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Middle Level Orchestra Festival

General Information - Tier 1
The Middle Level Orchestra Festival is open to school age student orchestras composed exclusively of students in grades 6 through 9. MNSOTA is pleased to offer three sites for Tier 1. 
The application deadline for all sites is Friday, December 7, 2018.

Download the the rules and application forms in PDF below.

Dates & Locations for 2018-2019
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - Fergus Falls - map
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - Stillwater Area High School - map
Wednesday, March 6,  2019 - Faribault Middle School - map

Festival Reminders for 2018-2019
• Three sites
• Orchestras with 9th grade students can perform at any site for Tier 2 consideration.
• Additional $100 participation fee for groups who advance to Tier 2 at Orchestra Hall
• Ticket fee for the Tier 2 concert will be announced at the conclusion of the Tier 1 festivals.
• Rating forms, judges' recordings (2) and performance recordings (1) will be given to directors at the conclusion of their clinic.  Judges' and performance recordings may be sent electronically at the conclusion of the festival day.
• All participants MUST perform from legally acquired copies of the music, in compliance with the Copyright Law. 

Policy: "Pop tunes and novelty pieces will not be considered appropriate literature." Download the document below for a definition and discussion of "novelty piece."

Tier 2 Information
DATE CHANGED: Monday, April 15, 2019 at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis - map

All orchestras that qualify are eligible to participate in Tier 2. In order to qualify for Tier 2, orchestras must: apply for Tier 2 consideration; satisfy the grade requirements; and receive an overall "Superior with Distinction" rating from both judges at Tier 1.

The orchestras selected for the Tier 2 honor will:
• spend 80 minutes during the day on April 15 at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis
• work with outstanding performer coaches
• perform selections from Tier 1 in a concert
• receive an ensemble trophy
• make memories that will inspire their musical growth for years to come
• be able to purchase CDs through their director

MNSOTA congratulations all orchestras that performed at the three Tier 1 festivals last year.  We are thrilled that 44 orchestras participated in 2018! 

If you have questions, contact:  Festival Coordinator Becky Plachy at

CONGRATULATIONS to the following groups selected for Tier 2 on April 15:
  • Chippewa 8th Grade Orchestra
  • Edina High School Repertory Orchestra
  • Highview Middle School 8th Grade Orchestra
  • Minnetonka High School String Orchestra
  • Minnetonka Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Northfield Middle School 7th Grade Orchestra
  • Northfield Middle School 8th Grade Orchestra
  • Oak-Land 8th Grade School Orchestra
  • Owatonna Middle School Orchestra
  • Roseville Area High School Concert Orchestra
  • Stillwater High School 9th Grade Philharmonic Orchestra

Download documents below for:
  • Preparation Pointers suggested by Brian Cole so your ensemble knows what to expect at Tier 1
  • NOTE: the Tier 2 date is incorrect on the Middle Level Orchestra Festival document, because it was changed on February 22. Updated information is correct on this website.
Faith Farr,
Oct 3, 2014, 9:44 AM
Faith Farr,
Feb 15, 2014, 8:07 AM
Faith Farr,
Feb 23, 2019, 8:03 AM