Eastern Music Festival (EMF) is one of our nation’s top summer music festivals and schools for students age 14 – 23 founded and based in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina.
During the festival in the summers, I coach a student brass quintet twice weekly, give one trumpet master class and teach 2 -3 student weekly each summer.
EMF Brass Faculty attend all the student orchestral performances and perform in Faculty Chamber Music concerts at Guilford and around the Triad. The students rotate between two equal orchestras – each presenting full weekly concerts of massive orchestral repertoire. It is an intense and busy time, but an amazing 3-1 ratio creates an incredibly supportive environment, conducive to lots of faculty/student interaction and learning. This ratio is second -to-none in this country. It is no surprise that the Faculty, all this nation’s top performers and educators, are the driving force behind the success of this incredible festival. Begun by Shelley Morgenstern, (a fellow Northwestern alum) a young 26 year old horn student who was from Greensboro, EMF is in it’s fifth decade. Maestro Morgernstern saw the wooden hall of Dana Auditorium and knew what that meant for the acoustics – he immediately decided he needed to start a music festival there in 1961.
The students enjoy weekly lessons with the faculty and weekly trumpet master classes as well as weekly orchestral reading sessions, and offerings of Alexander Technique along with career and music presentations by faculty. The faculty trumpets – Chris Gekker, principal and Jeffrey Kaye, second and myself, each teach 2-3/students/summer. I’ve had too many students to mention here, but it does bear mentioning one of my most successful students is Karen Bliznik – principal trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony. Other alumni from EMF’s 55-year history include Brandon Ridenour, Joseph Burgstaller, and Wynton Marsalis