This middle school festival focuses on student learning and growth. It treasures the “teachable moment” and provides unparalleled access to expert instruction and feedback in a non-competitive environment. Wind, percussion, string, and vocal clinicians are selected for their specific skill set in working with and inspiring young musicians. Our conducting clinicians offer educators a digital analysis of their conducting and practical tips to improve. The festival schedule allows ensembles time to listen to and support other groups as well as time to enjoy Wisconsin’s largest indoor waterpark and Tom Foolerys Adventure Park. Profound learning and social experiences through music all at an affordable price.
Beyond The Notes Music Festival’s mission is to create and provide profound learning and social experiences through music that go beyond the notes. We believe that young musicians need opportunities to develop in three areas - Skill, Knowledge and Affect (social-emotional). This organization firmly believes that music is an essential component to a well-rounded education. While focusing on the needs of young musicians, the organization also supports and develops the work of educators, pre-service teachers, and composers.
Beyond The Notes will be the spark to cultivate a new generation of young musicians and well-rounded citizens who appreciate and participate in the art form. We will use our resources to develop and support profound music making and learning opportunities for young musicians. We will inspire and cultivate a new generation of music educators and work to advance the music profession through professional development. We will support the creation of quality middle school literature and advocate for music education in our schools.
The festival began in May of 2008 with eight bands participating in a one day festival. In 2009, the festival became a two day event with twenty-one participating bands. In 2010 and 2011 the festival grew to twenty-nine bands. Pictures of the bands were displayed on large screens in the performance hall and live-streaming of the concerts was added. A choice of Waterpark or Indoor Themepark passes was offered to participants. The 2012 Band Festival had thirty-seven participating bands. "Band Festival at the Kalahari" t-shirts were added as well as a "Band Festival" program created and sponsored by Ward Brodt Music in Madison. The program contains information about each participating band and its members. In 2013 the festival added a percussion clinician and a conducting clinician. In 2014 a Percussion Clinic Room was added featuring two percussion clinicians. In 2015 the festival grew to forty-nine participating bands and included a graduate-level course available for directors. In 2017 the festival added a side-by-side experience with members of the UW-Eau Claire Bands. This year marks the 12th year of the festival and includes fifty-seven participating bands from three states. The side-by-side experience now includes music education majors from both UW-Eau Claire and UW-Whitewater. The festival is now a non-profit organization and is called Beyond The Note Music Festival, Inc. In 2022 the festival will double in size and invite middle school choirs, orchestras and bands!