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


Applications will go online in early November, please email Philippa to receive notifications.

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.

A forty dollar ($40 USD) non-refundable application fee is required. If the application fee is a financial barrier for you, please write to philippa@bangonacan.org.

Work samples required for the application can be viewed here.

If you are both a composer and performer and want to apply as both, please send an email to philippa@bangonacan.org for instructions on how to submit your second application.

The tuition fee amount for the 2023 Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival will be announced soon. Tuition fee includes room and board. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due within two weeks upon acceptance to the program. Payment in full is due on June 15.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Schlichting Fund, composers accepted to the program will receive a $1,500 commissioning fee for their new works to be written for the festival.

If tuition is a barrier, we have some financial aid to help defray costs for a limited number of participants.

Room and Board (included in tuition fee) — 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 Massachussetts (Berkshire County). Information about transportation will be provided.

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

Covid safety: Covid-19 vaccinations will be required for all participants. We will be following the CDC guidelines in place as of July 2023 as far as masking, social distancing and testing, as well as following protocols set by our hosts at MASS MoCA.

Here are some words from past participants. These articles/blogs will give you an ‘insider’s” perspective on the Festival.

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: philippa at bangonacan dot org.