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Discover your true voice in the world of vocal arts

T he Atlantic Music Festival's Vocal Arts Institute program is a truly transformative experience, bringing together young singers from around the world for a three-week summer program on the Colby College campus. Upon arrival, the singers eagerly embark on a journey of vocal development and growth, working closely with world-renowned teachers and receiving coaching in diverse musical styles.

The second week brings a focus on song and aria interpretation and performance. With faculty guidance, the singers learn interpretive techniques for text and phrasing, as well as how to convey the emotional and narrative content of the music. The week culminates in a concert of songs and arias, where the singers can showcase their creative work to an audience.

The third week brings the Opera Workshop, a chance for participants to dive deeper into the world of theater and prepare for a final performance that serves as the capstone of the program. From the moment they arrive at the festival, the singers begin working on their acting skills, ensemble work, and stage presence. As the opera scenes performance approaches, the singers have not only honed their musical abilities but also gained valuable insights into the world of opera and how to collaborate both on stage and behind the scenes. The final performance is an unforgettable experience for all who attend and one that will stay with the participants long after the final note has been sung.

The Atlantic Music Festival is about more than just improved musical and performance skills. It is an opportunity for musicians to come together from diverse backgrounds and grow together in a concentrated three-week period, forming deep connections and lasting friendships. The festival offers a unique chance to learn and grow, and the impact of this experience can be seen in the success of its alumni, who are now part of major institutions such as conservatories, young artist programs, festivals, and opera houses.

Creative Team

Artist-Faculty Members

Our faculty members are more than just accomplished musicians and educators. They are dedicated mentors who are passionate about helping young singers reach their full potential. Whether you are just starting out on your vocal journey or looking to take your skills to the next level, our faculty members are ready to provide guidance and support at every step.

Stephen Lancaster

Baritone

Susan McDaniel

Vocal Coach

Nic Muni

Director

Arlene Shrut

Vocal Coach

Applicant Information

Join Us

Program Dates

The Vocal Arts Institute at the Atlantic Music Festival will be held from July 17 to August 6, 2023 as a three-week intensive program.

Program Highlights

The Atlantic Music Festival offers a wide range of opportunities and experiences for singers. Here are just a few highlights of what our singers can expect:

  • Weekly private voice lessons and group coaching sessions in various styles such as opera and musical theater.
  • Daily studio classes focused on technique, style, and stage presence.
  • High quality archival video and audio recordings of performances at the end of the festival season, which can be used for auditions and portfolio building.
  • Masterclasses on audition techniques.
  • Cross-discipline seminars offered throughout the festival season from its other programs such as the Composition Program, Piano Institute, and Instrumental Program, as well as other groundbreaking courses such as the Future Music Lab.
  • The opportunity to attend all concerts offered throughout the festival season, including chamber music, solo recitals, and orchestra concerts.
  • Collaborative opportunities with fellow musicians (instrumentalists and composers) at the festival.

Available awards

SCHOLARSHIPS

The Atlantic Music Festival's Vocal Arts Institute offers a limited number of partial scholarships to singers who demonstrate exceptional vocal talent and a strong commitment to their craft. Scholarships are awarded based on merit and financial need.

  • Selection criteria: exceptional vocal talent, a strong commitment to their craft, and financial need.

FELLOWSHIPS

The Atlantic Music Festival's fellowship program supports the development of young, talented singers by providing complete financial coverage of tuition, housing, and meals during a three-week residency. Fellowships are awarded to emerging artists who demonstrate exceptional vocal talent and a strong commitment to their craft.

  • As fellows, singers have the opportunity to perform in concerts, collaborate with artist-faculty, and hone their skills in preparation for a successful career in music.
  • Selection criteria: exceptional vocal talent, a strong commitment to their craft, and the potential to benefit from and contribute to the three-week residency experience.

RESIDENT ASSISTANTS

At the Atlantic Music Festival, resident assistants (RAs) play a crucial role in creating a positive and inclusive community for all participants. In addition to promoting safety and wellness, RAs provide support and resources to residents and assist with logistical tasks such as event planning and conflict resolution. These student leaders receive training and development opportunities, as well as financial support in the form of scholarships or stipends.

  • Being an RA at the Atlantic Music Festival is a unique opportunity for emerging artists to gain leadership experience, build transferable skills, and make a positive impact on the festival community while also showcasing their vocal abilities and collaborating with artist-faculty.
  • Selection criteria: strong leadership skills, a dedication to creating a positive community atmosphere, and the ability to assist with logistical tasks and provide support and resources to residents, as well as past experience in a similar role, relevant coursework or training.

How to apply

The Atlantic Music Festival is now accepting applications for its Vocal Arts Institute program.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Check out our Fees, Dates, and Deadlines page for information on upcoming deadlines.
  • To apply, you will need to submit audio or video recordings of:
    • One operatic aria
    • Up to two songs in languages of your choice
    • It is encouraged, but not required, to submit songs in different languages.

For more information on the application process, please visit our Application Procedures page, which outlines all of the required information for the application.

We look forward to receiving your application and considering you for this exciting opportunity to grow, develop as a singer, and to help you make your mark in the world of vocal arts.

Ready to begin?

Vocal Arts Institute

Season Overview

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A singer practices music

Pre-Season Preparation

The preparation for the season begins long before the start of the festival season. Singers go through a rigorous audition process to be selected for the program, showcasing their talent and dedication to the art of singing. Those who are accepted are given assignments to complete before their arrival, specifically designed to help them get a head start on their vocal development and prepare them for the intense schedule of the program. By the time the singers arrive, they are prepared and ready to fully immerse themselves in the program, focusing on their vocal techniques and other areas of development from the moment they arrive. The faculty's decisions on the casting and scenes are formed to benefit all participants rather than just a select few soloists, and the singers are given every opportunity to succeed and grow during their time at the festival.

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Masterclass with a faculty member

Week 1: Orientation & Sing-In

The first week of the Atlantic Music Festival's Vocal Arts Institute is all about orientation and getting to know each other. The singers and faculty members come together for a "sing-in," where the faculty members assess the singers' current vocal abilities and plan goals for the three-week summer intensive. The singers also undergo intensive training in diverse musical styles under the guidance of world-renowned teachers. By the end of the first week, the singers have gained valuable insights into their vocal abilities and what they hope to achieve over the next three weeks.

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A singer with Arlene Shrut during an art song recital

Week 2: Art Songs & Aria

During the second week of the festival, students delve deeper into the world of art songs and develop their skills in this specific genre. With expert faculty guidance, the singers will learn interpretive techniques for text and phrasing, as well as how to convey the emotional and narrative content of the music. The week culminates in a concert of songs and arias, where the singers can showcase their hard work and newly-acquired skills to an audience. As the third and final week approaches, the singers are already hard at work with fine-tuning their acting skills and staging in preparation for the final performance.

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Singers at the final performance of the program

Week 3: Opera Scenes

In the final week of the AMF Vocal Arts Institute, singers come together with our AMF faculty stage director to bring some of the most beloved operatic and musical theater works to life in a scenes performance. This is a chance for participants to showcase the skills they have developed over the course of the program, including their acting abilities, stage presence, and ensemble work. The culminating performance is a testament to the dedication and passion of the singers, who have worked hard to hone their craft and bring these timeless pieces to life on stage. It is an unforgettable experience for all who attend, and one that will stay with the participants long after the final curtain falls.