Masterclass Series

2021 Fall Masterclass Series

The Sewanee Summer Music Festival is pleased to offer a series of masterclasses with our acclaimed festival artist-faculty. Come prepared to perform, ask questions, and develop your skills under the guidance of these expert musicians. Learn, grow, and be ready for your future. Now is the time.

We are offering masterclasses in 3 different tracks: Violin, Viola, and Opera. Each of these tracks will offer 3 classes taught by our esteemed festival artist-faculty.

Registration for each track will be $100, which includes attendance to 3 classes plus a bonus session on auditions, college admissions, and career preparedness. You will attend all 4 of the included classes and perform in 1 of the 3 instructional classes.

If you are not ready to play in these masterclasses but would still like to observe, you may attend them in a non-participatory capacity for $65. This will include the track’s 3 instructional classes plus a bonus session on auditions, college admissions, and career preparedness.

The faculty for our Fall 2021 Masterclass Series includes:
Violin: Jessica Dan Fan, Gregory Lee, Brittany MacWilliams
Viola: Philippe Chao, Brittany MacWilliams, Sheldon Person
Opera: Patrick Hansen, Kathleen Kelly, Laura Brooks Rice

If you have any questions about our Fall 2021 Masterclass Series, email

Violin Track

“Orchestral Excerpts”
with Jessica Dan Fan
October 28, 2021, 7pm CT

In this masterclass, Jessica Dan Fan will give students pointers for preparing audition excerpts.

“Concerto Repertoire”
with Gregory Lee
November 14, 2021, 2pm CT

This masterclass will be for pre-college and college students working on their concerto repertoire. This would be a single movement that is to be prepared for a college audition or orchestra audition.

“The Crucial Violin Techniques”
with Brittany MacWilliams
November 18, 2021, 4:30pm CT

This masterclass will focus on the most necessary and often difficult violin techniques to master. Both left and right hand techniques will be explored with some creative etudes and pieces. Come prepared to learn some secrets!

Viola Track

“An Introduction to the Vamos Exercises for the Viola in Various Combinations of Double Stops”
with Philippe Chao
October 14, 2021, 6pm CT

This MasterClass will introduce and cover the key concepts behind Roland Vamos’
Exercises for the Viola in Various Combinations of Double Stops. *Violinists are also welcome (the book is available in a version for violin). The exercises will be demonstrated, analyzed, and discussed. Participants are encouraged to purchase the book and have it readily available as reference. Participants will try the exercises in real time and execution issues will be addressed.

“Bow technique on the viola: using our “paintbrush” to create beautiful colors and effects.”
with Brittany MacWilliams
November 4, 2021, 5pm CT

This viola masterclass will explore the various ways we can create sounds and expression with the bow. Various exercises and etudes will be used to discover the many ways we can create sounds, articulations, and colors on our violas. Come ready to learn some cool secrets!

“Preparing Orchestral Excerpts”
with Sheldon Person
November 10, 2021, 7pm CT

This is a class on standard orchestral excerpts for viola. We will choose 2 performers for the class. Performers will receive a masterclass from Sheldon Person, violist in the Houston Symphony. We will discuss global aspects of audition preparation as well as specific examples of the kind of musical detail required at auditions.

Opera Track

“Beyond the Five Arias: Audition Repertoire”
with Patrick Hansen
October 18, 2021, 7pm CT

Patrick Hansen will provide detailed feedback to polish your aria package towards providing the perfect amount of ornamentation and character.

“Beyond the Five Arias: Audition Repertoire”
with Kathleen Kelly
October 25 2021, 7pm CT

Each singer will present an audition aria; Kathleen Kelly will give feedback about their performance and lead a collaborative discussion about other repertoire, and how to use those choices to showcase their strengths.

“Beyond the Five Arias: Rebooting Your Aria Package”
with Laura Brooks Rice
November 1, 2021, 7pm CT

In this master class series, Laura Brooks Rice will work with you and your vocal technique, operatic style and presentation.