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Festivals & Special Events

Josephine Walker American Music Competition  ♦  EKU High School Choral Day  ♦ EKU High School Honors BandsMarching Colonel For A Day  ♦ Middle School Honors Band  ♦  EKU Double Reed Day  ♦ The EKU Clarinet FestivalEKU Guitar Festival ♦  Foster Music Camp

Josephine Walker American Music Competition

This competition is open to both instrumental and vocal students. Other requirements are below.

  • The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate music majors at EKU;
  • There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Due to an increase in the size of the endowment we can offer larger prizes this year! ($300, $250, $200) respectively
  • Performance time for each entrant should be approximately between 5-8 minutes duration.
  • If entering with a multi-movement work, if the movements are 5-8 minutes long, please perform only one. If the combined time of the multi-movement work is 5-8 minutes, you may perform the whole work.
  • Work(s) performed must be by American composers;
  • Works may be accompanied or unaccompanied;
  • Students must supply one copy of the score for the judges on the day of the competition
  • Memorization is not required.

Previous 1st place winners are not eligible

EKU High School Choral Day

EKU’s annual High School Choral Day is a one-day event designed to prepare students for the Kentucky All-State Choir auditions. One to two additional pieces are also included in order to give students a variety of musical experiences. Led by EKU’s choral faculty and graduate students, the event hosts students from throughout the state who come to experience a unique learning opportunity with their fellow choral musicians. The day features choir sectionals and full rehearsals on the selected repertoire, culminating with a public performance featuring all Choral Day participants as well as the EKU choral ensembles.

For more information visit:

Contact: Dr. Richard Waters
Phone: 859-622-1336

EKU High School Honors Bands

The EKU Honors Bands is open to all band students in grades 9-12 upon the recommendation of their band director. Three honors bands will be selected. Students will be selected based on the teacher recommendation process, grade level and on auditions the first morning of the event. Final band placement will be based on the auditions. Students will be sent audition materials in advance.

For more information visit:

Marching Colonel For A Day

Participants will perform music and drill on Hanger Field at Roy Kidd Stadium with the marching band in the pre-game and half-time shows.

For more information visit:

Middle School Honors Band

The School of Music at Eastern Kentucky University is pleased to announce that it will host the annual Middle School Honors Bands Festival. This program is designed for the advanced student rather than beginners.

A clinic session for the students will be presented in the afternoon by members of our faculty. In addition, clinic sessions for teachers will be presented throughout the day.

For more information visit:

EKU Double Reed Day

The Eastern Kentucky Double Reed Day is a one-day event designed to educate and inspire oboists and bassoonists of all ages and skill levels. The EKU Double Reed Day will feature master classes, reed-making classes, a double reed choir rehearsal and performance, and a chamber music recital presented by EKU faculty, students, and friends. Bring your instruments and reed-making kit if you have one! For oboe students that don't have your own kit, reed-making tools will be provided for appropriate sessions, and additional tools will be available for purchase.

The EKU Double Reed Day is open to middle school, high school, college students, and oboe and bassoon enthusiasts of all ages. Middle school students should have at least one year of experience in band. Middle school students with less than one year of experience may be admitted with a recommendation from their band director or private teacher.

For more information contact Dr. Julie Smith or Dr. Christine Carucci or visit:

The EKU Clarinet Choir Day

The EKU Clarinet Day occurs each spring on the EKU Campus. It is a full day of events held in Foster Music Building and Gifford Theatre that is free, and includes a clarinet master class, recitals, exhibits where students can try out new equipment and instruments, and the opportunity to play in the Clarinet Day Choir. Please contact Dr. Adria Sutherland for more information.

EKU Guitar Festival

Guitar ensembles and individual guitarists from around the state and region are invited to participate and perform at this festival. The Festival Concert will feature select groups and all festival participants will perform in the finale concert with the EKU Guitar Festival Orchestra. Attendees do not need to belong to a high school guitar ensemble to participate. High School ensemble Directors are encouraged to contact Dr. Davis to discuss performance opportunities for their ensemble. Pre-High School guitar participants should contact Dr. Davis to make sure their skill level allows them to participate.

While performances by electric guitar ensembles are welcome, participants performing with the EKU Festival Guitar Orchestra will need to bring an acoustic guitar. All ensembles and participants will need to provide their own equipment and are encouraged to have extra strings, a footstool or strap, a wire music stand, and if needed, cables, power-strips, extension cords, and other necessities. All items, especially their music folders, should be clearly marked with the participant’s name and contact information.

The EKU Pre-Collegiate Guitar Ensemble Festival will be a fun-filled day of guitar activities! For those new to the concept, guitar orchestras are a blast to perform with, hear, and are quickly becoming the most popular and important international new “large ensemble." Guitar Orchestras are the guitarist’s equivalent to other large ensembles, such as Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, and the Symphony Orchestra. Educators and students will want to be a part of this annual event. Click on the following links to see and hear examples of these activities (large and small ensembles):

Guitar Foundation of America Guitar Orchestra Trailer

The EKU Guitar Ensemble Concert Clips:

EKU Guitar Ensemble - Quiccan by Andrew York
EKU Guitar Ensemble - Electric Mozart (Eine Kleine Nachtmusik)
EKU Guitar Ensemble - Slavonic Dance No.7 by Antonín Dvoƙák
EKU Guitar Ensemble - Introduction & Fandango by Luigi Boccherini
EKU Guitar Ensemble - Tamacun by Rodrigo y Gabriela (performed by Luke Jackson and Kevin Case)

Dennis Davis - The Grand Solo by Fernando Sor
Dennis Davis - Asturias (Leyenda) by Isaac Albeníz
Dennis Davis - Hand on Heart by Steve Vai

For more information about the EKU Guitar Program visit:

Stephen Foster Music Camps

Located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, the Stephen Collins Foster Music Camp has provided outstanding musical experiences to the young musicians of the Commonwealth and surrounding states for decades. This Season promises to be no exception to the tradition that has made the Foster Camps so special to those who have attended. Whether you are an instrumentalist, keyboardist, or vocalist, we promise that you will not go home without capturing some of the spirit that has characterized Foster for these many years. What is that special difference that makes the Stephen Collins Foster Music Camps so unusual?

For more information visit:

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