• Program Information
WSMA Festivals - Goals
     Solo & Ensemble Festivals
     Concert Festivals
State Honors Music Project
State Marching Band Championships
Student Composition Project

WSMA Festivals Goals

WSMA Festivals have five primary goals:

A. Improve students’ music performance;

B. Increase students’ understanding of music literature and music concepts;

C. Motivate students to continue their study of music;

D. Establish standards of excellence in music performance;

E. Provide opportunities for students to understand the relationship of music experiences to other life experiences.


Solo & Ensemble Festivals

Students choose a musical selection from the WSMA Festival Music List to study and perform for an audience and adjudicator. The adjudicator provides a written and verbal critique of the performance and awards a rating based on defined criteria. Students that receive a “first-star” rating at the Class A level advance on to State Solo & Ensemble.

For students in grades: 6-12               

District Festivals Timeline: November, January-April

State Festivals Timeline: Last weekend of April and first weekend of May


Concert Group and Clinic Festivals

Bands, Choirs and Orchestras perform two to three selections - one of which is chosen from the WSMA Festival Music List - for a panel of adjudicators. The adjudicators provide written and verbal critique for the ensemble and award a rating based on defined criteria. Directors also have the option of performing for “comment only,” in which their group will receive written and verbal critiques, but no rating is given.

For students in Middle School or High School               Timeline: November-May

Launchpad  More Information

Launchpad is a statewide, alternative music competition for Wisconsin high school students who are in bands formed outside of the traditional music classroom ensembles. Groups selected from submissions perform in a regional competition.  The top three finalists from each region then compete in Madison for the grand prize: free studio recording time, a Summerfest appearance and the Les Paul Launchpad Award. 

For students in grades: 9-12              Timeline: November-June


State Honors Music Project  More Information - Middle Level    More Information - High School

Started in 1967, this program provides musically talented students with the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the nation's finest conductors in a professional, highly disciplined setting. Selected through a rigorous audition process, students are challenged to perform at their musical best throughout the short rehearsal period, which culminates with a performance in October at the Wisconsin State Music Conference held in Madison each year.

Middle Level State Honors: Grades 6-8 at the time of auditions     Timeline: Dec-April, Oct

High School State Honors: Grades 9-11 at the time of auditions    Timeline: Nov-Jan, June, Oct

State Marching Band Championships  More Information

Held in October, the State Marching Band Championships offers one of the few truly competitive activities WSMA offers. Bands are able to enter in a number of different categories. This popular event concludes with an evening awards ceremony recognizing the top performing groups in each class, as well as caption awards.

For students in grades: 9-12              Timeline: March-October

Student Composition Project  More Information

Students in grades 5-12 submit original compositions in two divisions with several different categories. The compositions are critiqued by Wisconsin composers and the top winner in each division is awarded a scholarship to study with a professional composer.

For students in grades: 5-12              Timeline: March-May