notify us immediately so that we can offer the place reserved for you to another worthy student. Registration fees cannot be refunded.

Hotels and Meals

You are responsible for your own meals and housing during the festival. Several area hotels are offering special rates for festival participants. You must mention the event to receive the discounted rate.

Best Western Vermillion Inn
701 West Cherry Street, Vermillion, SD 57069
Rate: $99/night for room with two beds, includes hot breakfast
Reserve by: January 14, 2018

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Vermillion
1200 North Dakota Street, Vermillion, SD 57069
Rate: $55/night for one person, $10 additional person per room, includes breakfast
Reserve by: January 14, 2018

Red Roof Inn Vermillion
1208 East Cherry Street, Vermillion, SD 57069
Rate: $55.99/night and 20 percent off coupon for breakfast at Hy-Vee
Reserve by: January 14, 2018

View Festival Schedule


Application Form/Audition Process

Festival participants are selected through an audition process of assigned etudes and scales. To audition, students must:

  1. Submit an online applicant form
  2. Prepare the audition etudes, two major scales (assigned) and a chromatic scale
  3. Record your performance of audition materials. Audition recordings will be collected in MP3 audio files and submitted with the audition materials. 

Audition Recordings/Submission

  • Audition recordings should be labeled in this order: instrument (hyphen) first name, last name, grade (no spaces).
    Example: Clarinet-NoahJones12.mp3
  • Submission Deadline: Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 by 5 p.m.

Results/Festival Invitations

The audition results and invitations to the festival will be emailed to band directors and students. They will be posted on the USD Department of Music website by Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

View Audition Results

Festival Information

Check In

The festival will be held in the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts on USD's campus. Registration will begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. The finale concert will be held in Aalfs Auditorium in Slagle Hall on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 at 7 p.m. The finale concert is free and open to the public.

View Campus Map


Parking passes will be distributed to all directors, parents and students driving a vehicle to the festival at the final Sunday rehearsal. Schools are asked to have their students carpool because of a limited number of parking passes.

Medical Information

Parents will be informed of any emergency medical situation which occurs during the festival, and parents will be responsible for all medical expenses incurred. Students with special medical needs or problems should provide the USD band staff with a detailed written account at check-in. The University of South Dakota is not liable in the event of an accident or personal injury.

Rules and Regulations

There will be absolutely no use of tobacco, alcohol or controlled substances by students while attending the University of South Dakota Quad State Honor Band Festival. Attendance at all festival events and proper behavior is expected of all participants. Parents of any student in violation of these policies will be notified, and the student may be expelled from the festival without refund. In case of emergency, participants may be contacted by telephone through the University of South Dakota Department of Music office at 605-677-5274.

What to Bring

All participants must provide their own instruments and accessories (mutes, reeds, oil, etc.). Percussion instruments will be furnished, but percussionists should bring their own sticks and mallets. Bring casual attire for rehearsals, appropriate gear for inclement weather and your high school's concert uniform for the Festival Finale Concert on Monday evening at 7 p.m. Personal items of value should be labeled with your name, school, address and telephone number. Insurance and records of identification markings (make, model serial number) are a recommended precaution. The University of South Dakota is not liable for loss, theft or damage to participants' personal belongings.

USD Music Scholarship Auditions

Seniors who wish to audition for a USD music scholarship are encouraged to do so during the festival.

For questions or more information, please contact:

Name Department & Office Contact
John LaCognata
  • Assistant Professor, Director of Bands, Trumpet
W M Lee Center for Fine Arts 115