Gustavus Honor Band XXV: November 3–4, 2013

Primary Goal of Gustavus Honor Band

There is one distinct priority for the Gustavus Honor Band: to offer an outstanding musical experience for each member of the Gustavus Honor Band. In order to accomplish this goal, all participants are asked to prepare effectively, work intensively, and expect the best of themselves as outstanding musicians.

Event Philosophy

The Gustavus Honor Band desires to host outstanding musicians who seek a fine musical experience, regardless of where they are planning to attend college. While we are hopeful that Gustavus Honor Band students will consider Gustavus as a college home, the primary reason for the event is more about the pursuit of musical excellence, which invariably leads to a memorable and artistic experience. This perspective allows us to play challenging literature and lifts the musical spirits of all.

How Students Are Selected

Students are nominated by their high school music director. Directors may each nominate up to eight students who are excellent musicians, supported by comments regarding each student's musical abilities and accomplishments. Based on these comments and instrumentation needs, approximately 95 students are selected to form the Gustavus Honor Band. Clearly, it is my intent to have students from each nominating school represented in the Gustavus Honor Band. However, there are rare occasions when this cannot be guaranteed. Because of the selective nature of Gustavus Honor Band, only students who have no date/schedule conflicts and who are committed to attending should be nominated.

Musical Selections

Past Gustavus Honor Bands have performed such excellent works as “Der Traum des Oenghus” (Rolf Rudin), “Canzona” (Peter Mennin), "First Suite in E♭" (Gustav Holst,) plus many other traditional pieces and excellent new compositions for wind band.

Preparing for Gustavus Honor Band

Musical literature and the names of the selected participants will be sent to directors October 11, 2013. This will give the selected students about three weeks to prepare their music. For Gustavus Honor Band to be a valuable and lasting experience, each musician must have her/his individual parts performance-ready when they arrive at Gustavus Adolphus College for Honor Band. Therefore, it is expected and essential that each director will assist Gustavus Honor Band members in the preparation of their parts. Thank you in advance for these added efforts, which contribute so much toward making this event an excellent musical experience for the students.


Except for unusual circumstances, it is expected that Gustavus Honor Band students will stay overnight (Sunday, November 3) on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus with Gustavus student hosts. Hosts escort Gustavus Honor Band members to dorm rooms, then to supper (Gustavus Honor Band students pay for their own suppers 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. 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.


There is no fee to apply to or participate in Gustavus Honor Band, nor is there any charge to participants for overnight accommodations on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus during the event. The Gustavus Honor Band and Gustavus Wind Orchestra concert on Monday, November 4, is free of charge. The only expense for participants is the cost of supper on Sunday, and breakfast and supper on Monday.