Summer Chamber Music Workshop
Life at Apple Hill
An Unusually Diverse Group
Diversity is the keynote at Apple Hill. Since groups are formed according to ability and not age, a chamber group may bring together professional and conservatory musicians, college students, adult amateurs, high school students, physicians, computer scientists, and schoolteachers. Participants come from all corners of the United States and such distant points as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Japan, Korea, Northern and Republic of Ireland, England, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria through the Playing for Peace™ program. Some participants are just beginning to play chamber music; others are pursuing active professional careers.
Guidance and Supervision
During each 10-day session, nine faculty members coach a total of twenty-six participant ensembles. Overseeing camp operations are one Music Director, three Camp Directors, and nine Counselor Workers, whose duties include planning and facilitating activities, providing rehearsal assistance, and fostering community. Each Counselor Worker is assigned to a cabin and supervises underage participants therein. In addition, Apple Hill’s administrative offices are located on site.
Chamber groups share their music in a variety of ways. Ensembles often perform for the community after lunch or dinner; even during a meal, sounds may float down from the balcony where a group is playing unseen. Evening may find participants enjoying a particularly intense rehearsal at the barn or attending an instrumental master class. Lectures on topics such as chamber music skills and performance anxiety provide additional opportunities for learning. A more formal, nighttime setting is also an option for special performance projects.
Recreation and relaxation are essential balancing elements to the Apple Hill experience. Daily activities include soccer games at nearby Otter Brook, swimming, ping-pong, basketball, softball, dancing, and theatrical activities. Participants and faculty hike nearby mountain trails, jog or walk the famous 4.2 mile cross-country "Loop," and contra dance in Nelson at the longest continuously held contra dance in the country. In this intergenerational environment which combines structure with choice, extra supervision for younger participants is provided as needed.
In a Beautiful Country Setting
Apple Hill is located on a rural, 100-acre former farm in the Monadnock region of Southern New Hampshire. The heart of Apple Hill is the Concert Barn—home of countless rehearsals, performances, public concerts, participant concerts, and group activities. Reading and recreation lounges are additional gathering places. On the slopes of the property are cabins for one to six persons. These are equipped with electric lights, foam mattresses, and screened windows.
Buffet-style meals are delicious and plentiful, and include vegetarian entrées as part of our emphasis on healthy food.
There are rooms for group and individual practice in the Rehearsal Barn. Practice cabins are scattered in the woods for greater privacy.
Adult participants who do not want to reside in cabins can now stay in a private home within a ten-minute drive of Apple Hill. Nearby homeowners will provide a comfortable bedroom and the use of a bathroom. Cost of accommodation is an additional $300 for the entire ten-day session.
Sample Daily Schedule
|5-6:30||Soccer and swimming at nearby Otter Brook Park.|
|7:15||Informal participant performances|
Each participant will be assigned two chamber groups, both of which will be coached one period each day. The two free periods are for "crew duties" -- simple chores to help the camp run smoothly -- and practicing or relaxing.
Sample Evening Activities
- Hiking Pitcher Mountain to watch the sunset. Ice cream in Keene afterward.* This is a short hike that is accessible for nearly everyone.
- Rehearsal techniques seminar.
- Contradancing in Nelson, NH.* Take part in the longest-running contradance in the country and learn about a local dance form.
- Faculty concert. Concert program will be listed online in the spring.
- Masterclasses. Faculty-run classes for each instrument. Bring solo repertoire or a challenging passage from your assignment to play, or just listen.
- Skultures Night. Share music, dance, etc from your culture, or create a fun skit.