The 30th Annual Björling Music Festival

Goal of Björling Music Festival

The goal of this festival is provide student musicians with an outstanding music performance experience, sharing in a concert of the highest quality art music in Gustavus’ magnificent Christ Chapel. The festival will also provide students and teachers with workshops and clinics, as well as the opportunity to observe rehearsals and a performance of the renowned Gustavus Wind Orchestra and Gustavus Choir.

How Students Are Selected

Students are nominated by their high school music director, teacher, or private instructor. Based on the nomination form, supporting comments, and instrumentation needs, approximately 200 students are selected to form the Gustavus Honor Band, Honor Orchestra and Honor Choir.

Because of the selective nature of the festival, only students who have no date/schedule conflicts and who are committed to attending should be nominated.


We perform both traditional and contemporary works for concert band, orchestra, and concert choir. Repertoire is challenging, artistic, and is geared to provide students with both a musical stretch and great academic learning. The Festival Bands will be led by James Patrick Miller and Heidi Johanna Miller. The Festival Choir will be led by Brandon Dean. The Festival Orchestra will be led by Justin Knoepfel.

Preparing for Gustavus Honor Band

Musical literature and the names of the selected participants will be sent to directors on or before October 15. This provides selected students about two weeks to prepare their music. Each student musician is expected to fully prepare their parts prior to their arrival on campus at Gustavus. Thus it is our sincere desire that directors and teachers will assist students in the preparation of their parts. Thank you in advance for these added efforts, which contribute so much toward creating the highest level musical experience for the students.


Except for unusual circumstances, it is expected that Björling Music Festival students will stay overnight on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus with Gustavus student hosts. Hosts escort Björling Music Festival members to dorm rooms, then to dinner (high school students pay for their own dinners and breakfast). Rest assured that all high school students will be hosted in rooms with trusted Gustavus musicians. No high school students will stay overnight alone and all of our host students are Title IX trained. High school directors of selected student musicians will be housed in the Gustavus Guest House on a first-reserved, first-served basis. Please read more about this under Information for Students and Parents.It is important to review our basic housing information. Please also see our Honor Band Overnight Instructions.


The student participation fee for the Björling Music Festival is $35.00 per student. There is no fee for overnight accommodations on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus during the event. The Finale Concert on Monday night at 7:00PM is free of charge. The only additional expense for participants is the cost of dinner on Sunday and breakfast and dinner on Monday. Students will be encouraged to pay for dinner tickets for both Sunday and Monday for the Gustavus Cafeteria with their online registration and payment.