Frequently Asked Questions

What are the fees associated with the festival?

Visit our Fees Form page for a breakdown of the cost.

How are students chosen for the Festival Band or the Symphonic Band? 

Students accepted to the festival will be divided into a select, 75-piece Symphonic Band and two 250-piece festival ensembles. 

Students who want to be considered for the Symphonic Band must submit a video recording in addition to the nomination form that is submitted by the teacher.  The audition requirements are:

1)   A 90 second – 2 minute recording of a solo or etude that showcases both lyrical and technical ability of the student. The passage can be no longer than two minutes.
2)   A chromatic scale, featuring the student’s full range on his/her instrument
3)   Percussionists: Please submit two recordings, each one 90 seconds – 2 minutes.  One should feature a solo or etude on a keyboard instrument, and the other a solo or etude on a battery instrument. No scales are necessary.

Audio recordings must not be edited.

If students are not accepted into Symphonic Band, they will be selected for one of the other Festival Bands.

Students in the larger groups will be given a chair assignment and copies of their music before they come to the Festival. Those selected for the Symphonic Band will each be given a copy of the 1st-part music for their section, then audition on that music for chair placement once they arrive at the Festival. The expectation is that all students will be very familiar with their music before they arrive.

What happens during the optional mini-lessons?

Students wishing to schedule a 10 minute mini-lesson with a faculty member are able to do so. Students who schedule mini lessons will have opportunity for face-to-face, one-on-one feedback. It is assumed that a student who requests a private lesson will bring to the lesson some previously studied solo piece. The fee for one 10 minute mini-lesson is $5. Seniors interested in attending Luther may use their lesson as their official scholarship audition, if they wish. No accompanist is required.

One or two students may be chosen from among those playing in a mini-lesson to perform their solos as part of the Grand Concert on Monday evening. Solos must be memorized to be considered.

Are tickets required for the Festival Grand Concert?

No tickets are required for the Festival Grand Concert on Monday, February 27th. The concert is free and open to the public.

Where do directors and students stay during the festival?

  • On-campus, student housing may be requested by schools farther than 50 miles from Decorah.
  • Students will be housed in residence hall rooms with current Luther student hosts or in residence hall lounges.  Students should plan to bring along sleeping bags, pillows, etc. as well as towels and toiletries for their overnight stays.
  • The college is not able to offer housing to teachers and/or chaperones.
  • Commercial, off campus housing is available to directors and students.  In town, we have Country Inn and Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Hotel Winneshiek, Comfort Inn and Suites, and Super 8.  Teachers have also had good luck with local Bed and Breakfasts and with airbnb.