Ad Astra Music Festival

Est. 2014 in Russell, Kansas

Classical music in Russell, Kansas, every July

ad astra 2019 by the numbers

  • 1 month

  • 6 venues

  • 9 concerts

  • 27 composers/arrangers

    • including 15 women composers

    • and including 15 living composers

  • 66 artists in residence

  • 164 contributing individuals and organizations

  • 758 attendees

  • 1036 supertitle slides


new festival staff announecd

We are so excited to announce the addition of two Russell natives to our festival staff! Brittany Fritsch is Ad Astra's new Executive Director and will oversee all operations of the festival year-round. Katy Oste Hertel is our new Development Director and will spearhead fundraising efforts. Read more about them here.

2019 season comes to a close

Ad Astra's final weekend of 2019 is a wrap! From producing an opera outside to hosting our first-ever vocal jazz ensemble to staging another Handel oratorio, this season’s concerts were as vibrant and thought-provoking as ever. Check out photos from the events on our Facebook, and revisit the season's calendar.

trudy furney opera under way

Sisters Anna Pidgorna and Maria Reva are creating an opera about legendary Russell High School art teacher Trudy Furney, to be premiered at Prariesta 2021. Contribute to this huge undertaking by making a tax-deductible donation.


Est. 2014 in Russell, Kansas

Each July, the Ad Astra Music Festival, founded by Russell native Alex Underwood, 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. From opera and chamber music performances the Deines Cultural Center, to sunset services at the picturesque Basilica of St. Fidelis, to live jazz at Granny Mae’s barn, each season offers concerts for every Kansan to enjoy. Ad Astra prides itself on programming new music from a diverse set of composers, including commissions from 2018 Pulitzer Prize Finalist Michael Gilbertson and Moira Smiley, Matthew Aucoin, Mary Kouyoumdjian, and Kate Soper. We’re dedicated to making this festival of and for the people of Russell as we annually collaborate with local visual artists, poets, and musicians to design meaningful creative experiences.