Information for the 2025 Northwest Honor Band is still being updated. Check back soon for more details!

Northwest High School Honor Band

Honor Band

January 10-11, 2025

Mary Baker Russell Music Center | Ron Gerhardstein, Director

The Northwest High School Honor Bands will feature music performed by approximately 325 of the finest high school musicians from Idaho, Oregon and Washington. These outstanding high school students are recommended for participation in the event by their high school band directors and the concert is a culmination of two days of intense rehearsals with guest clinicians.

Honor Band Schedule


Honor Band Registration will be made available following the designated nomination period.

Once nominations have been reviewed, Honor Band participants will be notified of acceptance via email and provided access to registration. Once received, please complete registration and payment using the link provided by TBD.

  • Participant fees: $125 (non-refundable) / Deadline: TBD
  • A link of the recorded performance will be shared with participants following the event.

Please note that no refunds will be allowed after event registration has been completed, and no registration or payment will be accepted following the deadline of TBD.


High school directors, please use the link provided below to nominate and recommend students that you would like to participate in the Northwest High School Honor Band. We ask that before nominating a student, please check with each student concerning their availability. There is a participant fee of $125 for each student participating in the Honor Band. The window for Nomination Forms will open on September 6, 2024.

Nomination deadline: TBD

Honor Band Nomination Form

Performance Attire:

For the performances, students should plan on wearing standard concert attire that they would normally wear for school performances. Aside from the concerts, casual dress is appropriate.

Audition Materials for Chair Placement:

After participant’s check in on January 5th, chair placement auditions will be held in various rooms in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center. Please open and print the PDF version of your part for your instrument and practice prior to the January 5th check in.

Flute, Oboes, Clarinet (B-Flat), Clarinet (Bass), Clarinet (Contra Bass), Bassoon, Sax (Alto), Sax (Bari), Sax (Tenor), Trumpet/Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium TC, Euphonium BC, Tuba, Mallets, Snare Drum, Timpani, Double Bass


January 11, 2025

4:30 pm Performance
Northwest High School
Concert Band


6:30 pm Performance
Northwest High School
Symphonic Band

Free Admission / No Tickets

Workshop Clinicians:

Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin is Director of Wind Band Studies and Assistant Professor of Music. In addition to conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, overseeing the graduate wind conducting program, teaching courses in wind band literature and wind conducting, she oversees all aspects of the concert band programs at Penn State. Her appointment at PSU follows three years as Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Director of Athletic Bands at the University of South Carolina. Prior to her tenure at UofSC, Mitchell-Spradlin taught at Valdosta State University as Director of Athletic Bands and was Director of Bands at Chamblee High School in Chamblee, Georgia.

Mitchell-Spradlin has a diverse background as a clinician, adjudicator, educator, and speaker. She is a frequent guest conductor, and has presented regionally at the South Carolina Music Educators Association Conference, nationally at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, internationally at the International Society for the Promotion of Wind Band in Austria, and has served as Tau Beta Sigma’s local and national Women in Music Speaker.

As a proponent of new music, she is engaged in building the wind band medium. She led the consortium and premiere of Aaron Perrine’s Beneath a Canvas of Green for wind ensemble and percussion quartet which was also the source of her doctoral dissertation. Additionally, she is active in a number of premieres and consortiums for new music.

Mitchell-Spradlin serves as the National Vice President of Professional Relations for Tau Beta Sigma: National Honorary Band Sorority. She also holds memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi, the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, and Women Band Directors International.

Dr. Jonathan Helmick serves as Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at Slippery Rock University. Part of his responsibilities include directing the Slippery Rock University “Marching Pride”, the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and the Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble. He also teaches assigned courses such as Fundamentals of Conducting, Advanced Conducting, Brass Methods, Marching Band Field Charting, and Applied Euphonium. Under his direction, the Slippery Rock University Wind Ensemble has achieved national acclaim having been named a finalist for the prestigious American Prize in Wind Ensemble and Concert Band Performance (college/university division). Most recently, the two hundred-member Slippery Rock University Marching Pride was invited to perform in Ireland at the 2019 Dublin St. Patrick’s Festival Parade and the 2019 Limerick International Band Championship. During these internationally televised performances the ensemble received the honor of being named Best Overall Band, Best Adult Band, and Best International Band.

