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Prairie Winds Festival
Spring 2015

January 30 - February 1, 2015

We will continue to accept students on a space-available basis. Apply here

The 12th Annual Prairie Winds Festival will take place on the campus of the University of Kansas », January 30 - February 1, 2015. Providing an opportunity for advanced instruction for outstanding high school wind and percussion performers in a supportive, yet challenging environment, the Prairie Winds Festival has established itself as one of the premier honor band festivals in the nation. Each year outstanding students from across the United States converge on the KU campus to take part in this unique and exciting musical opportunity.


Faculty for the weekend is comprised of the artist faculty from the University of Kansas ». Students will work directly with these outstanding musicians and teachers throughout the weekend in master classes, clinics, chamber music coachings, and wind ensemble rehearsals.

Paul W. Popiel, Director of Bands
Matthew O. Smith, Associate Director of Bands
Sharon Toulouse, Assistant Director of Bands
Sarah Frisof, flute
Margaret Marco, oboe
Eric Stomberg, bassoon
Stephanie Zelnick, clarinet
Vincent Gnojek, saxophone
Steve Leisring, trumpet
Paul Stevens, horn
Michael Davidson, trombone
Scott Watson, tuba & euphonium
Ji Hye Jung, percussion

Festival Format

During the festival, students participate in master classes, chamber ensembles, and performance in select wind ensembles. The festival concludes with performances at KU's celebrated Lied Center ». A tentative schedule is below:



9:00 am

Registration: Murphy Hall, 1st Floor

10:00 am

Seating Auditions (in studios)



12:45 pm

General Meeting and KU applied faculty introductions

1:00 pm

Clinics with KU applied faculty, small ensemble coaching

Percussion - Room 110
Double Reeds (oboe/bassoon) - Room 111
Saxophones - Room 114
Low Brass (trombone/euphonium/tuba) - Room 118
KUWE Dress Rehearsal, 2-3:30 p.m. - Room 130
Horns - Room 148
Clarinets - Room 574
Flutes - Room 575
Trumpets - Baustian Theatre

3:30 pm

Prarie Winds small ensembles concert - Room 118

4:45 pm

KU Collage Recital - Room 130

6:00 pm


7:00 pm

Prairie Winds Bands Rehearsal

9:15 pm

Hotel Check-in

9:30 pm





7:30 am

Breakfast at hotel

8:15 am

Report to bus, travel to Murphy Hall

9:00 am

Prairie Winds Bands Rehearsal/KU School of Music auditions

KU School of Music Entrance Auditions:
Percussion - Room 110
Trombone/euphonium/tuba - Room 111
Trumpet/horn/jazz - Room 114
Clarinet/oboe/bassoon - Room 123
Flute/saxophone - Room 148

11:00 am

Lunch downtown on your own

1:30 pm

Report to busses for return to Murphy Hall (9th & Mass. St.)

2:00 pm

Woodwind master classes/Brass & Percussion sectionals:
Rooms 111, 114, 148, 574, 575

3:10 pm

Brass & Percussion master classes/Woodwind sectionals:
Rooms 111, 114, 148, 574, 575

4:20 pm

Prairie Winds Bands Rehearsal

6:00 pm


7:00 pm

Report to busses for travel to Lied Center, bring instruments, etc. with you

7:30 pm

KU Wind Ensemble & Jazz Ensemble I Concert

9:00 pm

Return to hotel




7:30 am

Breakfast at hotel, pack bags and check out

8:15 am

Report to busses for travel to Lied Center

9:00 am

Dress rehearsal



12:30 pm

Prairie Winds Festival concert

2:30 pm (est.)

Students released to parents

Festival Fee

All participants are charged $160.00 for participation in the festival. This includes the cost of housing and all meals except lunch on Saturday. A $25.00 non-refundable deposit fee is included in the $160.00 participation fee. Participants ordering a t-shirt will add $15 to their deposit fees. The participation fee is waived for students accepted into the All-State band or orchestra for their state during the 2014-2015 academic year (spring 2014 does not apply); deposit fee is still required.

Commuter option: Students may elect to commute to campus each day of the festival for a 50% reduction in the festival fee. For commuters, the festival fee will be $80. Students will participate in all events of the festival except those taking place at the hotel. Commuters will need to be on campus from 9am-9:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and 9am-2:30pm on Sunday.


Participants are housed in the Lawrence SpringHill Suites » and are chaperoned by a trained staff of counselors. 
*All meals are included in registration fee except for lunch Saturday.


Festival participants are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Lawrence for the weekend. Lawrence is convenient to the Kansas City International Airport » (MCI), and transportation from the airport is available.

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Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
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