All great works of art have a story to tell, and music is no exception. Whether it be works from the distant past or compositions written in recent memory, the programs at Staunton Music Festival seek to engage both ears and minds. And each piece of music presents an opportunity for audiences to learn more about how music is created, interpreted, and made continually relevant. The Festival features several educational components, including pre-concert talks, the Perspectives Video Series, and in-depth program notes tailored for every concert.
During the summer festival, free pre-concert talks are offered before each evening program. These talks are popular with concert-goers, and are generally held in a lecture room adjacent to the performance hall. Each is about 20 minutes long and is presented by invited musicians, composers, and music historians.
In 2020 Staunton Music Festival developed "Perspectives", a series of short videos that will take you deeper inside the music we perform. Videos feature SMF performers, composers, and historians sharing their insights about the music, recollections about specific performances they have given at the festival, and the broader historical context in which music is created.
For current and past Festival seasons, music historian and SMF executive director Jason Stell creates detailed, thoughtful program notes to accompany each performance. In addition, Stell and other invited friends provide short pre-concert talks prior to each evening program. Learn more about the music planned for the current season.
KIDS AT CONCERTS
Children aged 18 and under can attend nearly every SMF concert for free; at certain limited capacity events they pay the college rate. Noon concerts last one hour and are more casual in atmosphere. See individual event pages for complete details. Help encourage a love of live classical music by bringing your children and grandchildren to the Festival!