In addition to weekly private lessons with our acclaimed faculty, trombone students participate in two equally talented young artists orchestras. Each orchestra rehearses six times a week in accordance with professional standards for preparation, punctuality and performance. Both orchestras perform full-length concert programs weekly with faculty soloists, visiting artists and winners of the EMF concerto competition. Seating in each orchestra rotates.

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.

2023 Young Artist Orchestra Repertoire Highlights

  • BARTÓK • The Miraculous Mandarin
  • DVOŘÁK • Symphony No. 6
  • JANÁČEK • Sinfonietta
  • PROKOFIEV • Selections from Romeo and Juliet
  • RACHMANINOFF • Symphony No. 2
  • RAVELDaphnis et Chloé: Suites 1 and 2
  • RESPIGHIFeste Romane (Roman Festivals)
  • STRAUSSEin Heldenleben
  • TCHAIKOVSKY • Symphony No. 5


Audition Requirements


Tenor Trombone:

Solo – Perform any standard solo of choice (may be played with accompaniment or unaccompanied). The solo should be recorded in one take and unedited.

Orchestral Excerpts – Perform four (4) standard orchestral excerpts. They should be performed in one take, on one track, and without any edits.

OPTIONAL: Any tenor trombone candidates that can double on alto trombone or bass trombone should record 1-2 standard orchestral excerpts on said instrument. The excerpt(s) may be recorded on a separate track. Preference may be given to candidates that can double. 

Bass Trombone:

Solo – Perform any standard solo of choice (may be played with accompaniment or unaccompanied). The solo should be recorded in one take and unedited.

Orchestral Excerpts – Perform four (4) standard orchestral excerpts. They should be performed in one take, on one track, and without any edits.

OPTIONAL: Any bass trombone candidates that can double on contra-bass trombone should record 1-2 standard orchestral excerpts on contra. The excerpt(s) may be recorded on a separate track. Preference may be given to candidates that can double. 


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

Credit: Ken Yanagisawa for Eastern Music Festival (2018)
musicians playing trombone and a tuba dressed in black
Brass Fanfares 2021
Credit: Kelly Swindell for Eastern Music Festival
musicians in grey EFM tshirts playing trombones outside
Credit: Cole Patton for Eastern Music Festival (2021)

What To Expect

Private Study

As part of the core curriculum, each young artist receives one hour of individual instruction weekly from a faculty member. The one-on-one work with an individual teacher throughout the summer allows for rapid progress in solving technical problems and learning new repertoire.

Chamber Music

Chamber music is an important part of EMF’s curriculum. All orchestral students are required to participate; ensemble assignments are made by faculty at the beginning of the summer, and each ensemble rehearses 4 times a week. Two of the weekly rehearsals are coached by a faculty member. Young artist ensembles perform on the Chamber Music Recital Series and are often invited to perform off-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.

Master Classes & Studio Classes

Many visiting artists give master classes, open to the public, as part of their residency. Several students will be invited by the faculty to perform in these classes, with consideration given to a student’s preparation and repertoire. In addition, faculty members offer weekly studio classes focusing on specific topics, thereby giving students the opportunity to experience a variety of teaching styles. Students are required to attend the weekly faculty studio classes.

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, Lynn Harrell, Edgar Meyer, Sir James Galway, the Canadian Brass, Evelyn Glennie, as well as alumni like Branford and Wynton Marsalis.

famle with red hair and glassess playiong viola with teach holding viola
Master class with Victoria Chiang
Credit: Julie Averette for Eastern Music Festival (2019)

Concerto Competition

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.

➡️ See more information & past winners


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.

Alexander Technique

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.

female with blond hair in green ball gown playing flute with orchestra
2021 Competition Winner Anastasia Samsel
Credit: Mekaila Bostic for Eastern Music Festival
adult men talking to a class of students
Entrepreneurship Seminar with Wally Wallace & Scott Flavin
Credit: Kelly Swindell for Eastern Music Festival (2021)

How To Apply

The deadline for receipt of completed applications and the audition recording is February 23, 2023 .


2023 Tuition, Room & Board, and Fees

Eastern Music Festival
$ 5,885
Five-Week Program
  • Tuition - $2,895
  • Room & Board - $2,615
  • Fees (Health, Activity, Cleaning, ID Card, Key, & Security) - $375

Attendance is required for the full five-week program (June 24 – July 29, 2023).

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

Within ten days 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 ten days 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, 2023. All payments may be made by 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.


Each year, EMF provides talented young musicians merit and need-based scholarships to further their artistic development. Scholarship consideration is given only after the application and audition process is completed by the applicant. In 2022, EMF provided over $374,000 in assistance. While resources are limited, 80% of our 2022 students received some level of financial support.

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 communities 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.

All students, regardless of their financial award, must pay the $375 in fees [Health, Activity, Cleaning, ID Card, Key, Security].

PLEASE NOTE: Incomplete Financial Aid applications cannot be processed.

Merit scholarships are awarded based on the applicant’s audition and 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.

Work-study scholarships are awarded based on financial need. They help bridge the gap between the cost of EMF and the financial resources available to the applicant. A copy of the most recent Federal 1040 Tax Form is required by those requesting need-based scholarships. These scholarships require work-study and typically require three to ten hours of work per week and can include assignments in stage management, music library, ushering, and office work. Student preferences are considered in making assignments.

Campus Life

Guilford College

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.

Performance Venues

Guilford College’s Dana Auditorium, completed in 1961 and known for its excellent acoustics, is the primary performance hall for EMF concerts.

Student Chamber Recitals and most master classes take place in the Hege Library’s Carnegie Room.

Located in Guilford College’s Founders Hall, Sternberger Auditorium serves as a rehearsal space for orchestra.

EMF also performs at other venues throughout North Carolina’s Triad region and beyond.

Credit: Kelly Swindell for Eastern Music Festival


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, an Associate 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 talent shows. 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.

Credit: Julie Averette for Eastern Music Festival

“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


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.