The Summer Festival is an intense, visceral, hands-on immersion in contemporary music.

Weekdays begin with a special-projects seminar in which all fellows participate. Past special projects have included Ghanaian drumming and dance, Cuban jazz workshops, and Orchestra of Original Instruments, improvisation, and more. This is followed by two 2-hour sessions (divided by lunch) for ensemble rehearsals. Composers meet daily for a 2 hour seminar. There are rehearsal spaces available some evenings from 7-10. Evening activities can also include seminars by our faculty and guests, and other events.

SAMPLE WEEKDAY SCHEDULE (subject to change)

  • 10–11 special-projects seminars
  • 11–1 Rehearsal
  • 1–2:30 Lunch (incl gallery recital 1:30-2)
  • 2:30–4:30 Rehearsals/composer seminars
  • 4:30–5:30 Recitals in gallery or extra rehearsal time
  • 6pm Dinner
  • eves – practice time, seminars


Many days of the festival, fellows and faculty give performances in the museum galleries surrounded by MASS MoCA’s world class artwork

At lunchtime, we offer informal performance opportunities in the gallery spaces. Musicians can choose whichever gallery they would like to perform in and may present either composed or improvised works. The pieces can be solo or ensemble works for instruments, voice, or other creative music devices as long as tech set up is limited. The informal lunchtime recitals are a great opportunity for instrumentalists to display their compositional prowess and composers to display their instrumental chops.

In the late afternoons, we hold more structured recitals in the galleries that serve as showcases for the performance faculty as well as some performance opportunities for the fellows for projects being workshopped at the festival. The gallery recitals are free with museum admission. There are also free concerts in the surrounding community, including at the local state park and in town.

The festival will conclude with a 3-day festival called LOUD Weekend including performances by the festival fellows and special guests

Email Program Manager Philippa Thompson at [email protected].