Ad Astra Music Festival

Celebrating five years of classical music in Russell, Kansas


2019 Young artist application now available

We’re now accepting applicants for the 2019 Young Artist program! Applications must be submitted by March 1, 2019. Read more here.

2018 season comes to a close

Ad Astra's final weekend of 2018 is a wrap! Bach's Matthew Passion and Compline by Candlelight at the basilica in Victoria capped off a successful festival. Check out photos from the events on our Facebook, and revisit the season's calendar.

thanks to russell community

This music festival would not function without the gracious support of Russellites. From hosting musicians for weeks at a time, to feeding us countless meals, to making airport runs to Kansas City and Wichita, to financially supporting the music we make, the backing of this community makes bringing world-class music to central Kansas possible. Support next year's festival by making a donation today.

read ouR article in the salina journal

The Salina Journal has published an article celebrating the festival's five-year anniversary! Read it at their website

2018 Poster  by David Friday

2018 Poster by David Friday

ad astra 2018 by the numbers

  • 1 month

  • 6 venues

  • 10 concerts

  • 31 composers

  • 94 musicians

  • 1,197 supertitle slides

  • 1,000+ audience members


Celebrating five years of classical music in russell, Kansas

For three weekends each July, the Ad Astra Music Festival, founded in 2014, through the Russell Arts Council colors central Kansas with classical music by integrating emerging young artists, community members, and professional musicians. Audiences have come to expect fresh, new music alongside vibrant performances of history's richest musical works of art.

Performances at recent festivals featured jazz, choral, chamber, and orchestral music—including Handel's Jephtha, Saul, and Samson, Bach's Matthew Passion and various cantatas, commissions from 2018 Pulitzer Prize Finalist Michael Gilbertson, Moira Smiley, Carissimi oratorios, Schumann song cycles, masses by Byrd, Lassus, and Josquin, classic works by Bernstein, Britten, Duruflé, Dvorak, Grant Still, Haydn, and Zelenka, and new compositions from Matthew Aucoin, George Crumb, Adolphus Hailstork, Ellen Mandel, Libby Larsen, Mary Kouyoumdjian, James MacMillan, Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw, and Kate Soper.