Amherst Early Music Festival - stay tuned for 2024!

Music of the British Isles

Muhlenberg College
2400 Chew Street
Allentown, PA 18104
United States

Directed by
July 2-9
and 9-16, 2023
An Image from a manuscript by Machaut

Information for the 2023 Festival is listed, stay tuned for 2024!

Week 1: Central Program, Baroque Academy, Historical Dance

Week 2: Central Program, Choral Workshop directed by Kent Tritle, Ensemble Singing Intensive directed by Michael Barrett, Lute Society of America, New London Assembly directed by Brad Foster

The heart of the Festival is the Central Program. It is the largest and most varied program we offer, with classes available for most early music instruments, and music ranging from Medieval to Baroque. You can choose the combination of classes that works for you -- perfect if, like some of our students, you sing or dance and play an instrument or two. Play in consorts of like or mixed instruments, investigate a new repertory, take a dance class, or begin a new instrument. Pitch: most classes will be at a=440. Viol-only and most Baroque ensemble classes will be at a=415. See the list of Central Program classes here!

Festival Schedule:

Sunday Events
Check-in: 1:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Dinner is the first meal on the meal card
7:00 Orientation Meeting, followed by a reception, and late check-in.
Check-out: by 9:00 a.m. the following Sunday

Daily Schedule Classes begin on Monday morning, and run through Friday, with four class periods per day.
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.First Class Period
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Second Class Period
1:45 - 3:00 p.m. Third Class Period
3:30 - 4:45 p.m. Fourth Class Period

Evening Event Schedule
Monday, July 3, Lecture
Tuesday, July 4, Ice Cream Social
Wednesday, July 5, AEM Auction
Thursday, July 6, Baroque Academy Faculty Concert
Friday, July 7, Baroque Opera
Saturday, July 8, Faculty Concert, followed by All-Workshop Party
Monday, July 10, Ice Cream Social
Tuesday, July 11, Concert New World Recorders
Wednesday, July 12, AEM Auction
Thursday, July 13, Concert, Lute Society of America & New London Assembly
Friday, July 14, Choral Workshop Concert: Purcell & Handel
Saturday, July 15, Faculty Concert, followed by All-Workshop Party

Other Evening Events In the evening there are lectures, concerts, madrigal singing, English country dancing, drop-in playing sessions, the AEM Auction, and socializing with early music enthusiasts from all over the US and beyond.

Muhlenberg College disclaims any and all liability in connection with Amherst College’s program and activities conducted on its campus or facilities.

*Indicates faculty for week one only, **week two only, no stars = both weeks.

Tuition & Boarding

Tuition  Tuition $695 per week
Room & Board All rooms are air-conditioned.
  Single Room with private bath $725 per week (limited availability, week 2 wait-list only)
  Single Room with hall bath $640 per week
  Double Room with private bath $550 per week (per person)
  Double Room with hall bath $495 per week (per person)
Meals Meals $227 per week
Non-resident Commuter fee to cover facilities costs, $75 per week


Annette Early Notation & Recorder
Rainer Recorder
Letitia Recorder
Frances Recorder
Marilyn Bassoon & Dulcian
Hsuan-Wen Harpsichord
Kathryn Harpsichord
Saskia Recorder
Tracy Voice
Alissa Harpsichord
Emily Voice
Brad Dance
Arthur Harpsichord
Grant Voice & Lute
Priscilla Renaissance reeds
Valerie Early Notation & Recorder
Daniel Voice
Shira Violin & Vielle
Na'ama Flute
Lawrence Viol & Recorder
Loren Viol
Liza Sackbut
Eric Violin & Viola
Sally Bassoon
Heather Double Bass
Daphna Recorder
Ros Viol
Peggy Dance
Patricia Recorder & Early Notation
Wendy Recorder & Early Notation
Gwyn Recorder & Flute
Daniel Renaissance reeds
Peter Harpsichord
Kent Voice
Wouter Bassoon & Dulcian
Spiff Percussion


Festival FAQs

Muhlenberg College
2400 Chew Street, Allentown, PA
Closest Airport: Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)
Approximately 7 miles from the Muhlenberg campus.
Trans-Bridge Lines offers service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC, and Newark Airport to the Allentown Transportation Center, 603 Linden Street, Allentown, PA (2.3 miles from campus)
Greyhound offers service from Philadelphia to the Allentown Transportation Center.

The meal card is $227 and covers one week of meals starting with dinner on July 2, (July 9 for week 2) thru breakfast on July 9, (July 16 for week 2). A la carte meal prices are $10 / $13.50 / $16.75 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

All rooms and classrooms are air-conditioned. Basic linens (sheets, pillow, and towels) are included. Beds are twin, extra long.


Scholarships & Work-Study


All participants are welcome to apply for tuition assistance through AEM's Work-Study program. Please fill out the work study application form to apply. Notice of awards will be sent in late May. Questions about Work-Study can be sent to Click here to show mail address.

AEM Scholarships

To apply for AEM scholarships, send a one-page letter to Marilyn Boenau, the Executive Director of AEM, explaining your interest in early music or dance, your goal in attending the Festival, and your financial need. Email to Click here to show mail address.

The Washington McClain Scholarship Fund honors the memory of Baroque oboist and Amherst Early Music faculty member Washington McClain. It will fund scholarships for students who have historically been underrepresented in the early music field, including African-American, Latinx, and others. Awards will cover tuition, room and board, and travel and may be used for any in-person AEM event, particularly the Amherst Early Music Festival. To apply send a letter of inquiry to Click here to show mail address, with information about your interest in early music or dance.

In addition to scholarships, AEM offers work study tuition to all of our workshops, and the Amherst Early Music Festival. Work study is an option for students of any age.

Other Organizations

American Recorder Society offers scholarships to recorder players for Weekend Workshops as well as Summer Festivals. Any ARS member who needs financial assistance to attend a weekend or week-long workshop may apply for this scholarship. Deadline: May 15.

Lute Society of America scholarships include full tuition, room & board, and some travel. Due Date May 1

Early Music America offers scholarships to help students attend early music and historical performance workshops in North America. Applications due April 17, 2023.

Viola da Gamba Society of America offers Grants-in-Aid to its members to attend Workshops and Masterclasses.

The Historical Keyboard Society of North America has established the Funaro Fund Award to support its members to offset the cost of traveling to an early keyboard event. 

Festival Staff

Letitia Berlin Class programming
Frances Blaker Festival director
Emily Eagen Assistant Festival director
Valerie Horst Faculty housing
Danny Johnson Student housing
Loren Ludwig Production director
Sally Merriman Administrator
Wendy Powers Concert series