Education & Programs

Garth Newel Music Center offers world-class education and programs, providing incredible opportunities for musicians of any age or stage of their musical journeys.

Allegheny Mountain String Project group picture
Two students of the Allegheny Mountain String Project

Allegheny Mountain String Project

Comprehensive string music education program, including private lessons, chamber music ensembles, and a youth orchestra to all children of school age within driving distance of activities in Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties.

Emerging Artist Fellowship Program

A four-week, intensive chamber music program for string players and pianists ages 18-28. Highly competitive fellowships are awarded to dedicated instrumentalists who will receive lessons and coachings from the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and other renowned faculty.

Amateur Chamber Music Retreat practicing

Amateur Chamber Music Retreat

The Chamber Music Retreat is designed for string players and pianists (and occasionally other instrumentalists) who love to play, want a chance to work on their chamber music skills, and would like to share their enthusiasm for music with old and new friends for a weekend at Garth Newel.

Music in the Schools

The Garth Newel Piano Quartet have an ongoing relationship with several high schools, where they work with the music students by giving masterclasses, presentations, individualized lessons, lectures, classes, and performances.

Commissions and Recordings

Comprehensive string music education program, including private lessons, chamber music ensembles, and a youth orchestra to all children of school age within driving distance of activities in Alleghany, Bath, and Highland counties.

International Composition Competition

Founded in 1973, Garth Newel Music Center is one of the most active chamber music organizations in the country. Its resident ensemble—the Garth Newel Piano Quartet—performs over 60 concerts annually both at the Center and on tour.

Allegheny Mountain String Project

Group picture of the Allegheny Mountain String Project
Group picture of the Allegheny Mountain String Project

The core values of AMSP align with the NAfME standards of excellence. AMSP students learn a wide variety of musical styles, based on the guidelines of the American Music System which includes American & Appalachian folk songs and fiddle tunes for early instruction. Students learn to improvise and learn by ear as well as read music. They play Bach and Bluegrass both. Many students work through the Mark O’Connor Method books which provides historical information for each piece that gives the music context.

Scholarships are available through funding from the Alleghany Foundation, Bath County Arts Association, the Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge, the Highland County Arts Council, the Bolar Ruritan Club and private donations.

Activities take place at Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs, the Highland Center in Monterey, and the Clifton Forge School of the Arts in Clifton Forge.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact:
Garth Newel Music Center at 540.839.5018.

Donations can also be mailed to:
PO Box 240, Hot Springs, VA 24484

For more information or to join the program, please contact:

Jaime McArdle, instructor, Bath & Alleghany Counties
Jaime@garthnewel.org 

Gretta Sandberg, instructor, Highland County

Gretta@garthnewel.org

Download: AMSP Enrollment Form
Download: AMSP Financial Aid Form

This project is funded in part by the Alleghany Foundation, the Bath County Arts Association and the Highland County Arts Council.

Emerging Artist Fellowship Program

July 8th to August 5th, 2024

Application fee: $30 on or before February 10 – $60 after
Application Review begins after February 10th
Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed as positions are available

APPLY ONLINE – (applications open October 1st)

$250 registration fee due upon acceptance.
Applicants will be notified of acceptance by April 1.

The Emerging Artist Fellowship Program is a four-week, intensive chamber music program for string players and pianists ages 18-28. Both individual instrumentalists and pre-formed ensembles are encouraged to apply. Highly competitive fellowships are awarded to dedicated instrumentalists who will receive lessons and coachings from the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and other renowned faculty. Each participant receives a Fellowship Award valued at $3,000, which covers the cost of tuition, room and board.

Contact Isaac Melamed, Cellist/Co-Artistic Director, for more information: isaac@garthnewel.org

PEAPs Program

Activities

  • Multiple ensemble coachings every week.
  • Weekly master classes.
  • Opportunities to perform with members of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and other renowned guest musicians.
  • Numerous performance opportunities at Garth Newel, the immediate community, and in neighboring towns.
  • Free admission to all summer festival concerts.
  • Garth Newel Music Center sits in the heart of Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains. With its rural setting and breathtaking natural beauty, Garth Newel offers a striking parallel to the organic wonder of music.

Application Requirements (to be completed as part of online application)

  • List chamber music repertoire which you have studied and/or performed.
  • Answer a few questions about yourself, your personal goals, and where chamber music fits in your life.
  • Submit at least two video samples of contrasting style. Pre-formed group applicants should include ensemble recordings as well as individual samples.
  • More info and online application HERE

NOTE: If applying as a pre-formed group, each member should submit a separate application.

Faculty: The Garth Newel Piano Quartet

  • Teresa Ling, violin
  • Fitz Gary, viola
  • Isaac Melamed, cello
  • Jeannette Fang, Piano

2024 Guest Artists 

  • Yvonne Lam, violin (8th Blackbird + Michigan State University)
  • Parker String Quartet (Harvard University)

APPLY NOW

Amateur Chamber Music Retreat

March 21-24, 2024

Now accepting applications! Please fill out this form https://forms.gle/NskrRfBLeCUvkVz88 to apply

Download the new brochure:

ACMR brochure 2024 page 1

ACMR brochure 2024 page 2

The Chamber Music Retreat is designed for string players and pianists (and occasionally other instrumentalists) who love to play, want a chance to work on their chamber music skills, and would like to share their enthusiasm for music with old and new friends for a weekend at Garth Newel. No professional experience is required or expected. Preference will be given to pre-formed groups in the application process.

The weekend is full of chamber music coachings, rehearsals with fellow participants, reading sessions, a final performance by retreat groups, recreation, great food, company and conversation.

Please register early, and join us for this weekend of fun and friendship, packed with unforgettable musical experiences!

We are planning to hold our Retreat on March 21-24, 2024.

Fee: $350 which includes all chamber music coachings, seminars, performances, meals and snacks.

Lodging

  • Manor House Rooms
    • Stradivarius Suite, Amati, Guarneri, and Maggini: $140 + tax per night
    • All other Manor House rooms: $130 + tax per night
  • Giles Cottage: $250 for the first night; $200 each additional night
  • Green Room Apartment: $200 for the first night, $150 for each additional night
  • Woodzell Cottage: $200 for the first night, $150 for each additional night

Topics Include

  • Ensemble playing
  • Listening skills
  • Rehearsal and practice techniques
  • Intonation
  • Rhythm
  • Musical interpretation

Faculty:

This program has been made possible, in part, with support from ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players. You can learn more about ACMP’s programs and membership at www.acmp.net

Music in the Schools

July 10th to August 7th, 2023

The Garth Newel Piano Quartet have an ongoing relationship with several high schools, where they work with the music students by giving masterclasses, presentations, individualized lessons, lectures, classes, and performances.

Past residencies include Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, Jessye Norman School of the Arts, and Appomattox Regional Governor’s School Music at ARGS.