Classical Music in Manchester Vermont

Full Scholarship Young Artists Program
July 6 through August 18, 2015

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The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) Young Artists Program is a full scholarship, six-week intensive chamber-music study session for string players and pianists ages 19 to 30.

The program takes place each summer in scenic Manchester, Vermont. Young Artists are coached by a faculty of distinguished musicians, drawn from conservatories and music departments in the U.S. and abroad.

As the founding program of the Manchester Music Festival, the primary focus of the Young Artists Program is to study and perform chamber music. During the course of the six-week program, students can expect to complete three to four chamber music masterworks, preparing one or two movements a week for public performance. Ensemble sizes range from trios to octets. The range of repertoire spans the likes of Haydn and Mozart to the more contemporary, e.g. Shostakovich and Bartók.

Young Artist ensembles meet Monday through Friday, either to work with a coach or rehearse on their own. The schedule follows a standard block system, with sessions beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. Coachings generally run an hour and a quarter. Each Friday there is a play-in, a working audition in which ensembles play for their colleagues and the entire faculty. Play-ins are designed to provide an open forum for discussion and constructive criticism.

Integral to the Young Artist program, student ensembles perform their weekly repertoire in public concerts on Monday evenings. In addition to these concerts and required obligations under the terms of the scholarship, Young Artist ensembles have opportunities to play additional concerts and events in the Manchester area, some of which are paid engagements.


2014 Young Artists

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Each Young Artist receives a scholarship that provides full tuition, free accommodations and a modest weekly stipend to assist with board. Students are responsible for their own meals. Scholarships are provided by individual sponsors or through endowments. Most Young Artists will have the opportunity to meet their generous patron(s) during their stay in Manchester.

In addition to their regular weekly performances, the full scholarship requires that Young Artists participate in one orchestral concert, teach area children during Music Discovery Week, perform during Sunday services at Manchester's First Congregational Church, and serve as stage crew during Monday and Thursday concerts as assigned.


Once accepted, each Young Artist is required to submit a non-refundable Program Fee of $250


All applicants are required to submit the following in order to be considered for the program:

  • Completed Application Form
  • A 15-minute DVD of contrasting repertoire OR a live audition with MMF Artistic Director Ariel Rudiakov.
  • String players must include a solo movement from a Bach Partita or Suite AND a work with piano.
  • A short biography (100-125 words)
  • A high resolution, formal digital headshot
  • $40 Application Fee
"There is no way to adequately describe my summer at Manchester, other than to say that it was the best summer of my life and my life is vastly changed because of it. I have so much more of an understanding and appreciation for strings and how they work with piano in chamber music. It is so rewarding to see how much more certain I am as a person and musician in chamber coaching and performance. I think of every aspect of Manchester every day. It was everything I could have imagined it would be and far beyond."

—Emily Martin, 2014 Young Artist

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Applicants will be notified of their status in the Young Artists Program by email no later May 1, 2015. Upon acceptance to the program, Young Artists are required to:

  • Sign a Letter of Commitment
  • Submit a program fee of $250, and
  • Submit proof of health insurance.

Accepted Young Artists will be contacted and assigned chamber music repertoire. It is expected that students arrive with a working knowledge of their individual parts as well as each work as a whole. Copies of parts may be sent upon request.

Private instruction is not offered as part of the program; however, students and faculty are free to arrange lessons on their own time if they wish.

The Manchester Music Festival admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin and is an equal opportunity employer.

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During the six-week session, Young Artists are placed in two ensembles, which rotate after three weeks. Ensembles range in size from trios to octets. Students can expect to complete three to four chamber music masterworks, performing one or two movements weekly. Ensembles meet daily, Monday through Friday, for coachings or rehearsals. 75-minute sessions are scheduled in a block system beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

Each Friday, Young Artists attend the play-in; a working audition where each ensemble plays for faculty and peers in an open forum for discussion and constructive criticism. Sample Weekly Schedule.

In addition to their regular practices and coachings, Young Artists are expected to attend all masterclasses offered during their time in the program.

Chamber Youth Ensemble

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"I had an amazing summer in Manchester with everyone involved. You make so much possible for young, striving musicians and for that I am truly grateful."

—Julian, Young Artist 2012


Young Artists perform weekly on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the Riley Center for the Arts as part of the Young Artists Concert Series, which in 2015 will run from July 13 - August 17. Selected groups also perform on Sunday mornings as part of the service at our local Congregational church. Additionally, ensembles have opportunities, both pro bono and paid, to perform in venues and at events in the Manchester area.


As part of their full scholarship, Young Artists are required to teach an area youngster during MMF's Music Discovery Week. Since its inception in 1985, this important educational outreach program has become tremendously popular in the community. Young Artists usually teach two beginning students during the week. Once the week concludes, there may be the opportunity to continue teaching lessons by private arrangement.


All Young Artists are provided housing within walking distance of rehearsal locations. Each house or dormitory has a full kitchen where Young Artists prepare their own meals, and a living area for relaxing during free time. Most Young Artists are assigned double rooms. Each house has a washer and dryer. Linens and towels are provided. Young Artists are responsible for their own laundry and cleaning of their bedrooms, kitchens and common areas.

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Chamber Youth Ensembles


Manchester, Vermont and surrounding the Northshire together create a vital community offering a multitude of things to do in your free time. We have a wide variety of restaurants offering fare from diner food to gourmet meals, outlet shopping, world-class theater, and outdoor activities including cycling, fishing, golf and hiking.

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