Kinhaven Is Home for Me

The US Army announced this March that Staff Sergeant Nicole Daley of the 82nd Airborne Division Band will represent US Army Music Careers at the International Women’s Brass Conference in May in an all-women brass quintet.

Nikki (trumpet, Senior ’01; staff ’03–’14) told us the Army Band is trying to recruit and promote more women into the ranks – and that they need to. During her eight years of service, with the exception of a short period in Germany, Nikki has been the only woman in the 11-member trumpet section. “So the Army really wants to show that this is an option for women,” she said.

Because Nikki’s first summer in Kinhaven was a last-minute arrangement, so she wasn’t sure what to expect. But she soon realized it was not just about practicing: “It was the togetherness, the creation of a whole person. What a breath of fresh air that was. It made you want to be there, to be better at everything.”

Nikki spent much of her spare time outside of practice and rehearsals at Kinhaven helping in the kitchen. Later, she worked with many of the same cooks as paid kitchen and general staff during 18 Junior, Senior, and Adult Chamber Music sessions.

Nikki didn’t come from an overly competitive musical environment, but she attended another music camp for three years and appreciated Kinhaven’s emphasis on making well-rounded human beings. “My ultimate favorite activity was the folk dancing,” she says. “When it was over, I’d know the exact number of days and hours until the next one.”

Musically, Kinhaven introduced Nikki to music outside of the quintets and choirs that are typical of the brass chamber repertoire. She remembers another girl who played trumpet at Kinhaven during her time (Rachel Simon, Junior ’98, Senior ’99–’03). “So Kinhaven was where, for the first time, I had another female colleague,” she says.

Life in the Army Band is unpredictable, with various rehearsals for band; additional rehearsals for marching and concert bands; and side gigs as a teacher and orchestral and chamber group performer. A highlight of Nikki’s career was playing for President Obama in 2013, when he visited Fort Bragg, North Carolina where Nikki is based. “We played ‘Hail to the Chief,’ of course, and then music for the troops who were waiting for the President’s speech.”

“Kinhaven is home for me,” Nikki says: “I feel at home as soon as I get there each year.”

Every Village Has a Different Swing on Its Dances!

“To dance is part of being a musician,” says viola faculty Kenneth Kwo. “If you can feel a rhythm, you can dance.” As Kinhaven’s resident folk-dance teacher, Ken can tell whether it will be a good year for the orchestra by listening to campers’ feet: “If they listen, keep time, and not get too caught up in things, it’s going to be good.” Read More

Season’s Greetings!

Season’s Greetings from Kinhaven Co-executive Directors Tony Mazzocchi and Deborah Buck. Thanks for making 2018 our best year ever!

Please help sustain our momentum into 2019 by making a gift to the Annual Fund at

Junior Session Packs in the Activities

Photo: The activities calendar is put together by activities staff Marty Jacobs, Asa Maynard, Juvenal Santiago, Devon Nelson, and Samantha Lauring.

Junior Session 2018 began with students arriving, giant bubbles, and first-weekend auditions. Within two short weeks together, we had become friends, folk danced, square danced, walked to Weston, competed in Kin-Olympics, canoed on and swum in Echo Lake, gone on a creek walk, created cabin skits for inspection, enjoyed fabulous meals prepared by our superb kitchen, and played fantastic concerts together. All of the students, from those who’d never before played chamber music to players with more experience, discovered new and beautiful repertoire and the joys of working and performing together. Read More

An Intensely Musical and Humanistic Experience: Five questions for Matt Frohnhoefer

An Intensely Musical and Humanistic Experience: Five questions for Matt Frohnhoefer

Kinhaven Executive Assistant Matt Frohnhoefer is the behind-the-scenes magician who has made Kinhaven’s operations run so beautifully for the past seven years. From organizing Board meetings to managing admissions, auditions, the bookkeeping, fundraising, and logistics, Matt’s calm and reassuring support is relied upon by the executive team, staff, parents, and students alike. We put Matt in the awkward position of talking about himself so that all could get to know him better. Read More

Everybody Gives Day 2018

Everybody Gives Day Is Monday, September 17
Let’s Work Together to Restore the Main House
Help Kinhaven Meet the $10,000 Challenge Grant!
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On Everybody Gives Day Monday, September 17, ourambitious goal is to raise $50,000 to restore the siding and windows of the Main House. Vermont’s weather has taken a toll on this Kinhaven icon, but when the restoration work is completed next summer, the house will look just as you remember it, and it will be ready to survive many more winters.
Thanks to a very generous donor, all gifts will be matched up to a total of $10,000. That means a gift of $50 is worth $100; a gift of $250 is worth $500; and a gift of $2,500 is worth $5,000 toward restoring the Main House!
Whether you give $5 or $500, we invite you and the entire Kinhaven community to take advantage of the $10,000 challenge grant and take part in this important work. Each of us has a role in the future of this magical place, and what better occasion to express it than on Everybody Gives Day!
You don’t have to wait to donate! Any donation received between today and September 17 will be credited toward Everybody Gives Day!

Please watch this short video highlighting the need!

A Powerful and Personal Transformation

Nancy Bidlack inaugurated Kinhaven’s two-week Junior Session in 1990 as an experiment, and staff were feeling their way at first. That was Rob Blaine’s first year as trombone faculty, which was doubly disorienting, because he had just spent a season in the Dominican Republic playing for the National Symphony. “Going from the DR to Kinhaven was like traveling through three worlds at the same time,” he recalls. Read More

Senior Session 2018

That’s almost a wrap on Senior Session 2018! We’ll have a full report next month, but for now we’re sharing this scrapbook of some of the highlights. From an intensive schedule of chamber music, orchestral, and choral performances to picking 200 pounds of strawberries to the regatta and Wally Wampus, our 67th summer was the best ever! Send photos of your Kinhaven summer and we’ll post them here!

Important, Moving, and Meaningful: The 2018 Piano Workshop

Susan Nisbett, Ann Arbor; Barbara Sherman, Chicago; Nancy Breth (coach), Washington DC

(photo: Susan Nisbett, Ann Arbor; Barbara Sherman, Chicago; Nancy Breth (coach), Washington DC)

By Susan Isaacs Nisbett

Like all the children of Lake Wobegon, every session of Kinhaven’s Adult Four-Hand Piano Workshop is above average. Read More

The Path to a Pulitzer Begins in the Art Cabin

Caroline Shaw - photo: Kait Moreno

Caroline Shaw (violin, ’97–’98) spent two life-changing summers playing chamber music at Kinhaven, which is probably why she prefers to perform barefoot whenever possible. In 2013 Caroline was the youngest winner ever of the Pulitzer Prize for composition, awarded for Partita, a four-movement work for vocal octet. Today she performs, composes, and teaches at various venues throughout the country. Read More