Celebrating 63 Years of Inspired Music Making!

June 22 – July 27, 2024


EMF invites up to 20 qualified pianists ages 14+ to experience the enriching five-week intensive piano program. The comprehensive experience includes private lessons, master classes, chamber music studies and a variety of courses covering technique and the instrument’s historical context. Throughout this immersive program, young artists collaborate closely with nationally recognized educators and performers in the piano realm.

Audition Requirements


Piano applicants must prepare the following:

  • One technical movement of your choice*
  • One slow movement of your choice* 
  • One work of your choice
  • The three works must be by different composers

*Etudes are recommended but not required.


Write a short biography (250 words or less) about yourself. This is not a resumé.

What To Expect

Private Lessons

EMF’s Piano Program offers an immersive and intensive learning experience. Young artists work closely with resident faculty and visiting artists, enhancing existing repertoire and exploring new musical works while improving technical proficiency and musicianship. Participants benefit from easy access to pianos for daily practice and collaborative rehearsals, facilitating their musical growth.

Master Classes & Performance Classes

Each summer, pianists participate in master classes led by faculty and featured artists. They also participate in weekly performance classes offering a supportive atmosphere for the development of performance skills. 



Chamber Music & Performance Opportunities

Pianists in the program have a diverse array of musical opportunities, from chamber music groups to piano ensemble study and accompanying fellow instrumentalists in sonata literature. Assignments are carefully curated by our esteemed piano faculty. Chamber ensembles meet for four weekly rehearsals, with two sessions guided by EMF faculty artists. Their artistry shines in the Young Artists Chamber Music Recitals, as well as the young artists weekly Piano Recital Series, and they often perform at community outreach concerts, enriching the wider community with their music.

Concerto Competition

EMF’s highly anticipated annual Concerto Competition invites all young artists to participate. Contestants must perform a solo piece with orchestral accompaniment, originally composed for their instrument with a maximum duration of 18 minutes. The winners earn the privilege of performing on the festival’s Dana Auditorium stage the final Thursday of the season.

Memorization of the solo repertoire is required for the final round and the performance.

 See more information & past winners

Professional Development Seminars

EMF’s Professional Development Series is an opportunity for participants to learn from community leaders, faculty, and their peers about a variety of topics related to performance, health and well-being, career management and the business aspects of being a professional musician. The series consists of weekly seminars focusing on different subjects that will enhance the knowledge and skills of young artists and set them up for a successful career. The informal discussions and exchange of ideas about the important issues of the profession provides a supportive learning environment. This is an optional, but highly encouraged, opportunity provided by EMF.

2023 topics included:

Physical Health and Injury Prevention, Exploring Career Paths, Financial Strategies for Musicians, Transferable Skills for the Artist, and The Art of Representing Yourself.

How To Apply

The deadline for receipt of completed applications and the audition recording is February 20, 2024 .


2024 Tuition, Room & Board, and Fees

Eastern Music Festival
$ 6,475
Five-Week Program
  • Tuition - $2,995
  • Room & Board - $3,080
  • Fees (Health, Activity, Cleaning, ID Card, Key, & Security) - $400

Attendance is required for the full five-week program (June 22 – July 27, 2024).

Decisions regarding admission and financial assistance will be made starting in March, and each applicant will be notified of acceptance by email.

Within ten days of acceptance, all students are required to pay a non-refundable $1,000 reservation deposit (applicable to tuition), plus complete all other information requested in the acceptance and reservation packet. Scholarship awards are forfeited if appropriate forms and reservation fees are not returned within ten days of acceptance.

All payments may be made by personal check, money order, MasterCard, VISA, Discover or American Express.

Participants may be billed for documented damage/loss of Eastern Music Festival or Guilford College property. This includes lost music, ID cards, keys or destruction of property.

Tuition includes five one-hour private lessons.

The balance of all tuition and fees is due and payable by May 13, 2024.

There are no refunds after this date (except in the case of medical necessity), and any refunds prior to it are calculated minus the nonrefundable application fee and reservation deposit.

No deductions or refunds will be made for late arrival, early departure, or disciplinary separation from the Festival.


EMF offers annual and need-based scholarships to young musicians, with over $374,000 in assistance granted in 2023. While all students are encouraged to apply, EMF recommends seeking local funding sources first. Suggested sources of summer study scholarships include local youth orchestras and community music programs, area foundations which support the arts, and civic organizations which fund educational and student leadership programs.

Regardless of financial support, students are required to pay the $400 fee ($160 for Euphonium Tuba Institute and Classical Guitar Summit). 

PLEASE NOTE: Scholarship consideration is given only after the application and audition process is completed by the applicant. Incomplete Financial Aid applications cannot be processed.

Merit scholarships are granted based on the applicant’s audition performance and their displayed artistic aptitude in comparison to all applicants. These scholarships are a recognition of the applicant’s exceptional talent and abilities.

Work-study scholarships are awarded according to financial need and are instrumental in bridging the financial gap between the cost of EMF and the applicant’s available resources. Typically, work-study scholarships necessitate 3 to 10 hours of weekly work and encompass roles in stage management, music library, ushering, and office tasks. Student preferences are considered when making these assignments, and work-study awards are applied towards tuition.

No payments are made directly to the student.

Campus Life

Guilford College

Guilford College, with its six-decade history as the EMF summer home, boasts a serene tree-lined historic campus in Greensboro, North Carolina. The location, strategically positioned between Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Washington, DC, makes it an ideal setting for EMF, offering access to various attractions.

Performance Venues

Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium, with renowned acoustics, serves as EMF’s main concert venue. Student Chamber Recitals and many master classes are held in Hege Library’s Carnegie Room. EMF also presents concerts in various venues across North Carolina’s Triad region and beyond.

Dana before 2023 concert - by Lynn Donovan

Housing & Activities

EMF attendees stay in Guilford College residence halls, grouped by gender and age. Faculty and guest artists reside in nearby campus apartments. All facilities are air-conditioned with meals located in the state-of-the-art college dining hall. Summer staff includes a nurse, dean of students, and counselors, with festival office on campus. Nearby, find restaurants, stores, pharmacies, and banks within a quarter mile.

College facilities include a weight room and courts for racquetball, tennis, basketball, and volleyball. A variety of recreational and social events are scheduled regularly, both on and off campus. On-site, students can enjoy activities like Ultimate Frisbee, tennis, video games, foosball, pool, or talent shows.

2023 EMF students - By Ben Freedman

“The Festival’s gorgeous surroundings and overall environment provide the perfect setting for young artists to develop and learn.”

Contact Admissions

Melissa M. Edwards, DMA
Director of Education

Phone: 336-333-7450, x227
Fax: 336-333-7454


The content regarding course offerings, faculty, visiting artists, fees, and other details may change without prior notice. Eastern Music Festival is dedicated to promoting diversity within its student community and does not engage in discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, or physical ability in the administration of its educational policies and programs.