Celebrating 63 Years of Inspired Music Making!

June 22 – July 27, 2024

Conducting Institute

EMF’s Conducting Institute, a premier platform for professional growth, offers intensive learning in a technically and artistically demanding yet supportive environment. This program accepts up to nine Conducting Scholars, ages 18+, who collaborate with the Music Director and Resident Conductors and the festival’s student and faculty ensembles. Each Conducting Scholar receives approximately 45 minutes of podium time per week, resulting in two or three public performances with festival orchestras over the five-week festival season. In addition to their work with the festival orchestras, participants lead weekly sessions focusing on standard string and wind repertoire and engage with faculty and students through instrumental sectionals.

The program’s core component is the personalized mentorship by EMF’s esteemed conducting faculty. This mentorship encompasses private lessons, groups sessions, and seminars that address vital topics such as score study, analytical skills, and repertoire exploration. The Conducting Scholars also benefit from engaging seminars with faculty musicians, which explores specific instrument considerations and needs.


Audition Requirements


  • Several recent samples of your conducting demonstrating a variety of repertoire (no more than 30 minutes total)

  • Samples would ideally include a mix of both rehearsal and performance and should be a front view of the conductor at a reasonable distance


  • Cover Letter of Interest
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • A brief description of your experiences as an ensemble member
  • Short biography (250 words or less)
2022 EMF Conducting Students by Lana Shkadova

What To Expect


During the Festival, Conducting Scholars have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of musical repertoire by attending over 35 diverse orchestral and chamber music performances by the Festival’s ensembles and visiting artists.


All scholars are permitted (and expected) to video record all their rehearsals and performances for educational purposes and for critique by the EMF conducting faculty. Participants must provide their own equipment and ensure that they have video playback capability for use in their private lessons.

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.

2022 EMF Conducting Students by Lana Shkadova
2022 Conducting Student by Lana Shkadova

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.

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.