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June 5-18, 2022

Dear National Music Festival Supporters and Friends,

We had hoped to bring live concert music back to Kent County in August, but, though the COVID-19 situation is improving, it is not yet possible for us to responsibly and successfully hold a two-week orchestral event with musicians who travel from far and wide to be here. Therefore, the NMF Board of Directors has decided to cancel the planned August 2021 season. 

The safety of our musicians, audience, and community is of paramount importance. Some of our musicians have told us that they are not yet comfortable traveling or congregating with groups of people, and we take those concerns seriously. We must also safeguard the long-term financial viability of NMF. The best way to do that is to wait until June 2022 to return to the Festival that we all know and love. Social distancing requirements for both our performers and audience members would make it impossible to produce the quality of music to which you are accustomed.

We are already working hard on the 2022 Festival, which is scheduled for June 5-18, 2022. It will be an exciting season, including riveting music by Beethoven, Gershwin, Mendelssohn, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky. Several mentors will be featured as concerto soloists, among them guitarist Camilo Carrara (Vivaldi, “Concerto for Lute in D”) and violinist Simon Smith (Korngold’s cinematic “Concerto for Violin”). More details will be announced soon. 

At this time, we plan to proceed with our Resonance concert series, and have six concerts scheduled from October 2021 through April 2022. We look forward to presenting live concerts again. 

In the meantime, our online Festival Forum series will continue with monthly mentor interviews. See below to register for these virtual free events. There you will also find links to Forum interviews you might have missed, and links to past Festival performances on YouTube.

We encourage you to get vaccinated and stay safe, sane, and healthy so we can enjoy great music and exceptional live performances together again soon.

‘Festival Forum’ Live-stream reflects on the first decade of the National Music Festival  

    In April, NMF launched Festival Forum, a monthly series of live Zoom discussions to reflect on its first decade. With NMF Executive Director Caitlin Patton as host, each Forum featured one of the professional musicians who has mentored apprentices at the festival since its start in 2011.

    Viewers get the inside scoop on how the Festival has grown and evolved, learn more about the mentors and their instruments and get their take on musical highlights from NMF’s first decade. The series will conclude with Jennifer Parker-Harley, flute, Aug. 26. Click here to register. 

Missed an episode? Click here to watch the recording of the first Festival Forum, in which Liane Hansen interviewed Richard Rosenberg and Caitlin Patton. 

Enjoyed the music excerpts? Click here to visit NMF’s YouTube channel, where you can enjoy many recordings of performances from NMF seasons 1-9. 

The mission of the National Music Festival is to present world-class celebrations of music and to provide affordable arts education and entertainment year round; as well as to foster economic development by contributing to the greater Kent County community as an arts and entertainment destination on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

All National Music Festival apprentices attend tuition free. For two weeks each June, these musicians live and work together, presenting over 35 concerts — ranging from solo recitals to large symphony orchestra performances with chorus — and 200 free open rehearsals for music lovers from all over the world.

The Festival is a division of OuterArts Maryland, Inc., a nonprofit organization that also administers vibrant community and youth programming including the Fiddlesticks! Youth Strings Program, an instrument loan program, the Resonance concert series, and The Phanos Project, which promotes the music of the composer Phanos Dymiotis.