2024 GHMF Update – Hold The Date(s)!

Hi everyone!
Happy Labour Day – and welcome back! We hope that you had a wonderful summer.


Please hold the dates! Our festival is in the process of being confirmed for Monday, February 26 to Friday, March 1, 2024. We are hard at work already – and the planning has started.


We will continue at Ancaster High School in 2024, in partnership with the Hamilton Wentworth DSB. The 2023 event was a positive and enriching experience at AHS, as we made the return to the festival setting and we’d like to not only maintain the regularity but grow upon it. We have listened to much of your feedback and there will be some improvements in 2024 with traffic flow, storage, lunch, and other spaces. We are looking at improvements to our Jazz Stage as well.


We’d also like to take this opportunity to announce (and confirm) that we are now officially under the umbrella of the Ontario Band Association (yes, the rumours were true!) We’re thrilled about this partnership – and we’re looking forward to the continued collaboration and growth of the GHMF.  We’d like to thank everyone for their support and feedback regarding this move and would like to outline some of the key points for 2024:

Repertoire And Scores

As an OBA Festival, we will have our library of adjudication conductor scores for any pieces on the provincial band festival syllabus. As in the past, in order to be considered for a MusicFest Nationals invitation, you would need to perform at least one (1) piece from either the MusicFest Canada Syllabus or the OBA PBF Syllabus. If you choose piece(s) from the latter, the scores will be provided for you. Here is the OBA list for 2024:


Here is the MusicFest Nationals list:


Registration will open a full TWO MONTHS EARLIER than 2022 (and again, we do apologize for the late timeline last year – but we’re back to normal now!). We are working on small changes to our registration platform but from the user side, it will be similar (if not better) than before.

OBA Membership:

The registration fee structure has changed (and subsequently increased) for 2024:

As an official festival of the Ontario Band Association, a director membership is required to enter one or more groups in the GHMF. Many of you already have this membership as you participate in other OBA hosted events such as the provincial festival, small ensemble festival, or beginning band symposium. However for those of you who are not current members at the time of registration, the annual membership to the OBA is $55.

Registration Fees Per Ensemble

The 2024 GHMF entry fee will be $325 per ensemble. This reflects a slight increase in fee since our overall operating expenses have increased.


for ‘NEW’ OBA members who are bringing a single ensemble, your registration fee would be $380.
For ‘NEW’ OBA members who are bringing 3 ensembles, your total would be $1030 ($55 plus $325 x 3). Please contact Shashi with any questions about this – and/or visit https://www.onband.ca/membership


We’d like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to Colin Clarke. As many of you know, Colin has been a driving force behind the GHMF as committee director for over 10 years. In 2023 Colin started the process of stepping back from the grind of the festival administration and organization, while being very involved behind the scenes (especially in support and mentoring roles).

Simply put, the Golden Horseshoe Music Festival would not be where it is today without Colin’s tireless efforts, his passion for music education and his dedication towards music educators and their students. But – he’ll never be rid of us – as he has confirmed (for the first time in over 10 years) that he will be appearing as a key Concert Band adjudicator at the 2024 Festival! (So get your bands ready, folks!! )

Please join us in a huge THANK YOU to Colin Clarke for his leadership of the Golden Horseshoe Music Festival!

Our committee meetings , planning, organizing, improving, and producing have started and we’re excited to welcome you back in 2024. Feel free to reach out to us anytime. Our main email contacts are:

Anita (Registrar) – ghmfcoordinator@gmail.com
(Registration, scheduling, inquiries)

Shashi (Shashi) – ghmf@onband.ca
(OBA questions, syllabus/repertoire, sponsorships/partnerships and other inquiries)

Thanks everyone, and we wish you a wonderful start to the year and good luck with your programs in the fall and beyond!

The GHMF team