The New Harmony Music Festival and SchoolNew Harmony, IndianaInaugural SeasonJuly-8-14, 2012"Sharing Life In The Presence Of Music"
For the last few years or so, I have been considering the foundation of a summer music school AND music festival that would embrace both classical and traditional "musics": a place where musicians, students, and music appreciators could immerse themselves in an environment free from the strictures of "label' "style" or "category" and explore the common threads and roots of acoustic music from these two traditions. Words like passion, tradition, acoustics, color, and virtuosity always come to mind when folks speak of classical chamber music and traditional music, but how often do we encounter these two wonderful "branches" in the tree of music side-by-side in a concert hall or theater?
Having lived with my feet in both worlds for so long I feel that now is the time to celebrate the very real trend that exists among classical and traditional musicians today towards a common language, a shared body of technique, and an acoustic performance aesthetic within the context single festival and attendant summer music school.
That is the essence of The New Harmony Music Festival and School.
As the festival/school concept began to take shape I realized that I had encountered individuals of like mind and character in music over the years: people who loved to transcend commercial and stylistic labels to find our friend music in all of its many mansions. Each of our faculty-performers was chosen for their ability to both inspire our students and create inspiring music in performance for our audiences, to share their lives in music with others and share in a musical celebration.
In June of 2011, at the behest of festival co-founder Kent Schuette and several town fathers, I visited historic New Harmony, Indiana, a town of approx. 900 people situated on the banks of the lower Wabash River. I was asked to perform as a part of a memorial to Jane Blaffer Owen, the great philanthropist who had left her indelible print upon the small Indiana town by creating gardens, museums, art studios, meeting places, and natural preserves throughout the town. Her goal was to build an environment for creative, intellectual and spiritual refreshment and while preserving the magnificent and historical heritage of the two separate "Utopian" communities who had founded the community.
What I saw and what Jane Blaffer Owen left behind is a garden indeed, that and so much more: a beautiful almost "spiritual" space in rural Indiana, ideal for housing and nurturing a small school of musical thought and deed, a destination where concerts of music could fill glorious garden spaces, embrace the grand old architecture of historic New Harmony and ennoble the modern town landmarks created by Philip Johnson and Richard Meier.In partnership with the New Harmony Artists Guild, and with the support of The New Harmony Business Associates, we hope to make The New Harmony Festival & School a reality. We are seeking funding, private and corporate, on all levels for said, providing non-profit tax benefits in kind for donors and supporters. I hope you will consider my appeal for your generous gift of support, and I hope to see you in attendance in the summer of 2012, the inaugural season of our musical celebration!
Christopher LayerArtistic Director and Founder,The New Harmony Music Festival and School
Click here to download the New Harmony School & Festival mobile application from iTunes.
Click here to download the New Harmony School & Festival mobile application for Android, search for "New Harmony Music Festival" in the Android Market.
Click here to download the New Harmony School & Festival mobile application for HTML5. Or scan our QR Code below.
Student registration for the New Harmony Summer School of Music will open February 15th, 2012. The school is open to all levels of musical ability, but beginners are cautioned that the teaching is geared towards intermediate to advanced players. There is currently no entrance audition required for acceptance to the school, but attendance is limited to 28 students, so early registration is suggested. The school is open to adults 18 years and older, but younger students may be admitted on a case by case basis. A parental waiver may be required for student acceptance. Watch this space for full registration details, downloadable forms, etc.