Dr. Helmick holds the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting from The University of Southern Mississippi. He earned a Master of Music degree in Euphonium Performance with a cognate area in Music Theory from The University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. Both his Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree and Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Communications degrees were received from the University of Akron with honors. Prior to his college teaching career, Dr. Helmick taught in the public schools of Ohio and Mississippi, most recently the All-Superior Sweepstakes Award winning Oak Grove Band program. He has also served as Assistant Conductor and member of the Board of Trustees for the Freedom Brass Band of Northeast Ohio and performed as a member of the Brass Band of the Western Reserve on both euphonium and baritone.

Prior to his position at Slippery Rock University, Dr. Helmick served as the Director of Bands and Low Brass Instructor at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, MS. At Jones, he conducted the Jones County Junior College Symphonic Band and was the Director of the “Maroon Typhoon” Marching Band. Courses he taught included Applied Trombone, Euphonium, and Tuba. During his time at Jones, the marching band gained national attention when invited to perform in the 2015 McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago, IL. Under his direction, students have had the opportunity to work in both performance and masterclass settings with national and international performing artists such as Tucker Jolly, Dr. Richard Perry, the Maniacal 4 Quartet, Harmonic Brass, and Travis Scott. Further, he served as co-founder and site coordinator of the “Roger Bobo Festival of Brass,” a summer brass symposium featuring international brass pedagogue and tubist Roger Bobo as clinician.

Active as a musician and educator, Dr. Helmick has served as a guest clinician, artist, and adjudicator in Pennsylvania, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, Sicily, Austria, and the Czech Republic. At Slippery Rock University, he has earned the honor of being named recipient of the 2017-2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2019, he was honored to receive the Citation of Excellence from the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, representing District 5.

Primary teachers of conducting and music education include Dr. Thomas Fraschillo, Dr. Mohamad Schuman, Professor Robert D. Jorgensen, Dr. Galen S. Karriker, and Dr. Jody Besse. Principal euphonium teachers include Dr. Richard Perry and Professor Tucker Jolly.

Dr. Betsy McCann is the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Marching and Athletic Bands at the University of Minnesota. In this position, she directs the “Pride of Minnesota” Marching Band, conducts the University Band, instructs undergraduate conducting, and manages the comprehensive Athletic Bands program. McCann is the first woman to head a Big Ten Marching Band and Athletic Bands program. She has guided the program to great success on and off the field, including internationally renowned performances in the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show and World Expo 2020 in Dubai, UAE.

McCann is active nationally as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and speaker. She has presented on leadership, group culture, and other topics at a variety of public and private events, including multiple appearances at the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Bands Conference, the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic, and corporate training events. She has served as a guest conductor and clinician with bands from the United States and Canada, including with the Minnesota All State Concert Band. McCann is a strong supporter and active conductor of new music, receiving positive acclaim from composers, performers, and audiences for her interpretation and conducting artistry.

Prior to McCann’s current appointment at the University of Minnesota, McCann served as the Assistant Director of the University of Minnesota Marching Band. Additionally, she served as a band director and classroom music instructor at Burnsville and Watertown-Mayer High Schools in Minnesota and Waubonsie Valley High School in Illinois. McCann earned a Doctorate in Conducting at the University of Minnesota, with research and performance emphasis on conducting contemporary music. She earned a Master of Music degree in Wind Band Conducting from Northwestern University, where she graduated with program honors, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute Performance and Music Education from the University of Minnesota.

McCann is a member of the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and Phi Beta Mu. She serves on the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband and two children.

For Questions:

Ron Gerhardstein, Associate Professor of Music; Acting Director of Bands
School of Music, Theatre & Dance; Pacific Lutheran University
(253) 535-7609 e-mail:

Abby Deskins, Coordinator of Educational Outreach Programs
College of Professional Studies; Pacific Lutheran University
(253) 535-7877 e-mail: