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John Philip Sousa National Honor Band 2024

The John Philip Sousa Foundation is proud to present the 15th biannual edition of the John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band, showcasing some of the highest achieving young musicians the United States has to offer.

The festival will take place at Boxboro Regency Hotel & Conference Center in Boxborough, MA. The final performance will be the last day at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA. More information soon to come.


Festival Dates

The 2024 John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band will take place July 14th - 18th, 2024. Our performance will be on the evening of July 17th, in Mechanics Hall in Worcester. 

Michael J. Colburn, Guest Conductor

We are very pleased to announce that Michael J. Colburn, formerly of the United States Marine Corps, will return to lead the 2024 John Philip Sousa National High School Honor Band Festival. 


Michael Colburn joined the faculty of Butler University as Director of Bands in August, 2014. In addition to conducting the Butler University Wind Ensemble, he offers instruction in conducting, euphonium, and the history and literature of the wind band. Before coming to Butler, Colburn served for 27 years in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, where he held a variety of positions including Principal Euphonium (1991-1996), Assistant Director (1996-2004), and Director (2004-2014). As Director, Colburn was music advisor to White House and regularly conducted the Marine Band and Chamber Orchestra at the Executive Mansion and at Presidential Inaugurations. He was promoted to Colonel by President George W. Bush in a private Oval Office ceremony in 2007, and in 2014 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by Gen James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Medal of Honor by the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic Board of Directors.


Colburn is an active guest conductor and clinician. He regularly conducts bands at numerous state and regional festivals and has guest conducted several professional and university bands and wind ensembles. Committed to the commissioning of new music, Colburn serves as the Co-Chair of the Sousa-ABA-Ostwald Award, a prize sponsored by the American Bandmasters Association in order to promote new works for wind band. He has served as an adjudicator for the Sudler Award, the Barlow Endowment, Music for All, and the Col. George S. Howard award for excellence in military bands. Colburn is a member of Washington D.C.’s prestigious Gridiron and Alfalfa Clubs, the American Bandmasters Association, and a board member of the John PhilipSousa Foundation.

Performance Location
Mechanics Hall - Worcester, MA

Mechanics Hall is the premier event venue and concert hall in Central Massachusetts. Renowned for its elegance and sound qualities, the Hall's cultural significance, its stunning décor and architectural detail have earned it a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hall is known as the finest pre-Civil War performance hall in America. Mechanics Hall is an acoustical masterpiece sought after by musicians and recording artists worldwide, and it is a beloved meeting space ideally suited for special events.

In the past, there have been over 25 performances made by the original Sousa Band at this venue. In 2019, the John Philip Sousa New England Regional Honor Bands awarded Mechanics Hall with an historical marker to commemorate these original Sousa Band performances. 

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