The 26th Annual Gustavus Honor Band Festival: November 1–2, 2015

Goal of Gustavus Honor Band 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.

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 100 students are selected to form the Gustavus Honor Band. 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.


The repertoire for the 26th Annual Gustavus Honor Band Festival will feature works by David Maslanka, Percy Aldridge Grainger, Frank Ticheli, and John Philip Sousa. The ensemble will be led by James Patrick Miller, conductor of the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, and faculty conductors Karrin Meffert-Nelson and Heidi Johanna Miller.

The Jazz Honor Band will be performing works not only from the great big bands of Count Basie, Thad Jones, and Benny Carter, but also new arrangements from composers such as Fred Sturm, David Von Kampen, and Paul McKee.

Preparing for Gustavus Honor Band

Musical literature and the names of the selected participants will be sent to directors on or before October 11, 2015. This provides selected students about three 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 Gustavus Honor Band members 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 Gustavus Honor Band students will stay overnight (Sunday, November 1) on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus with Gustavus student hosts. Hosts escort Gustavus Honor Band members to dorm rooms, then to dinner (Gustavus Honor Band 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. 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.


The student participation fee for the Gustavus Honor Band Festival is $25.00 per student. There is no fee for overnight accommodations on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus during the event. The Gustavus Honor Band and Gustavus Wind Orchestra concert on Monday, November 3, 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.