About The Institute

 Arthur Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College

Arthur Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College

The Mostly Modern Festival (MMF) Institute is the educational component of the Mostly Modern Festival, offering one-on-one instruction and professional performance experience. The institute will accept over 70 students and have over 30 faculty members. There will be an orchestra, a choir, 4 chamber ensembles, masterclasses, lectures, and private lessons. The Institute is open to musicians 18 to infinity—we welcome people in ALL stages of their career.

MMF takes place at Skidmore College at the Arthur Zankel Music Center. Skidmore College is ideally located in Saratoga Springs, New York, 3 hours by car from NYC, Boston, Philadelphia and Montreal. All public performances take place at the stunning Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, a 600-seat acoustically tuned space.


Singers (up to 20 singers accepted)

  • Sing with Maestro Kent Tritle (New York Philharmonic, St. John the Divine, Oratorio Society) and Albany Pro Musica
  • Receive private lessons/coaching with a vocal faculty member, who is also a section-leader in the choir
  • Rehearsals and coaching during the week, dress rehearsal and performance
  • Access to all masterclasses, and a pass to everything at the festival, including the closing night party

Composers (up to 30 composers accepted)  

 Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall

Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall

  • Receive a fully-professional, live performance from: American Modern Ensemble, Imani Winds, Euclid String Quartet, or Atlantic Brass Quintet
  • Up to 20 composers can receive an orchestral reading of a piece (or excerpt or movement from a larger work) up to 7 minutes in duration with the American Modern Orchestra.
  • Two composers will be chosen to a have their work fully-rehearsed and performed by the American Modern Orchestra.
  • Go home with top-of-the-line 4 camera-shot video (video posted on the MMF YouTube page) and audio WAV file of your performance.
  • Professional ensembles work intimately with composers in rehearsals, the dress and the performance.
  • Private lessons/meetings with the Composition Faculty. (Meetings/lessons are generally taught in pairs with two composition participants per hour. Additional meetings/lessons available at the discretion of the composition faculty.)
  • Access to all masterclasses, and a pass to everything at the festival, including opening and closing night parties

Conductors (up to 8 conductors accepted)

  • Conduct the American Modern Ensemble
  • Conduct the orchestra readings of the American Modern Orchestra. Readings mentored by the Faculty Conductors and Composition Faculty.
  • 2 conductors will be chosen to perform/conduct the American Modern Orchestra, one each week.  
  • Group seminar with all conductor faculty members.
  • Receive top-of-the-line 4 camera-shot video (link to video posted on the MMF YouTube page) of your performance(s) at the festival.
  • Access to all masterclasses, and a pass to everything at the festival, including opening and closing night parties

All Zankel Hall performances are recorded and fully edited for participants: both audio and video. Composers and conductors receive audio WAV files and links to polished videos of their performances (shot with 4 cameras) posted on MMF's YouTube channel. Composers who take part in the orchestral readings receive un-edited audio recordings of their readings (editing available for an additional fee). 

There will be two chamber concerts that will provide an opportunity for participants and faculty to showcase modern repertoire of their choice. Performers will be given guidelines and may submit proposals for pieces they'd like to play. Works will be chosen on a first-come first-serve basis, based on time and programming considerations. 

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for further information and for answers to questions not covered here.

Mostly Modern Festival is a division of American Modern Ensemble, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.