Led by drum and dance master Nani Agbeli, Bang on a Can fellows perform music and dance from Ghana.


Festival dates: July 15-Aug 4, 2024.

Applications  for the 2024 program will go online November 6, 2023. Please email Philippa to be notified upon publication of the application.

Applicant info:

We welcome applicants from all over the globe who are at least 21 years old as of the first day of the festival. Performance applicants, please note that we encourage a diversity of instruments, including voice. You do not have to play an instrument included on our faculty to attend the program, as the focus is on chamber music, not individual study.

Work samples required for the application can be viewed on the application info page.

If you are both a composer and performer and want to apply as both, please send an email to [email protected] for instructions on how to submit your second application.

Application fee:

Application fee is forty dollars ($40 USD), non-refundable.

If the application fee is a financial barrier for you, please write to [email protected] to receive a waiver code.

Participation fee:

The participation fees for the 2023 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival are $3750 tuition, $700 Room and Board (Total $4,450). Tuition assistance is available, see below.

For context on the participation fee – the current total cost per program participant is $9,750. Bang on a Can has raised funds to cover just over half of that amount, and will continue our efforts over the course of the season.

Tuition assistance:

We are grateful to have received some generous funding enabling us to offer support to a limited number of participants with financial need. You will be instructed on how to request assistance upon acceptance to the program.

Tuition support is provided by:

ASCAP Foundation provides tuition support for eligible composers (members of ASCAP or unaffiliated). The amount varies depending on the number of eligible composers.

Bass players: through his “Bass Scholarship,” Robert Black offers $2000 of tuition assistance for one bass player each year. An additional $500 is available from the Iacuessa Bass Fund.

Art Music Denmark offers a full scholarship for one musician each summer. The musician must either live in Denmark or be a Danish Citizen.

We also receive general tuition support from the Valerie Dillon and Daniel Lewis Fund and from the Williamson Foundation for Music.

We also highly encourage you to seek your own sources of support from foundations and government sources, crowd funding, and/or your university (if you are a student or recent alum). Bang on a Can will be happy to provide any letters or other documentation to support your efforts.

Additionally, composers will receive a commissioning fee from the Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting (amount TBA) for their new works to be written for the festival.

More info:

Room and Board — Accommodations for the Festival are within walking distance to the museum. Accommodations are double occupancy.

Lunch and dinner are provided Mon-Fri. Participants are responsible for all other meals, including breakfasts daily and weekend meals. There are several local inexpensive eateries near the museum.

All participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from MASS MoCA, which is in the city of North Adams in Western Massachusetts (Berkshire County). Information about transportation will be provided.

Results from the application review process will go out on or before Feb 28. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due within two weeks upon acceptance to the program. Payment in full is due on June 15.

We recommend you read the daily schedule webpage so you can learn more about life at the festival.

Read about the festival:

Please read the work of our recent Media Workshop fellows, who were embedded in our festival for the final week of the program each summer. They have amazing insights into our artists and processes.

Additional reading from festival alums’ blogs:

Dispatches from Bang on a Can 2018“, by Cara Search, voice

A sandbox of sounds” by Zach Herchen, sax

utopia”  by Doug Machiz, cello

Bang on a Can Summer Festival blog by Meerenai Shim, flute

Bang on a Can Summer Festival blog by Olivia Shortt, sax

Read testimonials from alumni.

See our features on NewMusicBox and on PBS’ NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and gallery recitals on the Bang on a Can YouTube channel.

See us on PBS Digital’s “The Arts Assignment” in a segment called “Find your band” here.

If you have any additional questions, please write to the festival manager, Philippa Thompson