Northshore Honor Band
About the Northshore Honor Band
The Northshore Honor Band is an elite performance opportunity for Northshore Chicago-area high school students. Two grade-level ensembles are assembled based on director nomination to fill the instrumentation in Freshmen/Sophomore and Junior/Senior bands. These students get to work with accomplished guest conductors in two extended rehearsals followed by a concert. The Northshore consortium of schools also contribute to a fund which is used to commission new works for the concert band idiom - an initiative that enables the Northshore Honor Band students to premiere a new work for band every four years. Participating high schools include Evanston Township, Deerfield, Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, New Trier Township, Highland Park, Niles North, Niles West, Lake Forest, and Adlai Stevenson.
The Nomination & Selection Process
During November, Northshore area high school directors are asked to complete a nomination form, prompting the selection of the one or two highest seated 9th/10th graders and 11th/12th graders enrolled in high school band in each instrument section from Piccolo through Percussion, submitted in rank order. The band is assembled giving equal representation from each of the participating schools, prioritizing student accolades such as ILMEA as the primary criteria, followed by participation in external ensembles like Merit Academy, CYSO, MYA, etc., and chair placement in high school band. Directors and students are notified of acceptance in early December and are given their music for home practice prior to winter break.
The Commissioning Project
The Northshore consortium of schools contribute to a fund which is used to commission new works for the concert band idiom - an initiative that enables the Northshore Honor Band students to premiere a new work for band every four years. This program not only creates a very special opportunity for our students to work with a professional composer, but enables the Northshore Chicago-area to contribute to the cultivation of new works for concert band, a performance medium that is quite young in comparison to its orchestral and choral counterparts. This process spans several years in order to provide ample time to coordinate with a composer and generate the necessary funding to complete the composition commissioning project.