Honors Wind Ensemble



SJSU Honors Wind Ensembles 2020

Virtual Band Edition


We are once again hosting the SJSU Honors Wind Ensemble for high school students in the Fall of 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's ensemble will be participating in two days of online workshops and creating a virtual band performance.

Omar ThomasThe composition that will be recorded and performed as a virtual band is Omar Thomas' evocative Of Our New Day Begun.  This composition was "written to honor nine beautiful souls who lost their lives to a callous act of hatred and domestic terrorism on the evening of June 17, 2015 while worshipping in their beloved sanctuary, the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (affectionately referred to as “Mother Emanuel”) in Charleston, South Carolina."

Over the two days of workshops, students who are selected for the 2020 SJSU Honors Wind Ensemble will:

  • Meet and discuss Of Our New Day Begun with composer, Omar Thomas.
  • Watch the documentary Emanuel, which examines the history of race relations in Charleston, the significance and impact of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the effect on the community from the offered forgiveness.
  • Learn about recording at home with recording engineers from Arts Laureate.
  • Meet and work with SJSU artist faculty, including Director of Bands, David Vickerman.
  • Talk with current SJSU students to ask about life as a music major and how to prepare for college and auditions.


Detailed Schedule

Saturday, October 10 - Workshops Day 1
Sunday, October 11 - Workshops Day 2
Sunday, October 18 - Preliminary Recordings due by midnight
Sunday, October 25 - Final Recordings due by midnight

*all participating Honors Wind Ensemble members must attend both days of the workshop.*

A registration and payment link will be sent to all accepted members.  Selected students will pay a $50 fee for both days, which includes:

  • a commemorative t-shirt shipped directly to you.
  • access to all the zoom sessions of the workshop.
  • digital video of your virtual band performance.  

Application and Audition Instructions

Unlike previous years, students will apply and audition via video.  The ensemble will be selected and seated based on the audition videos.


  • make sure to have your audition recorded, and uploaded to YouTube  BEFORE you begin the application.
  • you will also need the Photo/Video Release form printed, signed and scanned in order to upload to the application.

Application is DUE Friday, September 25 by midnight

Students will be notified of their results by Tuesday, September 29

Accepted students will need to have access to their instruments in order to audition and then record their part from home or other safe location.

  • PERCUSSION: in the application it will ask you which instruments you can get access to for the final virtual band recording.
Video Audition Instructions:

Auditionee must play TWO contrasting sections of music and scales as listed:

  • One fast excerpt/section to demonstrate technical ability AND one slow excerpt/section to demonstrate lyricism.
  • Chromatic Scale - full range of instrument.
  • PERCUSSION: Ideally, we would like to see you play a mallet excerpt, snare excerpt and timpani excerpt, but if you only have access to one or two, that is fine. Don't let it stop you from applying!


Upload your video to YouTube as UNLISTED then share the link on this audition form. If you need help on this you can read more on the link below.  (Please make sure your video is not marked PRIVATE or we will not be able to see it.)

We hope you can join us for a rewarding musical experience VIRTUALLY here at SJSU!

If you have any questions about the application, please email SJSU Bands Graduate Student, Phil Aduan


Music Educators:

If you would like to participate in the workshop sessions, please register here