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)
Following a distinguished 33 year teaching career, Professor Paula A. Crider continues to share her passion for making music through an active schedule as guest conductor, lecturer, clinician and adjudicator. She has enjoyed engagements in 47 states, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore, Italy, Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia. Professor Crider has taught in the public schools at all levels, and holds the unique distinction of having been the first female in the state of Texas to serve as director of bands at a class 5-A high school. Her Crockett High School Bands in Austin, Texas enjoyed both state and national recognition for musical excellence on the concert stage, and were twice named Texas 5A State Marching Champions.
A tenured Full Professor at The University of Texas, Crider conducted the Symphony Band, and was Director of the acclaimed University of Texas Longhorn Band. During her 17 year tenure, she was twice accorded the “Eyes of Texas” Award for distinguished teaching. She continues to serve as visiting guest professor at universities throughout the country. She has written numerous articles for The Instrumentalist, The Band Directorʼs Guide, the National Band Association Journal, and has published manuals for Brass Techniques, Marching Band Methods and Instrumental Conducting. She is co-author for the Hal Leonard “Masterwork Studies” series, and author of The Composerʼs Legacy, Conductors on Conducting for Wind Band published by GIA.
Professor Crider has presented professional teacher seminars throughout the United States, and has served as Chief Adjudicator for the London New Year’s Day Parade. She is coordinator for the National Band Association Young Conductor/Mentor Program, is an Educational Consultant for Conn-Selmer, Inc., and serves on the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Board of Directors. Crider is a Past President of the National Band Association, and the American Bandmasterʼs Association. Awards and honors include the Tau Beta Sigma/Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award, the Sudler Legion of Merit, The Women Band Directorʼs International Rose, The Grainger Society Medal, the National Band Association AWAPA Award, 2004 Texas Bandmaster of the Year, Phi Beta Mu Hall of Fame, and the Midwest Medal of Honor. In 2013, she was honored with a Doctor of Music Education Honoris Causa from the Vandercook School of Music. She was inducted into both the Women Band Directors International and the National Band Association Hall of Fame, and in 2015 was elected to the Phi Beta Mu International Hall of Fame.
Interested in sponsoring the 2023 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.
2022 All-Illinois Junior Band
Barry Houser, conductor