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2021 Band Festival
2021 Band Festival

Nominate your students

The Ohio Christian University Music Department is pleased to announce the OCU Middle School Honor Band Festival. Local band directors from area schools are invited to nominate their talented students to join us for this exciting opportunity. 

Honor Band Conductor James Swearingen will be our guest conductor for an enriching day of rehearsals for a concert performance at the OCU Music and Performing Arts Center. Fifty students will be honored by selection from the talented students you nominate. These fifty will be selected to join us based on their musicianship and attitude. All drinks, snacks, water, as well as breakfast and lunch, will be provided to the selected students. They will also receive a commemorative t-shirt in celebration of their performance.

The selected honor students will not be charged a participation fee. There is no cost for participation in the honor band and no cost for admission to the concert.

We hope you will plan to nominate students to participate in the OCU Middle School Honor Band Festival. We are looking forward to receiving your nominations and working with your talented students.


Festival Schedule:

  • 8:15-9:00 Registration
  • 9-12 Rehearse 
  • 12-1 Lunch 
  • 1-3 Rehearse 
  • 4:00 Concert 


How do I get nominated for the OCU Middle School Honor Band?
All nominations must come from your school director or a private teacher. 

How will I know if I’m selected?
OCU will inform you using the email provided for you on the nomination forms.

Is there any cost to participate?
There is no cost to students or directors for the OCU Middle School Honor Band Festival.

What if I have dietary restrictions? Do I need to bring my own lunch?
OCU’s dining facilities can work with any food restriction or dietary need. We will use the information provided on the nomination forms regarding dietary restrictions.

Can I bring my own food and snacks?
You will not need to bring any food or snacks. OCU will provide breakfast snacks, lunch, and water and snacks throughout the Festival.

What should I wear?
You should wear jeans. OCU will provide a T-shirt to be worn throughout the day and at the 4:00 concert.

Do I need to audition?
No. The selection process is done using the nomination forms.

For any other questions, please contact:

Dr. Brent Nolte
Director of Music Programs

2021 Honor Band Guest Conductor Bio: James Swearingen

James Swearingen, Composer and Conductor

James Swearingen
Composer, Arranger and Conductor

James Swearingen's talents as a performer, composer/arranger and educator include a background of extensive training and experience. He has earned degrees from Bowling Green State University and The Ohio State University. Mr. Swearingen is currently Professor of Music, Department Chair of Music Education and one of several resident composers at Capital University located in Columbus, Ohio. He also serves as a staff arranger for the famed Ohio State University Marching Band. Prior to his appointment at Capital in 1987, he spent eighteen years teaching instrumental music in the public schools of central Ohio. His first teaching assignment took him to the community of Sunbury, Ohio. He then spent fourteen years as Director of Instrumental Music at Grove City High School where his marching, concert and jazz bands all received acclaim for their high standards of performing excellence.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Swearingen manages to be very active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and educational clinician. Appearances have included trips throughout the United States, as well as Japan, Australia, Europe, Canada and The Republic of China.

Mr. Swearingen's numerous contributions for band have been enthusiastically received by school directors, student performers and audiences worldwide. With over 450 published works, he has written band compositions and arrangements that reflect a variety of musical forms and styles. Many of his pieces, including 81 commissioned works, have been chosen for contest and festival lists. He is a recipient of several ASCAP awards for published compositions and in 1992 was selected as an Accomplished Graduate of the Fine and Performing Arts from Bowling Green State University. In March of 2000, he was invited to join The American Bandmasters Association, considered to be the most prestigious bandmaster organization in the world. Mr. Swearingen received the 2002 Community Music Educator Award given annually by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. In that same year, he became conductor of the Grove City Community Winds. This highly talented ensemble consists of many fine musicians from the central Ohio area. He is a member of numerous professional and honorary organizations including OMEA, MENC, ASBDA, Phi Beta Mu and Pi Kappa Lambda.

Many of Mr. Swearingen's most popular band compositions have been recorded by the prestigious Washington Winds and are available on Walking Frog Records compact discs: His recordings include In All Its Glory, Exaltation, Celebration For Winds And Percussion, The Light Of Dawn, and the newest release, Flight of Valor.