Frequently Asked Questions

What are the fees associated with the festival?

The fees for the 2020 festival will be released when registration opens.

How are students chosen for the Chamber Orchestra or the Festival String Orchestra?

Students will be placed in one of the two ensembles based on the nomination form submitted by their director. Fair and accurate orchestra assignments will depend on complete information from individual high school directors. The Chamber Orchestra is the smaller, more select ensemble, and the Festival String Orchestra is the larger ensemble.

Music for both groups will be sent ahead of the festival for preparation.  Members of the Festival String Orchestra will be given specific chair assignments, but chair placements for the Chamber Orchestra will be determined on festival weekend by a live performance audition on the festival music. The expectation for both groups is that students are very familiar with their festival music before they arrive. 

What is the criteria for a student to be nominated for the chamber orchestra?

Students who play in the Dorian Chamber Orchestra should demonstrate many of these skills and characteristics:

  • a beautiful, expressive tone
  • focused, reliable intonation
  • expressive use of vibrato
  • good bow control
  • ability to shift into upper positions
  • solid technical foundation
  • strong sense of pulse and rhythm


Here are the recent repertoire selections of the chamber orchestra to give you an idea of the playing level required of this ensemble:

2019 
Suite for Strings from Bolberg's Time, Op. 40 - Edvard Grieg
Concerto in D minor, L'Estro armonico, Op. 3, No. 11 - Antonio Vivaldi
Jambo - Traditional African Folk, arr. Jeremy Cohen

2018
Appalachia Waltz - Mark O'Connor
Concerto Grosso I. Andante feroce - Maria Newman
Hoe Down from Rodeo - Aaron Copland
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Michael Giacchino arr. O'Loughlin

2017
Traveling - Michael Kimber
Sospiri - Edward Elgar
The Evil Eye and the Hideous Heart - Alan Lee Silva
St. Paul's Suite: Jig - Gustav Holst

What is the optional solo/mini-lesson?

  • Student play one piece for a Luther string faculty member in a 20-minute private session.
  • Luther student accompanist can be hired ($15.00 fee) if requested ahead of time and if music is provided well in advance. Lessons are not required to be accompanied.
  • One or two soloists will be chosen to perform as part of the Grand Concert on Monday night. (Solos must be memorized to be considered).
  • Solo session cost is only $10.00 per student.
  • Session can also be used as an official Luther Music Scholarship audition by seniors who are prospective Luther students.

Are tickets required for the Festival Grand Concert?

No tickets are required for the Festival Grand Concert on Monday, February 10. The concert is free and open to the public.

Is the Festival Grand Concert live-streamed?

The festival grand concert is NOT live-streamed.

What is concert attire?

  • Concert attire is all black or black bottoms with white tops.

    Option A: A collared shirt with nice dress pants. Ties are encouraged.

    Option B: A nice blouse with dress pants/skirt or a dress.  

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.