Every fall, HJHS band and choir members participate in the Illinois Music Educators' Association (ILMEA) Honors Festival. This festival takes place in November on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. Band members wishing to participate must audition on scales and a required musical selection. Choir members are selected by audition where they must prepare two musical selections, clap rhythms, and sing tonal skills. Auditions are held on Columbus Day at Effingham Junior and Senior High School. The students selected to attend the festival perform a final concert after a full day of rehearsal with students from other schools throughout central Illinois in November.