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Honour Bands - Benefits & Opportunities

What are Honour Bands?  

Generally, Honour Bands - also referred to as "Invitationals" or "Select Bands" - provide and advanced performance experience for those students who demonstrate excellence in leadership, musicality and engagement in their home/local band programs.  Honour Band participants are challenged with new music, new band members, sectionals and more.  Most Honour Band opportunities are designed as short-term, intensive experiences and participants must be ready to commit the time and energy needed, but the results are worth the effort!

What Honour Band opportunities exist?

Individual schools or school divisions may organize honour or select bands to provide their students with additional development and a change for students from around a division to meet and play more challenging music.  These local events can take place at various times, so check with your Band teacher to see if there is one in your school/division.

SBA's Saskatchewan Youth Bands (SYB)

The SBA organizes SYB opportunities for students around the province.  These events are traditionally held in the spring to showcase student development and inspire their continued participation in band.  The SBA is the provincial representative of the Canadian Band Association, the association responsible for the operation of the National Youth Band of Canada (NYB).  Our SYB Program is designed to help prepare students for (hopefully) their eventual audition and participation in the National Youth Band of Canada. 

For more information on the Saskatchewan Youth Bands click HERE.

Saskatchewan Jazz Honour Band

Launched in 2023, the SBA organizes an honour band for developing jazz musicians.  Currently the Jazz Honour Band is open to grade 9 - 12 students participating in a school or community jazz program.  Students interested in participating must submit an audition recording (audio only).  Specific audition criteria is provided on the Jazz Honour Band page.  A Jazz Development Day is also offered concurrently with the event for jazz students in grade 7 and up who wish to further their development but are not (yet) part of the Jazz Honour Band.

For more information on the Saskatchewan Jazz Honour Band click HERE

National Youth Band of Canada (NYB)

An enrichment experience for band youth ages 16 - 22, the National Youth Band of Canada is organized by the Canadian Band Association.  Students from across Canada are selected based on their application and audition submissions.  Audition requirements, deadlines and general NYB informtion can be found HERE.  This premiere honour band is generally hosted in early May and moves to different locations each year.  

In 2024, NYB is being hosted in Nova Scotia April 21 - 27.  The SBA is very pleased to celebrate the selection of the U of R Director of Bands, Mr. Brent Ghiglione as the NYB Conductor for 2024!

University of Regina Honour Bands - in partnership with the SBA

The University of Regina has a proud history of hosting successful high school honour bands for students.  Generally, participants have been grade 10 - 12 students from communities in the southern portion of the province.  In 2024, the SBA and the U of R are working in partnership to expand the program, hosting both an Intermediate and a Senior Honour Band for students in grades 9 - 12.  Students are selected based on Band Director nominations, overall band make-up and regional diversity.  The program is supported by current U of R Music Education students under the direction of Mr. Brent Ghiglione, U of R Director of Bands, and a special guest Director.

The 2024 U of R Honour Bands concert will be held on Sunday February 4, 2023 at 1:30pm in the Riddell Centre Theatre.  

University of Saskatchewan High School Select Wind Orchestra

The University of Saskatchewan also has a proud history of supporting high school band student development.  The U of S Department of Music offers the High School Select Wind Orchestra project as an opportunity for promising high schoo-aged students to work with outstanding faculty.  Primarily reaching the northern portion of the province, students are selected based on Band Director nominations.

SMEA Honour Groups

The Saskatchewan Music Educators Association hosts honour groups in the fall connected to their music educator conference.  More information can be found on the SMEA website.

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