ontario provincial

honour band

Registration CLOSED

The OBA has decided to postpone the 2020 Ontario Provincial Honour Band until the spring of 2021. Audition deadline postponed until further notice. This decision has been made with much consideration from the OPHB director and committee, in hopes of providing the best possible experience for all students across Ontario who participate in this event. Please keep an eye on our social media, website, and your email for updates which will be announced soon. We look forward to seeing you all for a spring rendition of OPHB!


The Ontario Band Association is inviting every high school student to audition for the 18th annual Ontario Provincial Honour Band. 90 of the province's high school musicians will be selected to take part in an intensive four days of music making. The experience includes our rehearsal camp, concerts and the annual performance at the Ontario Music Educators' Association conference. Dr. Jason Caslor, conductor of the OPHB 2019, said "The whole OPHB project was first rate, start to finish. I had an absolute blast digging into the music with these amazing musicians. Getting the chance to perform several concerts with them was a true highlight."


This sensational four-day event (November 4th – November 7th, 2020) promises to give participants the experience of a lifetime. Based at the Salvation Army Shoreline Camp in Jackson's Point, Ontario, on the shores of beautiful Lake Simcoe, the 2020 Honour Band will be conducted by Dr. Gillian MacKay from University of Toronto. We continue our amazing work with Yamaha Canada Music to provide the OPHB with a world-class soloist. The soloist for 2020 will be announced soon!


We have updated the unit design for every teacher to include the audition material as part of the curriculum in any music class. You can make it work for your students' specific needs as well! The auditions work very well for the musicality and technical range of any grade eleven student. 


The audition fee for the Ontario Provincial Honour Band is $10. If students are successful in auditioning for the ensemble, a $299 participation fee is required. We look forward to hearing your students' auditions. If you have further questions, please contact Alicia Barras ( honourband@onband.ca ).



Your recording should demonstrate tone quality, technical facility, and musicality. All auditions must include the scales provided in the audition packages and ONE etude. Please note that the requirements for the number of etudes have been lowered to accommodate the deadline change and access to instruments. 

To ensure the best results for your audition, we recommend that you ask your band director and/or private instructor for assistance in selecting and preparing your material. When making your recording, please follow these guidelines:


DO NOT begin the recording with your name, instrument, grade etc. Simply begin playing.

DO NOT record the submission in a video format.

Thoroughly listen to the audio files before you submit them to ensure there are no mistakes and that the quality of sound is acceptable.

A $10 audition fee is due at the time of registration. Should your audition be deemed successful, a $299 participation fee is required.

*Percussion auditions requires additional form submission, teacher recommendation, and interview.



Teacher Resources



Gillian MacKay

Gillian MacKay is Professor of Music of the University of Toronto, where she conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches conducting. Gillian has an active professional career as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and trumpeter. She has conducted honour ensembles throughout Canada and the United States, and is Associate Conductor of the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra. Dr. MacKay has adjudicated Canadian band festivals at local, provincial, and national levels in Canada. She has conducted honour bands and judged competitions in the US, Singapore, Thailand, and Korea.


Dr. MacKay enjoys presenting clinics and workshops at provincial and state conferences in Canada and the United States, and is known for her work on the relationship between conducting and mime. Currently, she is investigating the application of the Michael Chekhov acting technique to movement and meaning in conducting. Recognized as a conducting pedagogue, Gillian leads the University of Toronto Wind Conducting Symposium each July, and has been the guest instructor at other symposia in Canada and the United States.


Gillian holds degrees and diplomas from the University of Lethbridge, McGill University, the University of Calgary, and Northwestern University


2020 Yamaha Artist

David Pell has been Bass Trombonist of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra since 2006, Principal Trombonist of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra since 2002, Principal Trombonist of Orchestra London since 1997. David serves on the brass faculty of the University of Toronto, is Artistic Director of the Hannaford Street Silver Band, and has been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony, the Victoria Symphony and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Touring Orchestra.  He performs regularly on trombone, bass trumpet and euphonium with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and has played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Thunder Bay Symphony. He has also played Euphonium, Bass and Tenor trombone with the Stockholm Chamber Brass and the True North Brass.


David appears as guest Bass Trombone on the recent Canadian Brass recording, Brahms on Brass, on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Holst’s The Planets and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. He was featured as soloist in the Canadian Opera Company’s acclaimed Ring Cycle and has played on many jingles and soundtracks for film and television.


He has shared stages and recording studios with such varied musicians as Feist, Herbie Hancock, Andre Bocceli, Supertramp’s Roger Hodgeson, Broken Social Scene, Owen Pallet (Final Fantasy), Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Bolton, Sheena Easton, David Foster, Holly Cole, Kenny G and Dudley Moore and has played and toured North America with productions of Wicked, Showboat, Ragtime, Chicago, Urinetown, Phantom of the Opera, Annie Get Your Gun, My Fair Lady, Cats and Evita.

David Pell


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