Music in May

A Message from Dr. Michael Burch-Pesses | 2020 Music in May

I'm very sad to post the news that Pacific University's music festival, Music in May, has been cancelled for 2020 due to health concerns. (There's a lot of that going around!) Although I wish the festival could have gone forward, this is the right decision. This is the first cancellation in more than 70 years, but it just makes us more determined to make next year's festival that much better. We want everyone to be safe and well, and wish everyone abundant health. Please take care of yourselves.​

Music in May is one of the longest running high school music festivals in the United States.

Music in May was founded in 1948 at Pacific University by Richard A. Greenfield to encourage the development of string music in the public schools of the Pacific Northwest. Band and choir were added at the suggestion of high school music directors, who saw in the festival a means of recognizing students whose service to their particular schools was especially noteworthy.

Each year the number of nominees for places at Music in May far exceeds the number who can be accepted. Housing limitations and the natural requirements of each ensemble result in over 500 participants each year, approximately 300 in the choir, 170 in the band and 80 in the orchestra.

Participants' achievements in three days, under distinguished guest conductors culminating in the Saturday afternoon concert, represent not only their own efforts, but those of approximately 170 high school directors who have developed their students’ talents and recommended them for Music in May.

Music in May 2020

May 21-23, 2020
Pacific University | Forest Grove, OR

Final Concert
May 23, 2020 at 3 p.m. in the Stoller Center

Music in May Poster
Program Brochure
Application Form 2020
Medical Form


Contact Us

Music in May | 503-352-1414

2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116