FAQ

What is the National Music Festival at Washington College?

The National Music Festival at Washington College is an orchestral training program for college and graduate level musicians on the cusp of their professional careers. Full scholarships and housing are provided for all apprentices. The Festival also provides performances and free open rehearsals for audiences from local communities and all over the world. The Festival is a division of OuterArts Maryland, Inc., which is a nonprofit organization. For more information, please visit our About page.

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What are the ages of the apprentices?

The average age of apprentices is about 22, although some apprentices are older or younger. There is no maximum age; we generally require apprentices to be at least 18, although we do make the occasional exception for an outstanding student who can provide a chaperone.

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Where do the musicians come from?

All over the world! Each year, approximately 16 countries and 30 U.S. states are represented.

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How are the mentors and apprentices selected?

Mentors are hand-picked for their ability as performers and teachers, but also for other qualities that are important to the mission of the Festival: the ability to balance life and work, entrepreneurship, and a great joy in playing and teaching.

Apprentices are selected by the mentors through a competitive application process. Please visit the For Musicians section of this website for more information about the application process.

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Where do the musicians stay?

Thanks to the generosity of local host families, most of our musicians stay in private homes. Washington College also provides some dormitory housing for apprentices and guest choruses. If you are interested in hosting musicians, please visit the Host a Musician page for more information.

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When was the Festival founded?

The Festival was founded in 2010 by Richard Rosenberg and Caitlin Patton.

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What kind of music is performed at the Festival?

Mostly a wide variety of concert (classical) music, although we also perform jazz, cross-over and other types of music.

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Where do concerts take place?

Concerts (and rehearsals) take place in a variety of venues throughout Chestertown and Kent County. Washington College, the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre, the Chesapeake Room at the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company, the Mainstay, the Betterton Community Center and Emmanuel Church host concerts and rehearsals, to name just a few. Please visit the Festival Venues page for more information and a downloadable map.

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How much does it cost to attend the NMF concerts?

Attending the National Music Festival is affordable. You can purchase a Festival Pass for only $225 for access to all ticketed events plus special benefits, or you can purchase single tickets (generally $15 or $20) for individual events. We also offer some free concerts, and all rehearsals are always free and open to the public.

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How can I help?

Thank you for your interest in helping the National Music Festival fulfill its mission! You can help by making a financial or in-kind contribution, volunteering, hosting a musician and more. Please explore the Get Involved section of this website for details about how to help.

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How do I apply to attend as an apprentice?

Please visit the How to Apply page for complete instructions and the application form.

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