What Walden Means to Me…

  • She said it was the best summer of her life.

    – Parent of a Young Musicians Program student

A letter from Kevin – CMR Participant

My experience with Walden started as a 25th anniversary gift from my wife. She felt I needed to broaden my musical horizons and connect with other like-minded composers so her gift was to send me to the 2012 Creative Musicians Retreat. The experience was exhilarating, challenging and uplifting! I have since returned for CMR in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In addition to learning about contemporary music topics, Walden has given me the opportunity to compose for each of these retreats and have my music performed by first-class musicians. More than that, Walden gave me the confidence to pursue a degree in Music Theory and Composition at the State University of New York at New Paltz which I just completed this past May. Aside from CMR, Walden has also provided me opportunities to submit scores for two Composers Forums which they sponsored at New York City locations.

But the Walden experience is much more than learning the nuts and bolts of a particular set of topics. It is much more than just composing pieces and getting them performed. Simply put, Walden is a family affair. Of course many organizations aspire to create a “sense of family” with staff, instructors and students, but the difference is that Walden delivers! One leaves Walden with a sense of belonging to a musical community much bigger and far more important than whatever one might bring to Walden. And the proof of this is so clear when one considers that many of the staff and faculty at each of the CMRs I attended had spent many summers in their youth at Walden’s Young Musician Program.

So you see, Walden is not about some event you attend or some particular set of subjects to be learned. Rather, it is a unique family environment where creativity is encouraged and where everyone (faculty, staff and students) learns from each other. It is an experience you don’t forget and a feeling that only grows each time you attend an event.

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