The heart of the Kinhaven program is chamber music. Each student is assigned to a chamber group with a coach and a musical work appropriate to the group’s ability. After studying and performing the composition, you will be assigned to other ensembles with new coaches and new pieces.
You will have at least one private lesson a week on your major instrument. Your teacher may want to meet with you more often to review your progress. This close personal support helps you prepare for performances and adopt productive practice habits. Many teachers host a studio/performance class so that students have the chance to perform solo works.
The orchestra plays classical symphonic repertoire. The nightly rehearsals culminate in the performance of a movement or two or an overture every Sunday afternoon. In the past few years the orchestra has played:
Brahms, First and Second Symphonies
Shostakovich, Fifth and Tenth Symphonies
Sibelius, Second Symphony
Tschaikovsky, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies
Mozart, Jupiter Symphony
Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms
Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique
Mahler, First Symphony
Respighi, Pines of Rome
Hindemith, Symphonic Metamorphosis
Liszt, Les Préludes
Debussy, La Mer
Bartok, Dance Suite
Bernstein, West Side Story
Strauss, Till Eulenspiegel
We form large ensembles to explore the literature for string orchestra, woodwind ensemble, brass and combined ensembles. Our percussion program brings together percussion majors, piano majors, and others seeking to broaden their experience. We focus on learning works for percussion ensemble, rhythm, and ear training.
At Kinhaven, there is no separation between composers and performers. All students who wish to study composition also participate in chamber music, symphony orchestra, string orchestra and/or large ensembles on a primary instrument, and they also take private instrumental instruction with a studio teacher. Individual and small group lessons in composition are available to any student who is interested. Advanced students can opt to take private composition instruction and usually meet once or twice weekly. For beginners, no previous experience composing music or theory is necessary. Each week there is a composition seminar related to issues of composition and new music, which is open to all music students and covers such topics as instrumentation and orchestration, preparation of score and parts, techniques in analysis, notation, score study, repertoire, etc. Every summer there is a composers’ concert dedicated to the performance of student composers’ chamber works. Works on this concert can be composed before coming to Kinhaven or during a student’s time at Kinhaven. Here is a list of a few things students interested in composition should consider bringing to Kinhaven: (1) manuscript paper (2) pencils, erasers and a ruler (3) a Folder (or portfolio case) to store your sketches and compositions (4) any previously composed pieces you might want to have performed or read at Kinhaven (bring 2 copies of the score, and copies of the parts) – these should be printed out using a computer at home before you come to Kinhaven.
Kinhaven is fortunate to have Nicolas Scherzinger, Chair of the Composition and Theory Departments at the Setnor School of Music, Syracuse University. He holds a DMA in composition from the Eastman School of Music. Private lessons,seminars and performances are open to serious student composers.
Three times a week, all Kinhaven students gather as a chorus. This chorus includes singers with a wide range of technical ability. The first half of the summer is devoted to learning madrigals, chorales and rounds. In the second half, a large work, usually a Bach cantata, is prepared for the final concert. It is through this communal singing that we come closest to the founders’ vision of music-making.
If you are a serious singer who enjoys more singing, you can join the Chamber Choir and study madrigals, chamber cantatas and other works for small choir.
Every piece you study and practice culminates in performance. Families, friends and the public are invited to all of our concerts, free of charge.
Student Concerts: Fridays at 4:00 PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM.
Faculty Concerts: Saturdays at 8:00 PM.
8:30 Practice &, Lessons
9:30 Chamber Orchestra, Large Ensembles and Chorus
10:30 Chamber Music
11:30 Practice, Lessons, and Chamber Choir
2:00 Recreational Activities
10:30 Bed Time
The beautiful swimming pond, volleyball court, soccer field, basketball court, tennis court, and ping pong tables are available to all. Hikes, walks to the brook or into town are easily organized, and our activities staff plans outings, games, track meets, scavenger hunts, the annual Regatta, folk dancing, and strawberry picking!
The art house, newly renovated in 2008, has a fully-equipped pottery studio with a brand-new kiln and potters’ wheels. Beginners and experienced ceramists alike enjoy stopping by to try their hands at throwing a pot. Sculpture, drawing, painting, carving, silk- screening, and even tie-dying can fill your afternoons.
Quiet time is precious too. The afternoon can be yours to read, practice, play chess or cards, compose, or indulge in a favorite Kinhaven pastime, hill-sitting.