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Furman Honor Band

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s Furman Honor Band will be a virtual event, and the deadline for nominations is extended until October 30.

Furman Virtual Honor Band

While we are all disappointed in not being able to be together to make live music for this year’s Furman Honor Band, we are excited to offer an alternative option. This year, we will create a virtual honor band experience. Selected participants will be sent access to music and a guide audio track with specific instructions on how to record themselves playing Frank Ticheli’s Amazing Grace. Then on Thursday evening, November 12, students will meet via Zoom to record the video portion with Furman’s Dr. Sue Samuels conducting. All students will play along while on mute, but this will be the video used and then synced with the students’ pre-recorded audio. The audio and video will be edited and then shared via YouTube link and published on social media for all to enjoy!

DIRECTORS – Please nominate up to 10% of your current band’s enrollment for consideration in the Furman Virtual Honor Band. Students in grades 9-12 for the 2020-21 school year are eligible.

Click here to nominate your students: https://forms.gle/Pfc12oRM7HmYKuUv8

The deadline for nomination is Friday, October 30.

Students and directors will be notified of their acceptance by November 6.

Participating students will be asked to pay a fee of $25 that will cover the cost of a medal and a t-shirt that will be mailed to them as well as the video editing cost.

Participants will meet via Zoom to record the video on November 12, between 6 and 9 pm EST (specific times assigned upon acceptance)

Participant recordings are due November 20.

Questions? Contact Sue Samuels at bands@furman.edu

If you have immediate questions, please contact Sue Samuels, PhD., Director of Bands.

An Honor Concert Band – this group will function much like a region band or all-state band with chair placement auditions on Thursday afternoon, a Thursday evening rehearsal, attendance at the Furman University Symphonic Band Concert Thursday evening, rehearsals all day Friday, and a concert Friday evening.

An Honor Marching Band – students will return to campus on Saturday morning for a rehearsal of marching band music, a brief outdoor rehearsal with Furman’s Paladin Regiment Marching Band, and a halftime performance at the Furman football game! In addition to the standard marching instrumentation, for the Saturday event, we welcome color guard, dancers, and twirlers. Please list these students at the end of your instrument nomination form.


Ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth-grade students are eligible. Band directors should recommend students across all 4-grade levels, as care will be taken in the selection process to include all grade levels. Over 200 invitations will be extended to students for participation in the 2020 Furman University High School Honor Band Weekend.

Division of Ensembles

A predetermined instrumentation for each concert ensemble will be used (please see the enclosed breakdown). Students will be seated based on chair placement auditions on Thursday evening.

Selection Process

Band directors may nominate up to 10% of their current enrollment for participation in the honor band. Priority for selection will be made as follows:

  • Band Director’s Ranked Order of Recommendation
  •  2020 All-State Students (seated)
  • Seniors with past experience at Furman band/summer camp events
  • ALL students with past experience at Furman band/summer events
  • ALL students with positive band director recommendations (includes color guard, dancers, and twirlers for marching portion)

Given these selection criteria, we will make every attempt to take all seniors who apply to the Furman High School Honor Band Weekend. Heavy emphasis will be placed upon each director’s ranking scale in making our preliminary selections – please give this careful thought. Obviously, any additional pertinent information will assist in the decision-making process. In order to have fair representation from all schools, we ask that you try to keep your number of nominees near 10% of your program’s total enrollment. Due to limited space, only the highest-ranked 200 of the total nominees will be selected for the concert band. However, ALL STUDENTS WITH POSITIVE RECOMMENDATIONS from their band directors will be selected to participate in the marching portion of the event.

Director Nomination Form

Honor Band Nomination Form.
The nomination deadline is October 9.
Notification of acceptance will email to directors on October 19.
If questions, please contact Dr. Sue Samuels, Furman Director of Bands
864-294-3193 or email sue.samuels@furman.edu

Important Information

Cost:  $75 or $45 depending on event participation. Upon notification of selection, there is a $75.00 non-refundable participation fee for the entire weekend if the student elects to participate in both the concert and the marching portions. The $75 fee covers Thursday dinner, Friday lunch, and Saturday lunch in addition to all instruction, admission to the Furman football game, a participation medal, and a shirt. If the student elects to only participate in one or the other, concert or marching, then the fee is $45.00 (non-refundable). That fee covers Thursday dinner/Friday lunch for the concert event OR Saturday lunch/admission to the game for the marching event. The fee also covers all instruction, a participation medal, and a shirt for all participants.
Furman Honor Band recordings and photos will be available for purchase at the festival. Students are encouraged to participate in the entire Furman Honor Band Experience. However, students may also elect to participate in only the concert band or only the marching band experience.
Event Location: Furman University campus (McAlister Auditorium, Daniel Music Building, and Ellis Field / Paladin Stadium)

Audition Information

The audition is for concert participants only—there is no audition for the marching portion.

  • 12 major scales and arpeggios (minimum 1 octave, extra credit given for 2 or 3 octaves) at a tempo of quarter note = 120 in eighth notes, preferred articulation is slurred ascending, and tongued descending
  • The TECHNICAL exercise from your state’s 2020-21 All-State requirements
  • Sight-reading

**Percussionists may audition on either snare, timpani, or keyboards, but more credit will be given to students who audition on 2 or more percussion instruments. The overall percussion score will be a TOTAL of all three areas together. Students who demonstrate skills in all areas will receive more credit than students who only prepare one (or two) areas.

Auditions will be Thursday, November 12 from 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm.
The first rehearsal will be held from 6-7:30 pm and students will stay for the Furman Band Concert.
Questions? 864.294.3193 or email sue.samuels@furman.edu


Thursday, November 12 ——————–

  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm – Check-In (McAlister Auditorium foyer)
  • 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Auditions (Daniel Music Building)
  • 4:30 pm – Dinner (provided)
  • 5:00 pm – Meeting/audition results posted
  • 5:30 pm – Rehearsal
  • 7:30 pm – Furman Symphonic Band Performance (McAlister Auditorium)
  • 9:00 pm – Dismissed

Friday, November 13 ————————

  • 8:30 am – Check-in(Daniel Music Building)
  • 9:00 am – Rehearsal
  • 12:30 pm – Lunch (provided)
  • 1:30 pm – Rehearsal
  • 4:30 pm – Dinner on your own and change into concert attire
  • 6:30 pm – Report to warm up
  • 7:30 pm – Honor Bands in Concert! 
  • 9:30 pm – Dismissed

Saturday, November 14 ——————-

  • 8:00 am – Check-in
  • 9:00 am – Music Rehearsal
  • 10:00 am – Marching Rehearsal with Paladin Regiment
  • 11:00 am – Lunch (provided)
  • 1:00 pm – Kick off!
  • 3:00 pm (approx) – Students dismissed after halftime but are welcome to stay for the entire game! (Pick-up / Sign-out location TBA)

Band Instrumentation

  • 10-12 Flute
  • 2-4 Oboe
  • 16-20 Bb Clarinet
  • 4-6 Bb Bass Clarinet
  • 1-2 Contra Clarinet
  • 6-8 Eb Alto Saxophone
  • 2-4 Tenor Saxophone
  • 1-2 Baritone Saxophone
  • 3-4 Bassoon
  • 12-16 Trumpet
  • 8-10 Horn
  • 8-10 Trombone
  • 4-6 Euphonium
  • 4-6 Tuba
  • 6-8 Percussion
  • 87-126 per band
  • TOTAL: 174-252 approximate participants

image of honor band banner in front of mcalister auditorium