SMC orchestra students practicingSMC orchestra students practicing

Mini Music Clinics

A one-day music clinic for high school students on the UW–Madison campus.

A one-day experience

 Students in grades 9–12 are invited to join us on the UW–Madison campus for a challenging, fast-paced day of musical growth and connection. Designed to supplement students’ school, community or individual music experience, Mini Music Clinics serve to enhance music education through large and small group instruction from UW–Madison faculty and graduate students. High schoolers will build connections with the UW–Madison campus and their fellow musicians and perform in a final concert at the end of the day.


Orchestra Clinic only
Students will audition to be part of the clinic as part of registration. The audition process will mirror that of the student experience at UW-Madison (prepared solo-see below). Please submit a separate entry for each instrument. Students participating in both sessions may substitute one recording if it is on the same instrument.

Students are asked to submit an audio and/or video recording of a solo or etude that demonstrates musicianship and technical facility through contrasting tempos and styles (no more than two minutes; no accompanist necessary; all genres and styles welcome). Percussionists should prepare one solo/etude of their choosing which can include mallet instruments (vibes, xylophone, or marimba); timpani; and/or snare drum.

Submission ideas:

  • Make a new recording of yourself
  • Use a video of a recent performance or project

Students will be asked to submit video/audio recordings by uploading their materials into a provided link. Auditions will be due by:
Orchestra – January 15, 2024

Early submissions are strongly encouraged! If you are not able to submit a video/audio audition for any access reason, the program will create a system that works for you.

The goal of the audition is to provide the experience of the audition as a precollege program and give feedback. Written feedback will be provided at the program. Music teacher/instructor recommendations are not required.

Teacher Retreat (Band Clinic Only)

All educators (pre-service, current, retired) are invited to spend the day on campus with or without your students for a rejuvinating retreat!

  • Work with UW Band Directors in a collaborative conducting and new music reading session
  • Observe the Badger Band Clinic and their guest conductor
  • Connect socially and professionally
  • Attend the concert
  • Enjoy classes taught by other Mead Witter School of Music Faculty that directly relate to your teaching and needs!

Mini Music Clinics at a glance

Program Dates

Choir Clinic (Badger Choir Festival)
Saturday, October 21, 2023

Badger Band Clinic and Teacher Retreat
Saturday, November 4, 2023

Badger Orchestra Clinic
Sunday, February 4, 2024


In person

Registration opens

September 8, 2023

Registration Deadlines

Choir Clinic: October 13, 2023

Band Clinic: October 27, 2023

Orchestra Clinic: January 15, 2024


Band Clinic (student): $125, plus a $25 nonrefundable application fee

Band Clinic Teacher Retreat: $90 (with students attending), $150 (without students attending)

Choir and Orchestra Clinic: $75, plus a $25 nonrefundable application fee
Scholarships are available!


UW–Madison campus

Tuition and financial aid

A $25 nonrefundable application fee is submitted with the student’s application. The full tuition payment of $125 (Band clinic) or $75 (Choir and Orchestra) is due by the start of the program.

A limited number of scholarships are available for those with financial need. Our goal is to make these programs accessible. If the cost of this program is a barrier to participation, please contact us to see what options might be available.

Deadlines to apply for financial aid:

Choir – October 3, 2023

Band – October 27, 2023

Orchestra – January 15, 2024

School Districts and/or Community Organizations may pay for student attendance. Contact the program for more infromation. Payments must be received prior to the start of the program.


Contact Carrie Backman, cjbackman@wisc.edu, with any program questions. Applications and audition submissions must all be submitted through the online links at the top of this page.

Sample Schedule

8–8:30 a.m. Program check-in
Morning Session Rehearsal
Mid-day Lunch, meet and learn from campus professionals
Afternoon sessions Instrumental and Performance Classes
Late afternoon Rehearsal
Dinner Break for dinner and final concert preparations
Evening Concert

"I absolutely loved playing with the full ensemble. It was so nice to play with people who loved music as much as I did. I also enjoyed playing with such a wide variety of instruments at one time. I also loved the music, especially Halcyon Hearts and Fortress. Overall this was one of the best (if not the best) experiences of my life, and I can’t wait to come back next year."

Mini Music Student 2023

"It was very fun, everyone was well prepared, focused, and a great musician"

Mini Music Student, 2023

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Band Clinic Past Repertoire

Spring 2023

Halcyon Hearts – Katahj Copley

When The Stars Begin to Fall – Fred. J. Allen

New Wade’n Water – Adolphus Hailstork

Spring Festival – Chen Yi

Fortress – Frank Ticheli

Orchestra Clinic Past Repertoire

Spring 2023 

Sigurd Jorsalfar – Edvard Grieg

Symphony No. 7, Movement 2 – Ludwig van Beethoven

L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 “Farandole” – Georges Bizet