EMF accepts up to 20 qualified pianists for enrollment. The five-week program features formal instruction through private lessons, master classes, chamber music studies, and a variety of classes focusing on everything from technique to the history of the instrument.
Students perform on the weekly Young Artists Piano Recital Series and at the final light hearted Pianopalooza, both of which are open to the public.
Orchestras perform weekly in the 1,000-seat Dana Auditorium with EMF conductors and soloists. The rehearsal and performance schedule is rigorous, and performances are at a professional standard.
Piano applicants must prepare two solo works/movements. One work must demonstrate technical proficiency and the second should show lyrical style.
- Two technical movements of your choice (from solo or concerto repertoire)
- One slow movement of your choice (from solo or concerto repertoire)
- The works must be by different composers
For most of the instrumental auditions, we require orchestral excerpts in addition to solo pieces. Piano and Guitar applicants are exempt from this requirement.
Write a short biography (250 words or less) about yourself. This is not a resumé.
What To Expect
EMF’s Piano Program is an intensive study with the Festival’s resident faculty and visiting artists. Young Artists work on repertoire already in progress and new repertoire, improving technique, and musicianship. Participants have ready access to pianos for daily practice and rehearsals.
Chamber Music & Ensembles [optional]
Students may be assigned to a variety of chamber music groups, orchestral parts, or piano ensemble study, or they may be selected to accompany other instrumentalists in sonata literature. All assignments are made at the discretion of the piano faculty. Chamber ensembles rehearse four times a week. Two of the weekly rehearsals are coached by EMF faculty artists. Ensembles perform on the Young Artists Chamber Music Recital Series and are often invited to perform off-campus at community outreach concerts.
Master Classes & Performance Classes
Each summer, pianists participate in master classes led by faculty and featured artists. Students also participate in weekly performance classes led by piano faculty, offering a supportive atmosphere for the development of performance skills.
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, Lynn Harrell, Edgar Meyer, Sir James Galway, the Canadian Brass, Evelyn Glennie, as well as alumni like Branford and Wynton Marsalis.
Each year, EMF holds a Concerto Competition. Auditions are open to all young artists. Contestants may perform any solo work with orchestral accompaniment that was originally composed for their instrument and that does not exceed 18 minutes in length. Preliminaries are held on the second Sunday of the Festival; finals are held on the third Sunday. Memorization of standard solo repertoire is required for the final round and the performance.
Eastern Music Festival offers optional classroom instruction in several areas related to the performance and business of music that completes our rigorous program. Our classes and seminars give students an opportunity to converse with faculty about issues that every musician encounters throughout a professional career. Open dialogue and honest advice enhance students’ experiential learning.
Seminars are faculty-led sessions offered throughout the festival. These informal discussions allow students to learn from faculty experience and to exchange ideas about important issues of the profession. Topics have included: Mock Auditions, Leading a String Section, Chamber Ensemble Rehearsal Techniques, Injury Prevention, The 21st Century Musician, Practicing Tips, Conducting, Life as a Musician, Tai Chi, Yoga and Body Moveable.
A certified Alexander Technique instructor offers weekly classes for students, helping enhance instrumental performance by improving freedom of movement, balance, flexibility, and coordination. The fee for this course is $185, which includes three group sessions and four 30-minute private lessons. Students may schedule private Alexander Technique lessons outside of the class for $60 per hour. These private lessons are available to all students, whether or not they are enrolled in the class.
How To Apply
The NEW deadline for receipt of completed applications and the audition recording is March 5, 2021 .
Fill out the online application.
All applicants must submit a completed Application for Admission and pay the non-refundable application fee through Acceptd. The fee for submitting your application and audition via Acceptd will be $35 prior to January 1, 2021, and $75 thereafter. Requests for financial assistance will be considered after you have fully completed the application process.
NEW for 2021: Applicants can choose to participate in one of our Virtual LIVE Auditions on January 9, January 23, or February 6 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. (EST). If you choose to do one of the virtual live auditions, you will not be able to upload your own recordings to your application on Acceptd. The virtual live audition will serve as your submission for acceptance.
This option is not available for Conducting Scholar applicants.
2021 Tuition, Room & Board, and FeesEastern Music Festival
Tuition - $2,895
Room & Board - $2,516
Fees (Health, Activity, Cleaning, ID Card, Key, & Security) - $375
Attendance is required for the full five-week program (June 26 – July 31).
Decisions regarding admission and financial assistance will be made in April, and each applicant will be notified of acceptance by email.
