Luther College to host the 43rd annual Dorian Orchestra Festival

Luther College will host the 43rd annual Dorian Orchestra Festival Feb. 9-10. High school string students nominated by their high school directors come to stay on campus for the chance to experience life at Luther, rehearse with music faculty and perform in concert.

The first festival concert, featuring the Luther College Symphony Orchestra, begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, followed by the Dorian Orchestra Festival Grand Concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10.

Both concerts will be held in the Main Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus and are open to the public with no charge for admission.  

Students participating in the festival are placed in one of three groups. The orchestras are composed of two Festival massed orchestras and a Chamber Orchestra. The Chamber Orchestra, made up of a select number of more experienced music students, will perform more advanced pieces.

Luther conductors Daniel Baldwin, professor of music, and Spencer Martin, associate professor of music, will direct the orchestras.

Baldwin earned a Bachelor of Music degree in cello from Furman University and a Master of Music degree in cello performance and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Texas-Austin.

Martin holds a Bachelor of Music degree in voice performance from Butler University, a Master of Music degree in viola performance from Witchita State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in viola performance from the University of Minnesota.

The Dorian Festivals began in 1949 when Weston Noble, Johnson Professor Emeritus of Music, invited 20 schools in the region to bring a few select band students to the Luther campus to participate in a two-day honor band festival, called the Dorian Band Festival. A year later a vocal festival was added. Since then the Dorian Festivals and camps have grown in scope and participation. More than 90,000 students have shared the Dorian experience. Luther now offers five Dorian festivals: keyboard, vocal, orchestra, band and choral invitational.

Luther College is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the world with seven choirs, three orchestras, three bands, four jazz groups and nearly 1,000 student musicians. Luther students perform in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 350 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, church music and performance.