Frequently Asked Questions

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:

2020
Five Pieces for String Orchestra, movements 1 and 2 - Paul Hindemith

Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, movement 1 - Johann Sebastian Bach
Brook Green Suite - Gustav Holst
Alleluia and Fugue for String Orchestra - Alan Hovhaness

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

What is the optional solo/mini-lesson?

  • Students 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.
  • Solo lesson cost is only $10 per student.
  • Solo lesson can also be used as an official Luther Music Scholarship audition by seniors.

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.
  • Off campus housing options in local hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, and air bnbs are available to directors and students. In town, we have Comfort Inn and Suites, Country Inn and Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Hotel Winneshiek, and Super 8. Teachers have also had good luck with local Bed and Breakfasts and with airbnb.                   

What are the fees associated with the festival?

The fees for the 2022 festival will be available in the fall.

Are tickets required for the Festival Grand Concert?

No tickets are required for the Festival Grand Concert on Monday, February 7. 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.