For Musicians

Programs of Study

The National Music Festival offers apprenticeships in all orchestral instruments, conducting, arts administration, concert production, piano technology, recording engineering and music library. Apprentices are selected via a competitive application process, and all accepted apprentices receive full tuition scholarships and housing. 

Please explore this section of the site for more information about the NMF experience and how to apply.

Select a Program to Learn More:


As an orchestral apprentice at the National Music Festival, you will have the opportunity to play in a variety of orchestral and chamber repertoire. You will work closely with your mentor(s) and other apprentices in an intense, demanding and rewarding schedule of rehearsals and concerts.

The daily schedule will usually consist of orchestra rehearsals in the morning, chamber music or chamber orchestra rehearsals in the afternoon and one or more concerts in the evening. The second Sunday will be a free day for you to enjoy the Kent County and Chesapeake Bay communities. Everyone will play in at least three orchestral programs and one or more chamber works. Several workshops will be offered in areas including managing stage fright, taking auditions, audience interaction, entrepreneurship and the business of music.

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Conducting Institute

The National Music Festival is accepting applications for Assistant Conductor to the Festival Symphony Orchestras. Under the direction of the Artistic Director, Richard Rosenberg, the Assistant Conductor(s) will serve as cover conductor and assist the conductors/guest conductors as assigned as well as conduct several concerti, orchestral works and large chamber ensemble music in performance. S/he may be asked to periodically help the librarian and with some administrative duties, though there will be one library apprentice and several administrative apprentices as well.  The assistant conductor will be an apprentice to the National Music Festival, and all apprentices receive a full tuition scholarship as well as housing. The Assistant Conductor(s) must arrive early and remain through the end of the Festival.

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Arts Administration

National Music Festival Arts Administration Apprentices work independently and as a team to assist in the management of a music festival with multiple nontraditional venues and an intense schedule. The Festival produces approximately 35 performances and 200 free open rehearsals in a two-week period. Please note that Arts Administration Apprentices are required to arrive before the beginning of the Festival and remain until shortly after the end of the Festival.

Apprentices will be provided with hands-on experience in:

  • Operations
  • Marketing (including social media) and publicity/media relations
  • Development
  • Internal communications
  • Venue liaison
  • Box office
  • Volunteer supervision
  • and more.

An effort will be made to assign each apprentice to projects that fit their skills, interests and desired career path. Arts Administration Apprentices will work closely with the Festival’s Executive Director and Director of Operations. Arts Administration Apprentices must arrive early in order to assist with Festival preparation, and stay briefly after the Festival as well.

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, either completed or in progress. An interest in arts administration as a career option, and a willingness to learn. Experience in nonprofit and/or classical music organizations is helpful, but not required. A love of classical music and an entrepreneurial attitude are advantages, as are self-motivation and the ability to work independently.

Benefits: Full scholarships and housing will be provided to each accepted apprentice. We will be happy to provide recommendations and references for employment, advanced training and/or scholarships following successful completion of the apprenticeship. For those needing to complete an internship as part of their degree requirements, we are happy to work with you and your college or university to allow you to receive college credit.

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Music Library

Music library apprentices will work closely with the Library Mentor throughout the Festival. 

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Recording Engineering

Apprentices will assist the Recording Mentor in all areas of recording production, including recording all concerts (as well as orchestral dress rehearsals) and submitting to Performance Today.

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