The All-Illinois Junior Band was founded for the express purpose of creating a premier musical experience for the state’s finest middle school band students. As the first statewide middle school honor band in over half a century, membership in AIJB is determined solely through competitive blind auditions. Its goals are to provide an opportunity for middle school students to perform excellent literature with a mature ensemble and distinguished conductor, to interact with similarly dedicated student musicians from around the State of Illinois, and to encourage and inspire these outstanding young musicians to continue their musical studies.
The finest national recognized conductors and music educators working with students.
Rehearsal and performance in the world class Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois.
Blindly adjudicated auditions with high standards for acceptance. Membership determined solely by audition.
High quality literature prepared by the students in advance of the festival.
Appropriately sized ensemble with balanced instrumentation.
Single participation fee covers costs associated with the AIJB Festival, including a t-shirt, Friday night reception, and lunch on Saturday. (Free concert admission, no director fee, and no school participation fee)
Barry L. Houser is Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Music at the University of Illinois.
His responsibilities include conducting numerous concert ensembles, the Athletic Bands consisting of the Volleyball Band, Men’s and Women’s Basketball Bands, and the Nation’s Premier College Marching Band – the 375-member Marching Illini. He teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental conducting, marching band procedures and other courses within the School of Music. Professor Houser’s teaching experience encompasses both extensive public school and university experiences.
Previously, Houser served as Acting Director of Bands, Associate Director of Bands, and Director of Athletic Bands at Eastern Illinois University. A native of Indiana, he was Director of Bands and Performing Arts Director at NorthWood High School, NorthWood Middle School and three elementary schools in Nappanee, Indiana, where
his bands developed a reputation of fine musicianship with state and national recognition. Prior to NorthWood, Houser served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Buchholz High School in Gainesville, Florida.
Bands under Houser’s direction have performed throughout the world including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on eight occasions, the NBC Today Show, the ISSMA State Marching Finals, and the Indiana Music Educators Association State Convention. Other performances include the Indianapolis 500 Parade, Target Thanksgiving Day Parade, Outback Bowl, Hollywood Christmas Parade, Washington DC National Memorial Parade, a variety of NFL halftime shows, Music for All events, two tours of Ireland and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and performances with Maynard Ferguson, the Dallas Brass, Gregg Potter of the Buddy Rich Band, the Canadian Brass, and Douglas Yeo of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Houser is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and has presented clinics throughout the United States in both the marching and concert band mediums. He has served on the staff of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl Mass Band, and the Bob Rogers Travel Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at Disney. Houser is a contributing author for the marching band textbook The System as well as several editions of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series. Professor Houser serves on the Board of Directors for the National Band Association, chair of the College Band Directors National Association Athletic Band Committee, as well as President and Director of the Smith Walbridge Clinics, the first marching band, leadership camp in the country established in 1949.
Houser holds professional memberships in the College Band Directors National Association, National Band Association, NAfME, Golden Key National Honor Society, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi International Band Fraternity, Honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and has been honored by the Indiana General Assembly and the US House of Representatives. He is the recipient of the Indianapolis Star Academic All Star Award, the WNDU Channel 16 Excellence in Education Award, Urbana Rotary Vocational Achievement Award, and the Outstanding Philanthropy Award from the East Central Illinois Association of Fundraising Professionals. Houser is an elected member of Phi Beta Mu, the international bandmasters fraternity.
Barry L. Houser is an educational consultant with Ultimate Drill Book and is a Yamaha Master Educator.
Interested in sponsoring the 2022 AIJB Festival and supporting our state’s finest young musicians? Contact us!
Thanks so much for putting in all of the work to provide the AIJB experience for the students! I am completely impressed with how well everything was prepared and organized. It certainly was the best middle level honor band with which I have ever worked — a joyful experience for me the entire time!
I truly appreciate the opportunity you’ve provided for our more motivated students. I look forward to being a part of it again in the future. My band parents were thrilled with the entire experience.
My applicants practiced harder than I’ve ever seen them, listening back, reflecting, recording…regardless of whether they make it into the ensemble or not, it has already been a great learning process.
Thank you for your monumental efforts on behalf of these students in the All Illinois Junior Band. As a parent, I could not have asked for a better junior high band experience for my daughter. She returns from this weekend with new enthusiasm and a sense of pride from being a part of this group. The quality of the conductors and sectional staff give my child a level of instruction and musical experiences that are hard to match anywhere else in the state. I am forever grateful to both of you for your efforts to give all these band students a rewarding, educational, and inspiring band experience.
2020 All-Illinois Junior Band
Robert T. Herrings, conductor