An intimate crowd gathered at the historic Grand Fayette Hotel this past winter for a book signing to celebrate the release of the new tome Festival Hill at 50, The History of Round Top Festival Institute, authored by Carl Cunningham. 

Festival Hill’s Karen Dormois and Taylor Simmons assist Mary Ann Heimsath with her book purchase.

Cunningham, a much respected Houston performing arts critic and writer, has dedicated the past two years to writing the rich history of Festival Hill from its humble beginnings to the international acclaim it enjoys today. Designed and published by Herring Design in Houston, Cunningham’s new book is chock-full of historical photographs and drawings detailing Festival Hill’s 50-year journey from casual outdoor concerts to spectacular performances in the stunning concert hall that has been called “a jewel in Texas.” The book also celebrates the people that have created this amazing place, and those that have passed through its doors as students and gone on to become stars around the world.

Stephen Starr, design director at Herring, led the team that turned the aesthetic of the Institute into a stunning book. The cover design of the Festival’s iconic lyre was drawn by Houston artist Andy Deerwater.

Dream team: Herring’s Design Director Stephen Starr with author Carl Cunningham and Festival Hill Founder James Dick.

You can order a copy of Festival Hill at 50, The History of Round Top Festival Institute here, or visit to find an order form. Books are available now and can be shipped direct, or picked up at Round Top Festival Institute. For more information email [email protected]