Seeking to revitalize your passion for music? Consider the Creative Musicians Retreat, newly launched by The Walden School. The premiere offering is slated for June 11-19, 2011, on the Smith College campus in Northampton, MA.

The Creative Musicians Retreat is designed for musicians ages 18 and older seeking to invigorate their musical training, participate in a rich and diverse musical community, and engage in creative music making through musicianship, composition, improvisation, choral singing, computer musicianship, and more. The program is designed to appeal to and benefit a range of participants, across a variety of age groups, skill levels and interests.

“The Creative Musicians Retreat advances The Walden School’s mission to nurture a life-long commitment to creative expression. Our newest program builds on Walden’s nearly 40 years of proven success in creative music education demonstrated by our Young Musicians and Teacher Training programs. The Creative Musicians Retreat has already attracted more than 25 participants from throughout the United States, with a variety of musical backgrounds, levels of training and ranging in age from 20-70,” states Seth Brenzel, Executive Director of The Walden School.

“While there currently exist festivals and programs for professional composers, choral singers and amateur adult musicians, the Creative Musicians Retreat combines the best aspects of these opportunities with Walden’s unique, award-winning curricular approaches to teaching the language of music, all with the goal of developing each participant’s creative expression,” Brenzel explains.

Participants will experience a variety of signature Walden musicianship materials, including acoustics, drills with intervals and triads, cycles, resolving structures, rhythms, solfège using Curwen hand signs and harmonic analysis. They will also take part in daily choral rehearsals led by acclaimed choral pedagogue Leo Wanenchak.

Faculty are drawn from Walden’s renowned Young Musicians Program and Teacher Training Institute, and offer an accomplished, diverse mix of improvisers, composers, performers and music scholars. They include Marshall BessièresDr. Caroline MallonéeDr. Loretta NotareschiSam Pluta and Leo Wanenchak. Program administration includes Dr. Mallonée, Program Director, and Marguerite Ladd, Director of Operations.

Participants will have the opportunity to write for and work with members of the Ensemble-in-Residence, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Everyone will participate in two Composers Forums, where they will hear new compositions and discuss them with the performers, composers, visiting artists, faculty and Russell Pinkston, the workshop’s Composer-in-Residence.

“Walden is a truly unique musical experience for students and teachers alike, fostering an explosively creative dialogue between composers and performers, and challenging all of us to become inventors together,” explains Claire Chase, flutist, and co-founder and executive director of the International Contemporary Ensemble.

Chase adds, “We begin with a blank page at the start of the week, and six days later we have given dozens of groundbreaking world premieres. ICE is incredibly excited to bring these new scores and new ideas to life over the course of the week in collaboration with an inspiring and singular community of artists.”

The Creative Musicians Retreat is an exciting new offering for The Walden School and an ideal complement to its summer music programs. For almost 40 years, The Walden School has offered a curriculum that emphasizes creativity through music improvisation and composition, developed to help students of all ages find, develop and claim their creative voices. Its core programs — the Young Musicians Program for ages 9-18, the Teacher Training Institute for adult music educators — nurture musicianship through the act of composing and creating music. The more than 100 accomplished world premieres produced annually by its Young Musicians Program students are but one testament to the School’s success.

Read more about the Creative Musicians Retreat, and apply:

Other recent news from The Walden School:

  • On May 17, The Walden School received a $35,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant in support of its Young Musicians Program.
  • On May 5, The Walden School was named one of 50 finalists for the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award (NYHYP). It is now in contention for a $10,000 one-time grant and an invitation to attend the White House awards ceremony hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.
  • On May 2, The Walden School received the 2011 New Music Educator Award from the American Music Center in honor of its creative philosophy and curriculum, and its contribution toward motivating and mentoring decades of successful students.

The Walden School, founded in 1972, is an acclaimed summer music school and festival offering programs that emphasize creative application, specifically through music improvisation and composition. In residence since 1983 on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, the School provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making, with a student/faculty ration of 4 to 1. The Walden School is the successor organization to the Junior Conservatory Camp. The School’s core programs include the Young Musicians Program for musicians ages 9 to 18, the Teacher Training Institute for adult music educators and the Creative Musicians Retreat, its newest program offering for adult musicians. The School’s Concert Series showcases free public performances by renowned artists and ensembles that interact closely with students. To learn more, visit

Contact: Seth Brenzel
Executive Director, The Walden School
Telephone: (415) 648-4710 (office)