Baroque Academy


July 10-17, 2016

Directed by Saskia Coolen

The Amherst Baroque Academy is a program for advanced amateur, pre-professional, and professional singers and instrumentalists who wish to deepen their understanding of Baroque music and style in a dynamic workshop setting. Pitch is A=415.

PomonaThe Opera for 2016 will be Pomona by Reinhard Keiser (North American Premier) The opera cast will be set by April 15, based on auditions due April 1 for singers. Due date is May 1 for instrumentalists.

Singers can choose to audition for the Opera Project, the Baroque Academy Vocal Soloist Program, or both. Last year's cast in Handel's opera Il pastor fido, below.

Tuition: $630. Click here for information on Room and Board options. Registration opens by Fall 2015.


2016 Baroque Academy Faculty

Julianne Baird, voice

Aaron Sheehan, voice

Robert Mealy, violin

Paolo Pandolfo, viol

Sarah Freiberg, cello

Heather Miller Lardin, double bass

Saskia Coolen, recorder

Members of Flanders Recorder Quartet, recorder

Sandra Miller, flute

Geoffrey Burgess, oboe

Wouter Verschuren, bassoon

Arthur Haas, harpsichord

Peter Sykes, harpsichord

Richard Stone, lute and theorbo

Jason McStoots, opera director

Kevin Mallon, conductor


Audition due dates: April 1, 2016 for Singers, May 1 for Instrumentalists.

Audition Information
To audition, please click below to visit our page on

Submit your digital application

You will need to submit:

1. $30 registration fee
2. Your resume or a brief description (one or two paragraphs) summarizing your musical background and experience, including formal and informal training and education.
3. 10-15 minutes of music showing your technique, expression, and understanding of baroque style. The piece need not be accompanied. For 2016, please include a selection from a German composer if possible. Please include composer and title information with your submission.
4. Singers auditioning for the Baroque Opera Project will also need to submit a head shot and a brief physical description: hair color, eye color, height, and weight. Photographs are accepted in any standard form. This information is required to be considered for a role in the opera.

Many file types for audio and video can be uploaded on the Acceptd website. 


Limited scholarship funds are available, to apply, provide a cover letter with audition packet that details your experience and goals in the field of early music.  Early Music America also provides scholarships. You may also consider contacting your local arts and cultural societies about possible funding. We would be happy to help in providing documentation to assist you in obtaining a third-party scholarship.

Work-Study tuition assistance available in exchange for help with various tasks around the festival.

Cast of Il Pastor fido