Within two weeks of acceptance, all students are required to pay a non-refundable $750 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 two weeks of acceptance.
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 optional fee for Alexander Technique (course) is $185, or $60/hour for private lessons.
The balance of all tuition and fees is due and payable by May 15, 2021. All payments may be made by cash, personal check, money order, MasterCard, VISA, Discover or American Express. 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.
Financial assistance for study at EMF is available, with consideration given only after the application and audition process is completed by the applicant. Merit scholarships are available based on audition results. Work-study scholarships are available based on financial need. Awards range from $100 to the full cost of tuition. All students, regardless of their financial award, must pay the $375 in fees [Health, Activity, Cleaning, ID Card, Key, Security].
Applicants who want to be considered for financial aid must submit a completed Application for Financial Assistance along with their Application for Admission and application fee. A copy of the most recent Federal Tax Form 1040 of the applicant’s parent [or of the applicant, if independent] must be submitted if the applicant is applying for a need-based scholarship. The 1040 tax forms are not necessary if the applicant is only applying for a merit scholarship. Information provided on these forms will be kept confidential and destroyed once the financial assistance process has been completed.
PLEASE NOTE: Incomplete Financial Aid applications cannot be processed.
Each year, Eastern Music Festival provides talented young musicians the financial assistance they need to further their artistic development. While resources are limited, in 2019, 82% of our students received some level of scholarship assistance.
All students are encouraged to apply to EMF, regardless of personal or family financial need; however, EMF recommends that students seek other possible sources of funding in their own community 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.
NOTE: Applications for financial assistance are reviewed each year, for that year only. Returning students requesting financial assistance must submit a new Application for Financial Assistance and the Tax Form 1040 each year they apply.
Merit scholarships are awarded based on the applicant’s audition and their demonstrated level of artistic ability, in relation to the overall applicant pool. These awards are an acknowledgement of merit on the part of the applicant, and for the most part are limited in size.
Work-study scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need. They help bridge the gap between the cost of EMF and the financial resources available to the applicant. Work-study scholarships typically require three to ten hours of work per week. Work-study assignments are in areas of Festival operations such as stage management, music library, ushering, and office work. Student preferences are considered in making assignments.
Course offerings, faculty, visiting artists, fees and other information contained on this site are subject to change without notice. Eastern Music Festival is actively committed to a diverse student body and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex or physical disability, in the administration of its educational policies and programs.
Guilford College has been EMF’s summer home for 57 years. Founded in 1837, Guilford College is known for its peaceful, tree-lined campus and its historic buildings. The campus is situated on the western edge of Greensboro, North Carolina, a city of 280,000 that is located 75 miles west of Raleigh-Durham, 90 miles northeast of Charlotte and halfway between Atlanta and Washington, DC.
Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium, completed in 1961 and known for its excellent acoustics, is the primary performance hall for EMF concerts.
Located in Guilford College’s Founders Hall, Sternberger Auditorium serves as a rehearsal space for orchestra as well as the performance facility for piano recitals, master classes and Young Artists chamber music recitals.
Tew Recital Hall at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s College for Visual and Performing Arts serves as home for some of EMF’s chamber music performances and recitals. EMF also performs at other venues throughout North Carolina’s Triad region and beyond.
EMF students and counselors live in Guilford College residence halls, while faculty and some guest artists are housed in nearby campus apartments. Students are grouped by gender, and residence halls are separated by age. Meals are served in the college dining hall; laundry facilities are located in each residence hall, and all Guilford College facilities are air-conditioned. Summer staff members include a nurse, dean of students and counselors. The EMF Education Office, Dean of Students Office and Operations Offices are located on campus during the Festival.
Restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks are located within a quarter-mile of campus. Students may use the college’s library and recreational facilities. Amenities include a weight room, racquetball, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.
Recreational and social activities are planned on a regular basis, both on and off campus. Popular on-site activities include Ultimate Frisbee, tennis, video games, foosball, pool and dances. Off-site activities such as movies and bowling are voluntary and may cost extra. Students are occasionally invited to receptions or functions with patrons and scholarship donors. Transportation is available for off-campus activities.
“The Festival’s gorgeous surroundings and overall environment provide the perfect setting for young artists to develop and learn.”
Melissa M. Edwards, D.M.A.
Director of Education and Admissions
Phone: 336-333-7450, x227
Course offerings, faculty, visiting artists, fees, and other information are subject to change without notice. Eastern Music Festival is actively committed to a diverse student body and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, or physical disability in the administration of its educational policies and programs.