Celebrating 63 Years of Inspired Music Making!

June 22 – July 27, 2024

Double Bass

The EMF Young Artists Orchestra Program engages double bass students, showcasing two highly talented orchestras with participants from around the world. Rehearsing vigorously six times weekly, they prepare full-length ticketed concert programs throughout the summer. These professional performances include demanding repertoire, to challenge each young artist’s boundaries. An added unique element is the weekly seat rotation, enabling young artists to explore various orchestral roles, fostering unparalleled artistic growth.

2023 EMF bass student - by Owens Daniels

String Leadership Program

The String Leadership Program  offers a dynamic learning opportunity for string musicians ages 18-23 aspiring to excel as section leaders or concertmasters. This competitive program includes five weekly sessions covering career development, leadership, and practical instrumental and musical skills. Participants engage in discussions with peers and faculty alongside guest speakers under the guidance of EMF faculty.

This program is limited to 16 orchestra program participants (6 violin, 4 viola, 4 cello, and 2 double bass). Each receives generous scholarship support reflecting their artistry, musicianship, and leadership in their respective communities. Participation does not guarantee a leadership position in a young artists orchestra.

To be considered, check the box in the EMF Summer Study application form and submit the additional materials for your instrument. 

2024 Young Artist Orchestra Repertoire Highlights

  • BARTÓK • Concerto for Orchestra
  • BRUCKNER • Symphony No. 4 “Romantic”
  • DVOŘÁK • Symphony No. 9
  • GABRIELA FRANK • Concertino Cusqueño
  • MAHLER • Symphony No. 6 “Tragic”
  • PONCE • Chapultepec
  • PROKOFIEV • Scythian Suite
  • RAVEL • Rapsodie espagnole
  • REVUELTAS • Sensemayá
  • SIBELIUS • Symphony No. 1
  • R. STRAUSS • Til Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche
  • STRAVINSKY• Divertimento, “The Fairy’s Kiss” Suite
  • TCHAIKOVSKY• The Nutcracker


Audition Requirements


  • One technical solo/movement

  • One lyrical solo/movement

Choose 2 of the following excerpts, or 2 standard orchestral excerpts of your choice.

Mozart: Symphony No. 40

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5

Wagner: Die Meistersinger

Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9


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

2023 EMF bass studio - by Ben Freedman

To apply for the String Leadership Program


Follow the application requirements above AND include the additional excerpt below:

Britten: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Variation H



  1. Fill out the regular EMF Summer Study Application on Acceptd
  2. Letter of Recommendation from either a Private Teacher or an Orchestra Director
  3. Letter of Personal Interest outlining why you would be a good choice for the String Leadership Program
  4. Remember to include the short biography about yourself!

What To Expect

Private Study

As part of the core curriculum, young artists receive one hour of individual instruction each week from a faculty member. Assignments are made after arrival at EMF.

Chamber Music

All young artists in the orchestral program take part in chamber music. Faculty thoughtfully create ensembles, fostering harmony of talent and instruments. These groups rehearse four times weekly, with two sessions guided by dedicated faculty mentors. the ensembles perform in the Young Artists Chamber Music Recital Series, and often share their talents at community outreach concerts, captivating audiences beyond our campus.

Sectional Coaching

Sectional rehearsals are held weekly for in-depth study of orchestral repertoire. Faculty members and young artists work through challenging passages and solve performance problems. Sectionals supplement individual preparation and develop unity of performance.

Repertoire Reading Sessions

Woodwind, brass, percussion and harp young artists participate in orchestral reading sessions conducted by EMF conducting scholars. All instrumentalists play major orchestral works and students rotate in the sections to gain valuable experience on the different parts. All sessions are under the guidance the Conducting Institute faculty in an educational setting.

2023 Concerto Winner Gabrielle Gans - by Jonathan Collin Greene
Gil Shaham teaching a master class (EMF 2023) - by Ben Freedman

Guest Artists

Eastern Music Festival features the world’s most sought-after artists and teachers, who work with students and perform as part of our acclaimed concert series. Past guest artists include musical legends like Midori, Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, Heidi Castleman, Stefan Jackiw, Cynthia Phelps, Robert Vernon,  Sir James Galway, the Canadian Brass, Evelyn Glennie, as well as alumni like Branford and Wynton Marsalis.

Master Classes & Studio Classes

EMF’s educational experience is enriched by distinguished soloists and teachers who lead public master classes during their residencies, often featuring students chosen by EMF faculty for their readiness and repertoire. Alongside these special master classes, our dedicated faculty lead weekly studio classes covering a variety of topics, providing students with exposure to diverse teaching styles to enhance their musical education.

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 standard solo repertoire is required for the final round and the performance.

➡️ See more information & past winners

Group photo of 2023's concerto competition winners, all posing with their instruments. They are posed underneath Guilford College's brick gazebo with green summer foliage in the background.
2023 EMF Concerto Winners - by Jonathan Collin Greene
David Kim giving at EMF 2022 Professional Development
David Kim Speaking at Professional Development (EMF 2022) - by CC Kallam

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.