NOWsummer Festival and Retreat

Deadline to Apply: May 15

Aix la Chapelle Farm

RJ Farm

NOWsummer Festival and Retreat (NOWsummer) is a new kind of music festival for non-professional adult musicians, located in the pastoral farm country of Poolesville, Maryland. Brought to you by the New Orchestra of Washington (NOW), NOWsummer celebrates the vibrant avocational music scene that so enriches the Greater Washington area, and the power of community as expressed through collaborative music making.  

The mission of the NOWsummer Festival and Retreat is to empower participants to channel a better version of themselves through music, meditation, dialogue, and community building.  

If instrumental music is your passion and you believe in the positive power of music in our society, NOWsummer is for you. No audition is required. Simply fill out the enclosed application form and submit!

Come to Poolesville and be a part of this new community. Participate in the side-by-side performance opportunities. Find a new YOU through NOWmaste yoga/meditation and Feldenkreis movement workshops. Develop your skills through private lessons and chamber music coaching. Be enriched by ArtsMatter Dialogues on a range of subjects, hosted with insightful panelists. Celebrate with a powerful side-by-side final performance! 

Individual lessons are available for violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, and clarinet. Special opportunities for chamber music coaching are available to pre-formed groups. 

If you play an orchestral instrument that is not on the list and you are interested in applying, please contact Grace Cho. It is likely that your needs can be accommodated.  

NOWsummer is open to ages 21 and older. Participants are expected to arrange their own transportation. 


Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, artistic director 

Ryo Yanagitani, visiting chamber music coach

Aeolus String Quartet: 
Nicholas Tavani, violin 
Rachel Shapiro, violin 
Caitlin Lynch, viola 
Alan Richardson, cello 

Jessica Powell Eig, double bass 
Jeremy Eig, clarinet 
Stephen Key, oboe


Registration Fee: $25 (non-refundable) 

Participant Tuition: $620 (includes coaching fees, admission to all events, and meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch).   

Auditor Tuition: $300 (includes admission to all events and meals. Auditors are welcome to observe large group rehearsals, but not private lessons/coaching unless invited.) 

Deposit of $100 due at registration. Balance due on June 1. 

How to Apply

Print out and complete the registration form. Enclose a tuition deposit/registration fee check in the amount of $125.00 USD made out to:  


Mail to: 

New Orchestra of Washington 

12320 Parklawn Drive 

Rockville, MD 20852 

Attn: NOWsummer 


May 15 Registration Deadline 

June 1 Withdrawal Deadline (no tuition refunds will be offered after this date)