What do orchestral musicians do during the summer?

Many orchestras do not have a summer season. Some have a short summer season, some have a summer season in an alternate location, and some play year-round.

The Florida Orchestra does not have a summer season. Our regular season is approximately the length of a typical school year, roughly September through May. During the summer months the musicians use their time off to rest, recuperate, take vacations, travel, visit family, or teach or play at one of the many summer music festivals that take place throughout the United States and the world.

Every summer for over two decades I have traveled with my family to Greensboro, North Carolina, to teach and play at Eastern Music Festival, a music program for high school and college students that takes place on the campus of Guilford College. Students from all over the world audition to earn a spot at the festival, and for five weeks they participate in orchestra concerts, chamber music, master classes, and private lessons. As a faculty member, I teach private lessons, coach chamber music, present masterclasses, and perform in faculty chamber music and orchestra concerts. This summer I will have two students who are both in high school. The orchestras perform very advanced and challenging repertoire, so I am looking forward to working with the students and hearing them perform. It is always fun to get to know the students each summer, and this year will be particularly rewarding because one of the incoming students is a student of a former student of mine from many years ago who now has a thriving career as a teacher and performer.

As a faculty member, I not only enjoy working with the students, I also enjoy getting the opportunity to work with the other faculty members who travel from across the U.S. and other countries to join the festival. Over the course of five weeks we get to know each other through playing in the orchestra together, performing chamber music, and hanging out with each other in our spare time. Each summer I enjoy reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, while getting to explore different

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