Read the Participant Handbook above for information including packing lists, important policies, check-in and check-out procedures, etc.

Student Housing & Meals

Students are housed in university residence halls and arranged by age and gender. Residence halls are supervised by a team of residence life counselors lead by two Co-Directors of residence life.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided by the University’s state of the Art McClurg Dining Hall.  Students also have access to Stirling’s coffee house on campus, and a number of dining options in the village of Sewanee.


Several special recreational outings are arranged each summer and include hiking, swimming, and caving. The Fowler Sports and Fitness center is a state-of-the-art athletic facility that houses a swimming pool, weight room, and courts for basketball, volleyball, handball, racquetball, and squash. Outdoor facilities include an all-weather track, 10 tennis courts, golf course, an equestrian center, and several fields for recreational sports.

Residence Life Team

The residence life team of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival is here to help ensure a safe environment for our students so they may focus on their studies at the festival. They are here to ensure that medical emergencies are addressed, and issues related to the overall health and wellbeing of festival participants are handled in a reasonable and timely way. Participants are responsible for maintaining their own daily schedules, as well as bringing medical needs to the attention of the residence life team. 

Health Insurance and Medical Care

All students must be covered by health insurance. International students may make health insurance arrangements through their airline provider.

In addition to a hospital on campus, there is a range of medical facilities available to students during their stay in Sewanee. Specific medical care and medication-related questions can be answered after the admission process is completed.

Residence Life FAQ

Q: Do pre-college students have a curfew?

A: Yes, all pre-college students have a curfew during the duration of the festival. This will be established in residence life meetings at the start of SSMF.

Q: Will I get to select my roommate?

A: Every accommodation will be made to match roommate requests.  Both parties need to request to room with the other, and parents must approve as well for participants under the age of 18.

Q: Are pre-college and college students housed in the same dorms?

A: No, students under 18 are in a different residence hall from students 18 and above.

Q: Are pre-college and college students allowed to socialize together?  

A: During normal operating hours of the festival, pre-college and college students will interact.  However, pre-college students are not allowed into the residence halls of college students, and college students are not allowed into the residence halls of pre-college students, at any time, for any reason during the duration of SSMF.

Q: What are the Alcohol and Drug policies of the University?

A: Rules Governing Alcohol – The University prohibits the unlawful use, possession, and distribution of alcoholic beverages. Under Tennessee law, it is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to buy, possess, transport, or consume alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine. It is also unlawful for a person over 21 to buy or furnish alcoholic beverages for anyone under 21. Any student who violates state law or the University’s alcohol policies is subject both to the jurisdiction of local law enforcement officials and the discipline system of the University.

Please review the University’s drug policy HERE

Q: Will the residence life staff wake me up in the morning?

A: No, participants are responsible for waking themselves up and being on time to rehearsals. 

Q: Will the residence life staff make sure I eat breakfast and lunch?

A: No, you need to do that on your own. Meal times are built into your daily schedule. 

Q: Will the residence life staff walk me to my dorm at night?

A: Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure your safety at all times. If you feel that you need someone on the team to escort you back to your residence hall, please feel free to ask.  

Q: I am having trouble with my roommate, who should I talk to?

A: You should bring the issue to the attention of your proctor, then one of the co-directors of residence life. Address problems quickly, don’t let them linger. Most situations can be dealt with easily with just a little communication.

Q: Is Sewanee a camp or a festival?  

A: Sewanee is a long-running internationally renowned summer music festival for serious young musicians. Participants come here, primarily, to study their instruments in the context of orchestral and chamber music. There will also be ample time for rest, relaxation and fun – but this is not a summer camp. We look forward to welcoming you to our campus this summer!

SSMF Check-In Procedures

Early Check-In is on June 14th from 9am-5pm. Participants arriving prior to June 15th will incur an additional $85 housing fee for the extra night’s accommodations.

Check-In is on June 15th from 9am—8pm.

If you arrive outside of these hours you will be responsible for ensuring you/your child’s safety and entertainment until our office opens again. You may wish to book a hotel room at a hotel near the Nashville Airport, Smoke House Lodge, Quality Inn, Monteagle Inn, or Sewanee Inn.

1. Any participants flying to the festival need to book a shuttle to to bring you from the airport to Monteagle or Sewanee. View our travel page for more information about shuttle recommendations. After booking your shuttle, the participant’s flight information and shuttle information need to be communicated to the SSMF office so transportation from your shuttle stop to campus can be arranged. Be sure to include your travel information in your Admitted Participant Survey.

2. Please plan to arrive at Convocation Hall, located on Georgia Avenue, off of University Avenue.

3. At check-in, students should have already submitted the following paperwork to the Festival office in advance. If you have not submitted this paperwork prior to your arrival, you will need to provide this paperwork before you can complete the check-in process. This paperwork includes:

  • Medical Release & Questionnaire – medical history to be used by Residence Life staff should your child need medical attention during the festival.
  • Copy of Health Insurance Card – to be used by Residence Life staff should your child need medical attention during the festival.
  • Media Release Form – to be used by the festival for any photography or videos used by the festival, i.e. on the SSMF website or live-stream concerts.
  • Transportation Release Form – allows students to be transported to off-site concerts in university vehicles.
  • Release & Indemnification for Minors – only for students under the age of 18. This form is required by the university for legal purposes of housing a minor on campus for a month.
  • Health & Safety Acknowledgement  — There is one form for adults and one form for minors. Please be sure to submit the correct form.

5. After verifying with a member of staff that the participant has submitted all necessary paperwork, the participant will receive a prox card and a room key for their assigned dormitory and room for the duration of the festival. Students will sign for receipt of these on a check-in form, to be done at the time of check-in.

6. Students are then free to drive to their dormitory, unload their belongings, and get set up for their time at the festival! For participants who took a shuttle to check-in, there will be shuttles to transport them and their luggage to their dorms.

SSMF Check-out Procedures

1. Submit Travel Departure Form

  • This is mandatory for participants who are flying. We will not have transportation to take you to your shuttle stop if you do not submit this form.
  • This form will be distributed to participants approaching the conclusion of the festival. It is imperative that participants submit the form as quickly as possible.

2. Prepare for Check-Out

  • Clean room (empty all trash, recycling, vacuum/dust, laundry)
  • Pack everything (clothes, linens, towels, music, instruments, etc.)
  • Set everything in middle of the room while out for the concert
  • All of above MUST be done prior to beginning check out
  • h. Proctors check for any damage to the room (holes, blinds, doors, etc.)
  • i. Proctors sign off check out form (room damages, keys, linens, music)
    j. AFTER all of the above is done, students will go to Convocation Hall to return their keys and meal cards to Conference Services.
    k. Any borrowed linens should be returned to the Guerry Lobby in a trash bag
    l. Load up car/shuttle, safe travels home!

3. Begin Check Out with ResLife Staff

  • ResLife staff will walk through your room and fill out your check-out form. They will check for any room damages, missing keys or prox cards, etc. and let you know of any violations you should expect to see an invoice for.
  • Turn in your keys, load up your car, and have safe travels home!

4. Late Departures

  • Have your room inspected and fill out check-out form on Sunday from 9am-12pm or 5-8pm (during regular check-out time).
  • Report to Guerry 114 (ResLife Office) for transportation to your shuttle. Bring your room key, prox card, and any borrowed linens with you to turn in.
  • Have a safe shuttle drive and flight back home!