Free Pre-Concert Talks

August 14-23

Musicologist Jason Stell, the SMF’s executive director, and special guests provide background insights before nearly every concert.  Guests include visiting music historians, performers, and composers.  Talks are free and open to all.  Unless otherwise noted below, all talks are held in Trinity Episcopal Church’s McCracken Hall from 6:40-7:00 pm. 

Handel's Orlando (Aug. 14)
Love Stories (Aug. 15)
A Shakespearian Fantasy (Aug. 16 onstage at Blackfriars Playhouse)
Children's Corner (Aug. 17)
Early Keyboard Extravaganza (Aug. 18)
Take Five (Aug. 19)
(Neo-) Baroque (Aug. 20)
Baroque Inside/Out  (Aug. 21 with special guest Tim Carter)
Memories and Roses (Aug. 22)


Note: For Haydn's oratorio The Creation on Sunday August 23, a special ticketed pre-concert discussion, including brunch, will be held at Trinity’s McCracken Hall beginning at 1:00 pm.  Dr. Tim Carter is the invited guest speaker.  To learn more, click here.



Road Scholar Program

August 16-21

From historical trips to the classical Mediterranean to ski weekends in Colorado, Road Scholar programs offer “adventures in lifelong learning.” For the past several seasons, the Road Scholars have made Staunton and the SMF part of their offerings.

During our summer festival, Scholars receive six hours of class time exploring the backstory of works on SMF concerts. Classes are taught by professional music historians, performers, and composers. Scholars are invited to attend open rehearsals and usually attend 8-10 concerts during their stay. After three days with SMF, the Scholars shift to the American Shakespeare Center to “brush up on the Bard.” Complete information available here.



Kids Listen for Free!

All year long

Children aged 18 and under can attend nearly every SMF concert for free; at certain limited capacity events they pay the college rate.  See individual event pages for complete details. Help encourage a love of live classical music by bringing your children and grandchildren!  And note the special Concert for Young People with ballet on Saturday August 15 at 3:00.