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The Best of the West Music Festival is a multi-day event whose participants consist of more than 280 talented high school musicians, one nationally renowned guest artist/performer or ensemble and three in-demand guest conductors (one at the national level). Events include a PRISM concert featuring CMU students and faculty, masterclasses, sessions for music teachers seeking graduate/continuing education credit and a performance or three large high school select bands culminating from one and a half days of vigorous rehearsals and sectionals. In 2000 this festival began as a one-day event when a small number of high school seniors joined the CMU wind symphony for a spectacular concert. Since then, thanks to the generous support of Karen Combs and Lynn Wegener and leadership from CMU Director of Bands (ret.), Calvin Hofer, the event has developed tremendously into a three-day affair that has received national attention and has commissioned and premiered over 15 major works for wind band, many of which are now being performed around the world.

Nominate a High School student

See below for audition information and excerpts

Guest Artists

Festival Director
Jonathan Hinkle, PhD
Director of Bands
[email protected]

Best of the West offered as graduate/continuing education credit
Register for Credit

Chair/band placement/audition music

1. Excerpt
Choose and prepare the excerpt posted below for the instrument you wish to participate on/with at the festival. Or (new in 2022) play one of the CO All-State Band excerpts of your choosing (lyrical or technical). Remember, CMU has great All-State help videos here.

2. Scales
Play a 2-octave chromatic scale - range/start/stop, tempo, articulation of student's choosing. Students will NOT be required to perform any other scales.