Brevard

June 4, 2019, 6:14 AM · So I’m a at a local little summer program and one of the professors says their short a violist and offered me a spot. Soooooo if I could have some opinions on Brevard that would be great. I do of course know it has a great reputation but any personal experience would be much appreciated.

Replies (8)

Edited: June 4, 2019, 7:47 AM · I spent two summers there in the 1990's and I loved it. Brevard, NC is a college/retiree town full of people who love art and music, who take great pride in living near the music center. It's a beautiful place to stay, and when I went, I was able to interact with some incredible teachers and fellow students. Each time, I came home a better musician. I've been back in that town twice in the last two years, once to play a gig and once to hear a BMC performance, and I'm happy to say it's still exactly how I remembered it.

Regarding the weather: you'll want to pack some light layers, because it can be a bit cold in the morning, even in July when it's seriously hot in the afternoon. Also, the humidity will be through the roof, and you need to have something in your instrument case to deal with that. My teacher had me use orange peels and swap them out every couple of days - I was skeptical, but it seemed to actually work. You could also use a boveda bag or silica gel.

Edited: June 4, 2019, 7:53 AM · It is heavily orchestra focused. If that is what you are looking for you will have an amazing experience. If you want to do a lot of practice, it probably isn't the best choice. Days are pretty full with rehearsals.
June 4, 2019, 11:16 AM · My 15 year old son will be in the piano program this year, first time. When I asked about viola lessons on the side I heard they needed violists :-). His viola teacher knows Scott Rawls and says he's an outstanding instructor.
June 4, 2019, 3:44 PM · @Stan Yates -- slightly off topic, but where did your cellist (I think?) decide to go this summer? I remember your kid and my kid being around the same age and both looking at similar programs.
June 4, 2019, 4:13 PM · Thanks for asking Susan - I had applied both my daughter and her brother to a couple of good programs...where she was accepted he was not, and vice versa; I decided 13 is a year too early for me to be comfortable sending her off for 5 or 6 weeks by herself. (And she's a year too young for Brevard.)

Before application season we need to start a new thread; I'd like to get your updated list for good chamber music programs that accept kids this age! They both enjoy playing in orchestras but chamber music is their first love.

June 4, 2019, 5:59 PM · Brevard is amazing! I attend for 4 years in the college division and was an RA for the High school division while I was there.
It is mainly orchestra focused, but you should still have some chamber music opportunities and time to practice (but good luck finding a practice room!).

All of the viola faculty are outstanding (I actually decided to do my Masters with Scott Rawls after meeting him at Brevard).

Bring an Umbrella! And a raincoat! And sturdy waterproof sandals! It rains a lot and often without much warning.

I would definitely recommend going if you have the chance, it was a life changing place for me as a musician and it is a great way to expose yourself to a lot of orchestra rep in a short period of time. I’m very grateful for the experience of learning orchestra rep quickly as a gigging professional violist.

June 4, 2019, 7:30 PM · @Stan Yates, sounds like a good plan. My son (recently turned 14) is going to Center Stage Strings, picked for many of the reasons you mention. It's only 4 weeks, closer to home, stable and regulated university setting, plus my son's teacher is running chamber music there, so he has an adult watching out for him. In the end, my son's teacher nixed about 3/4 of my list and gave my son a choice of Center Stage, Bowdoin, or Meadowmount (in that order of preference).
June 5, 2019, 4:47 PM · UPDATE: I will be going to Brevard!!!!! I’m sooooooooo excited

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