BENNINGTON -- Mount Anthony Union High School will host the New England Music Festival this March, but they'll need a little help to host the participating students.

The program, which will run from March 20-22, will feature 450 of the top student musicians in New England. Six students from MAU will participate in the festival, which MAU last hosted in 2008. The event is organized on the MAU side by band director Marjorie Rooen and choir director Lynn Sweet.

"One of the most unique features of the New England Music Festival," says a press release from the MAUHS music department, "is that students stay with host families in the local community during the festival."

The school is looking for families to host two or more of the visiting students. This would involve two nights' housing, two breakfasts, one dinner, and transportation to and from MAUHS or MAUMS. "We would like each student to have a bed, but if that is not possible, sofas, air-mattresses, and cots would work great too!" reads the release.

Any member of a host family who is 18 years of age or older is required to submit to a background check. These checks are ordered and paid for by the New England Music Festival Association.

The New England Music Festival "has enjoyed a long and proud history of providing quality music performance opportunities for school-age singers, string and wind players, and percussionists since 1928," according to the NEMFA's website. After missing a few years due to World War II, the festival resumed in 1946, and has been held every year since.

Host family packets can by found at svsu.org, and should be completed and returned to Christina Gabrus, festival coordinator, at 301 Park St., Bennington. Questions can be directed to 802-447-7511.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB