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University of Texas at Austin
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State Wind Ensemble Festival

State Wind Ensemble Festival

The 2024 UIL State Wind Ensemble Festival will be held at the University of Texas at Austin on Saturday, May 4.

Letters of intent for the 2025 SWEF will be accepted beginning on January 15, 2024.



Phil Clements - Texas A&M Commerce
Doug Henderson - The University of Texas at Austin
Chris Knighten - University of Arkansas 
Brad Kent - University Interscholastic League
Damon Talley - Louisiana State University

Festival Format

Adopted in 2000 the UIL State Wind Ensemble Festival is unique among UIL music events. Participants in this event can anticipate experiencing the following:

  1. There will be three evaluators who will provide a recorded and written critique of each band’s performance. There are no ratings or recognition of outstanding bands.
  2. In place of ratings and outstanding band awards, the evaluator panel may honor individual performers and/or sections for exemplary musical achievement. Draped state gold medals will be awarded to these individuals.
  3. Following their performance each band will receive a clinic with a nationally recognized music educator/conductor. The focus of this interaction will be on musicianship and the artistry of making music.
  4. In addition each band will be expected to structure a schedule that will enable the students to listen to the performance of at least two other bands at the festival.

The listening schedule will be coordinated by the UIL State Music Office prior to the day of the festival. Consideration will be given to individual band travel schedules. It is our goal to ensure that every band will perform for an audience of fellow musicians and directors from other schools.

The success of this event is dependent on participants having an understanding of the following:

  1. All participants have “made their one”. That achievement at the UIL region concert evaluation earned them the right to perform on the Bates Recital Hall Stage, home of the University of Texas Wind Ensemble.
  2. The goal of this event is not to win an award, but rather to accept the challenge of making music for the sole purpose of performing at the highest level possible for an appreciative, supportive audience in an optimum acoustical space.
  3. A corollary to the goal is the expectation that everyone will have the opportunity to be appreciative listeners as others perform in a formal concert setting.

Reports indicate that some of the most successful band programs in the nation have found this format to be challenging, rewarding and educational. 

Entry Process

Participation in the event is limited due to venue availability.  Directors of bands considering participation in the SWEF should be aware of the fact that submitting a letter of intent does not guarantee a performance time and that the following procedure for processing entries will be followed:

  1. An emailed letter of intent may be submitted as early as January 15 of the year prior to the festival to  Participant bands will be determined by the rating received at the region concert evaluation in the year prior to the SWEF. For example, a band wishing to participate in the 2024 SWEF will become eligible if an overall Division I rating is received at the region concert evaluation in 2023.
  2. Bands wishing to participate in the SWEF will be determined based on the date and time that a letter of intent is received.  Bands receiving a Division I rating will then be officially entered in the festival based on availability of performance times.  Entered bands are required to confirm participation by June 1 of the year prior to the SWEF.  
  3. Bands must have the same director as the year prior to participating in the SWEF.  Any school that qualifies for the SWEF but changes directors will not be eligible. 
  4. Official entry forms and entry fees ($400) are due by May 1 in the year of participation.
  5. Additional schools with letters of intent on file will be placed on a waitlist.

Questions concerning entry procedures are welcome at (512) 471-5883 or