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Summer Music Institute

Summer Music Institute

Postponed Summer 2023.

We apologize for any inconvenience, but we look forward to seeing you next year! Check back later for details.

During mid-June, the week-long Summer Music Institute (SMI) offers daily group instruction, masterclasses, and rehearsals for both a full orchestra and two string orchestras, in addition to intensive programs for piano and saxophone. The development of each participant’s talent and musicianship is emphasized in this intensive and challenging musical atmosphere. The Institute includes two student recitals, open to the public, that give participants the opportunity to perform either solo or in small ensembles. This musical week concludes with a public performance by the RYSO and the string orchestras.

Members of the RYSO are expected to attend SMI as a part of their annual program. SMI is the first introduction to the majority of the repertoire for the upcoming performance season and is the best opportunity for students who come from all around the region to form bonds as musicians and peers. A limited number of spaces are available for other students to participate in the full orchestra, per successful audition.

Check out our Summer Music Institute Programs below!

String Orchestras

The string orchestras are composed of members of the RYS String Ensemble and welcome applications of non-members on a space-available basis. These orchestras provide a total music experience for students of string instruments: violin, viola, cello, and bass. Completion of fourth grade and one or more years of string instrument study are required to attend SMI and participate in the string orchestras.

Piano & Saxophone Intensives

SMI also boasts both a Piano Intensive and Saxophone Intensive program. Designed for students interested in advancing their musicianship, the programs provide young musicians the opportunity to experience concentrated study. Students participate in chamber music coaching, private lessons, technique and practice classes, repertoire classes and the opportunity to listen and perform with peers in an encouraging, fun environment.

Faculty & Staff

Throughout the week, students are well-supervised in their study, practice and recreational activities. Students receive the highest quality instruction from SMI faculty, all of whom are professional musicians and teachers and many of whom are members of the RSO. There is a specialist for each instrument represented in the orchestra. In addition to providing instruction and coaching rehearsals, many faculty perform for the students in a faculty recital. Where time permits, students may arrange private instruction with individual faculty members. Fees for these lessons are separate from the Institute tuition and must be arranged with and paid directly to the instructor. Qualified chaperones and a certified lifeguard are carefully selected and trained for the Institute. The Hollins University security force is on duty during the Institute as well.

Location & Facilities

The Institute is held at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. Students are housed in college dormitories and eat in modern dining facilities. Classrooms, practice rooms, recital and concert halls are available for the Institute’s use. Recreational activities include swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

For more information about the Summer Music Institute, please contact Community Engagement Education Coordinator, Hannah Cox, at or call 540.343.6221 x.231