The Walden School, founded in 1972, is a summer music school, camp, and festival offering programs that emphasize creativity and community, specifically through the study of composition, musicianship, improvisation, and choral singing. In residence on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, Walden provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making. The Walden School’s programs include the Young Musicians Program (YMP) for students ages 9 to 18, and the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) for adults. The School’s Concert Series showcases free public performances by renowned artists and ensembles that work closely with program participants. The Walden School has twice been awarded a Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, has won a New Music Educator Award from the American Music Center (now New Music USA), has been a finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, and in 2017, was awarded a Ewing Arts Award. The Walden School is the successor organization to the Junior Conservatory Camp.
The Walden School is a 501(c)3 organization, supported by major foundations, corporations, and hundreds of generous individual donors.
The Walden School Young Musicians Program provides an unparalleled creative summer experience for musically inclined students ages 9 to 18. Part school, part camp, and part festival, the program convenes each summer for five weeks in Dublin, NH. Through rigorous and innovative daily instruction, students hone their musical and creative skills within a supportive community of like-minded peers and mentors. Learning at Walden is grounded in the school’s unique musicianship course, which utilizes improvisation and composition as the major tools for musical growth. Students take courses covering a wide range of musical subjects, including theory, composition, literature, computer music, and chorus. By the end of the summer, each student has completed at least one composition to be performed and critiqued by guest artists, faculty members, and fellow students.
A week-long festival in New England, the Creative Musicians Retreat (CMR) is offered for composers, improvisers, performers, electronic musicians, choral musicians, and music teachers who want to spend a week immersed in music. All participants at the Creative Musicians Retreat take classes (The Walden School Musicianship Course, seminars on Contemporary Topics, courses in electronic music), sing in chorus, attend workshops in improvisation, hear concerts, and participate in Composers Forums. Private lessons, coachings and master classes are also offered. Our Composer-In-Residence is on campus all week, moderating three Composers Forums, conducting master classes, and giving private composition lessons. The faculty for the Creative Musicians Retreat is drawn from veteran faculty of Walden’s renowned Young Musicians Program. They are a diverse mix of improvisers, composers, performers, and music scholars. Visiting Artists reside at Walden for the duration of the Creative Musicians Retreat. They kick off the week with a concert of new music and then work with participants in a stimulating workshop environment.