Applications for the CFW 2020 Honor Band are now open! Please contact with any questions.

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What is the Columbia Festival of Winds Honor Band?

The Columbia Festival of Winds (CFW) Honor Band is a group comprised of talented high school instrumentalists from the New York City metropolitan area. Selected by members of the Columbia University Wind Ensemble and Music Director Jason Noble, the Honor Band will rehearse with renowned Towson University Director of Bands and Orchestras Christopher Cicconi for a performance at the Twelfth Annual Columbia Festival of Winds. The Twelfth Annual CFW is a day-long event taking place on Sunday, March 29th, 2020 that will feature continuous performances from wind bands from around the New York City area, including youth bands, community bands, college bands, and the Honor Band. The Honor Band will rehearse all day on Saturday, March 28th, then open the concert on Sunday, March 29th.

Why should you apply?


The Honor Band presents high school students a unique opportunity to perform in New York City’s premier wind music festival alongside its most celebrated wind groups. It is also an opportunity for students interested in applying to Columbia University or Barnard College to gain meaningful experience participating in an on-campus arts event and to interact with college students active in the university’s music performance community.

Honor Band Schedule

Saturday, March 28th, 2020 – First Rehearsal, 10 AM - 5 PM, with a lunch break           

Sunday, March 29th, 2020 –  Dress Rehearsal (tentative), 10 AM - 12 PM

                                               Performance (tentative), 1 PM - 2 PM


All events will take place in Alfred Lerner Hall, 2029 Broadway, New York, NY, 10027.


Members of the Honor Band will be provided with lunch on Saturday, brunch on Sunday, and pizza following the concert on Sunday, as well as T-shirts to commemorate the weekend. Members will also be sent a concert recording.


The CFW 2018 Honor Band rehearses with conductor Prof. Randall Coleman


CUWE VP and CFW Coordinator Betsy Ladyzhets and CUWE President Brent Morden speak to the CFW 2018 Honor Band

How do I apply for the Honor Band?

You must be a current student enrolled in a high school in the greater New York City area. You must play an instrument that is standard in wind ensembles/symphonic bands/concert bands. All eligible students are welcome and encouraged to apply. The application deadline has been extended to 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 9th, 2020; applications will be accepted on a rolling basis to fill out remaining instrumentation.

The participation fee for 2020 CFW Honor Band is $80, which can be paid in cash or check. This fee can be reduced for students with demonstrated financial need. There is no fee to apply.

To apply, please fill out the Google form at: 


This form asks you to submit an audition video (or videos) showcasing the following: 1) a solo excerpt between two and four minutes long which showcases your skill in playing contrasting music (e.g. lyrical/legato vs. technical/articulated), and 2) two scales which are chromatically adjacent and at least two octaves each.

Students who have been accepted to All-State or Area All-State in the past may be exempt from the audition video requirement; please email for more information about this exemption.


Any application materials which cannot be uploaded to the Google form should be submitted to:


Additional Information


In addition to or in place of the above form and audition video, we encourage you to submit a letter of recommendation from your band director or private instructor. This letter should explain why the instructor recommends the applicant, including qualifying the applicant’s musical ability and personal reliability. Applicants who do not submit a letter of recommendation will not be jeopardized in any way. Please e-mail this letter, along with the rest of your application materials, to, or attach it to the Google form.


Applicants who participate in the Honor Band are expected to arrange their own overnight lodging and transportation to Alfred Lerner Hall, W. 115th and Broadway, New York, NY 10027. By subway, Alfred Lerner Hall is accessible from the 1 train (116th St.-Columbia University station). By bus, it is accessible from the M4, M60-SBS, and M104 (Broadway/West 116th St. stop). If you anticipate any difficulties with transportation or overnight lodging, please contact to explain your circumstances.


Christopher M. Cicconi

About Christopher Cicconi


Christopher M. Cicconi is Director of Bands and Orchestras and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Towson University. Conductor of the Towson University Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra, he also teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate conducting, methods of teaching instrumental music in secondary education, and is an instrumental music education student teacher advisor. Prior to his arrival in Maryland, Cicconi earned a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Miami, where he was awarded a Henry Mancini Fellowship and was a student of Mr. Gary D. Green. 


As a strong advocate for music education and community outreach, Cicconi is in demand throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and is a sought-after guest conductor, clinician, and guest speaker. Upon his arrival in Maryland, he has appeared as a band and orchestra clinician in well over 100 public and private institutions. As a guest conductor, Cicconi has appeared with All-State, All-Region, and All-County Bands and Orchestras in numerous states around the country including Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. In the summer of 2018, Cicconi will serve as a guest conductor for the internationally acclaimed Sewanee Music Festival and the New England Music Camp. 


As an active scholar, Cicconi’s agenda includes wind repertoire and other current music education topics such as score study, conducting, and arranging. His most recent publication, ‘The Band Music Handbook, A Catalog of Emerging Band Repertoire,’ has proved to be a valuable resource and essential tool for wind band directors worldwide. As an arranger, Cicconi premiered his transcription of Jonathan Leshnoff’s ‘Rush’ in the Fall of 2018 with the Towson University Symphonic Band, which was subsequently published by Theodore Presser Company. Since then, it has received numerous performances nationwide in university and conference settings, including a performance at the college Band Directors National Association Southwest Regional Conference. Furthermore, he has presented professional development workshops for schools as well as state and regional conferences throughout the state and region. 

Previously, Cicconi served as Director of Bands at Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Power Ranch Elementary and Middle School (Higley, AZ), and Payne Junior High School (Chandler, AZ). As an orchestra and opera conductor, Cicconi serves as the Music Director of the Young Victorian Theatre Company and has held positions and guest conducting appointments with orchestras in the United States, Argentina, and China. Most recently he served as associate conductor with the Broward Symphony Orchestra, the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra, and the Walenstein Youth Symphony. 

Cicconi completed a Master of Music Education Degree, with an emphasis in Instrumental Conducting, from Arizona State University and earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree (summa cum laude) from Youngstown State University. He is a member of College Band Directors National Association, Florida Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, Pi Kappa Lambda, and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.