General Course Information

  • MUS 271 | MUS 450N

Course Name and Description: Hindsley Symphonic Band

Prerequisite: Approval of Ensemble Conductor through the Standard Audition which takes place during the first week of classes

Through rehearsal and performance of a variety of carefully selected wind band and chamber wind literature, students will increase their knowledge and experience base with focus on professional outcomes and standards to service career objectives of future professional performers and educators. The Hindsley Symphonic Band is open to all University of Illinois students on an auditioned basis. Ensemble placement and repertoire/part assignments are determined by audition and faculty recommendations, and are intended to provide the most appropriate educational experience for each individual student's development. This course may be repeated for credit.

Faculty Information

Conductor:  Professor Barry L. Houser

Room:  Harding Band Building, 132 

Phone:  217-333-3025



General Course Schedule

  • Tuesdays | 3:00 - 4:20 PM in 141 Harding Band Building
  • Thursdays | 3:00 - 5:20 PM in 141 Harding Band Building
  • Consult the online weekly rehearsal schedule regularly for information or the text message system



To address, rehearse, and perform wind ensemble/band music from various periods and to grow as performers and educators through participation in various sized ensembles. It is intended that this course be a fusion arena for all other music curricula.




Students who have successfully completed this course should be able to:

  • Perform at a level of proficiency as a soloist, section member, and ensemble member
  • Understand the concepts of good intonation, balance between melodic and harmonic lines, balance between players, instrumental blend and tone color
  • Understand the concepts of phrasing, dynamics, articulation, rhythmic precision and ensemble clarity as it relates to quality performance
  • Appreciate and recognize quality wind band repertoire
  • Work creatively and collaboratively with others
  • Better understand the process of large ensemble sequential rehearsal and pacing in relation to short and long term goals



Commitment and a positive attitude. Come to each rehearsal ready to make music. It is my goal that each rehearsal is a musical one - an opportunity to get better as an ensemble and as a personal musician. 




Rehearsals are not to learn your part—rather they are to learn everyone else’s part and therefore, the music. Rehearsals are time to work collectively, not individually. The discovery of how the composition works and creating the most profound and educated recreation of the composer’s intent is the focus of rehearsal time. At this level, your part is your responsibility. This minimum standard is important for all to understand because it is the professional standard.


I will be very sensitive to your time and only call the necessary players when needed for rehearsal. There be times however when you will be asked to attend and listen to your colleagues as it is important for you to know musically what is happening in the score. Come prepared with water bottles if necessary and make all restroom stops before the rehearsal begins. Plan to remain in your seat for the entire rehearsal - moving around is distracting to the rehearsal process. No hats or cell phones during rehearsal.  Texting is very distracting for you and others during our time together.




Attendance is required at all rehearsals and performances listed in this syllabus or posted as an addendum. The minimum standard for attendance is “0” absences. Each unexcused absence will result in the lowering of the final course grade by one letter.  An immediate course grade of “F” will be recorded for any missed dress rehearsal or performance. There are no “excused” absences, however consideration will be given for service professional opportunities or ill health as long as communication occurs BEFORE the absence. You are either in class or not in class. Of course, all special circumstances (including professional or graduate school auditions, competitions, etc.) will be serviced whenever possible in relation to the ensemble performance calendar.


Punctuality is also graded. Plan on being early to the rehearsal space. Be warmed up and seated before the start time for each rehearsal.




Attendance supplies the basis grade to which Individual Performance and Professionalism grades are added. Students are evaluated throughout the semester in all three areas. Each student will receive a schedule of events for the entire semester including dress rehearsals and concerts. The Web version will be considered accurate—Dates and Times Are Subject To Change—check often.



1.  Attendance (provides “basis grade”—highest attainable grade)
2.  Individual Performance
     Preparation for Daily Rehearsal and Concert Performance (80% of grade)
3.  Living up to expected ensemble standards (Professionalism) (20% of grade)

  •      Rehearsal habits (ie. no cell phones, hats, food, drink in rehearsal, etc.)
  •      Punctuality (ie. rehearsals, call times, travel departures, etc.)
  •      Individual, Section, and Group responsibility
  •      Concert dress requirements


Your presence at other band concerts given by the Wind Orchestra and Wind Symphony are highly encouraged. Please plan these dates in your schedule so that you can support your colleagues by attending their concerts.




It is the responsibility of each principal player to coordinate and lead weekly sectionals. It is the responsibility of each player to attend these sectionals on time - stay for the entire time and come prepared. Because you are expected to be present at each sectional, principal players will do what they can to schedule a sectional time that is convenient for everyone in the section.




Music is supplied by University of Illinois Department of Bands. Students are required to own a personal metronome and a personal tuner, in addition to the normal accessories associated with their instrument (mutes, reeds, mouthpieces, etc.). Music and folders are on loan to students for each concert rotation. They must be returned in full at the close of each concert rotation. Students are responsible for all loaned materials, and must replace any missing items. The fee for a missing folder is $25.  If there is an original rental part checked out, there may be an addition fee based on the agreement with the rental agency. 





Black tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie, black socks and black dress shoes



Floor-length black skirt, black dress pants, or black dress meeting all specifications. Long-sleeved black blouse. Black/dark pantyhose, black dress shoes, simple jewelry. No décolletage, bare shoulders, necklines, short dresses or midriffs. Open-toed shoes or sandals are acceptable with dark stockings or dark pantyhose.


I am pleased to assist with your questions about ensemble and /or repertoire. Please do not hesitate to ask. Help sessions are not make-ups and can be as short or as long as you need (based on scheduling).


Check the Illinois Band Web Site at for lots of information including concert repertoire, reference recordings, weekly rehearsal schedule, and other useful items. Note your weekly rehearsal schedule tab and bookmark it for easy access. It will be posted on Friday of each week with specific rehearsal times for every work so that you can prepare for rehearsals, and use your time intelligently when you may not be assigned to a particular work. This mechanism is intended to offer you the ability to plan professionally, and demonstrates a true respect for your time. Although timing often runs to the minute, please be flexible to start up to ten minutes early or ten minutes late on a particular work. The flow and progress of a specific rehearsal moment will not be disturbed by the mirco-schedule. The micro-schedule within rehearsal is only a basic template. 



  • Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 3:00 PM | Krannert Center for the Performing Arts | Foellinger Great Hall (with Wind Orchestra)
  • Sunday December 3, 2017 | 3:00 PM | Krannert Center for the Performing Arts | Foellinger Great Hall (with Wind Orchestra)