On the way up the mountain, the chatter ranges from cars to pop music to AP college courses. Two seventeen year-old boys chronicle the highlights of the previous year’s high school soccer championship while a couple of girls notice a passing pair of squawking ravens. At the summit, the group sprawls across the rocks, munching on their lunches and soaking up the sun. Before long, the singing begins. A glorious chorus of 50 young voices fills the mountain air, beckoning other hikers to gather round and listen.
To complement the challenging musical curriculum and to help build a cohesive community, Walden strives to engage students in extra-musical activities throughout the session. Mountain hikes, swim trips, shopping excursions, recreational sports, dances, and open mic nights encourage students, faculty, and staff to relax and enjoy the company of one another. Community-building also occurs in the dorms, where faculty and staff live among the students, and at mealtimes, when the entire community gathers together in the dining hall for exceptionally prepared food.