The Sewanee Summer Music Festival offers two distinct, high level, serious orchestral experiences: The Cumberland Orchestra and The Sewanee Symphony. The Festival Artistic Director, along with guest conductors and the artistic leadership team, selects a range of musically and technically demanding literature for each orchestra to perform. Each ensemble is held in the highest artistic and musical standards possible, rehearsing six times per week. The orchestras are comprised of both pre-college and college festival participants. Recent conductors at the festival include – Robert Moody, Carl St. Clair, JoAnn Falletta, Andrew Grams, Karina Canellakis, Gemma New, Gene Moon, Oriol Sans, Jacomo Bairos, and Janna Hymes.
In addition to full orchestra rehearsals, students in both groups will participate in sectionals with festival faculty. This time with faculty allows for in-depth study of the selected literature and offers a unique opportunity for students to learn directly from experts in their field.
Classes and Seminars
Students at Sewanee are offered weekly master classes in their studio as well as seminars in a range of topic areas throughout the festival. Recent seminar topics have included college audition techniques, orchestral etiquette, mock interviews for university faculty positions, chamber ensemble rehearsal techniques, the 21st century musician, surviving and thriving in a symphony orchestra, building your freelance career, and more.
Programming Highlights from SSMF 2021
Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
Cuong: Re(new)al, Concerto for percussion quartet and orchestra
Coleridge-Taylor: Ballade in A Minor, Op. 33
Dvořák: Carnival Overture
Dvořák: Serenade for Winds
Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Ravel: Mother Goose Suite
Price: First Symphony
Saint Saëns: Symphony No. 3 “Organ Symphony”
Walker: Lyric for Strings
2022 programming will be announced in November