KinHaven Music School of Weston has been selected as the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce March 2023 Member of the Month to acknowledge the recent Grammy Award winners from their alumni!
Congratulations to: Junior Session alumni Jessie Montgomery for her Grammy win with the New York Youth Symphony & their performance of Soul Force; Senior Session alumni Domenic Salerni for his Grammy win with the Attacca Quartet for their most recent album Evergreen, which are five original works composed by fellow Kinhaven alum Caroline Shaw who also won Best Chamber Music for this album.
This will be KinHaven’s 72nd summer of operation in 2023. Located in Weston, Vermont, KinHaven is a residential, summer music camp. With programs and workshops for both youth & adults, Kinhaven specializes in classical chamber music, orchestra, and piano education in a nurturing, noncompetitive, and collaborative environment. Kinhaven’s culture reflects its strong belief in the benefits of shared learning, mutual support, friendship, community, and diversity. They serve an international geographical area with 3 full time staff, 12 Board of Trustees, around 70 seasonal faculty & staff, and over 200 students each summer. COVID was the greatest challenge KinHaven Music School ever encountered. Unlike many camps, they ran in-person in 2021 & 2022, which was quite the adventure. But they are a much tighter organization for having done it!
The best feature of this organization is the founders dreamt that children of similar musical interests, removed for seven weeks from the compromises and conflicts undermining their gifts, can actually live with music and greatly profit thereby. KinHaven is a summer music camp that is non-competitive and built on the idea that collaboration and community is the key to success. It may be surprising that their students ditch technology for their entire time at camp — they leave their phones and computers at home!
Kinhaven is a residential, summer music camp situated on a 31-acre former New England dairy farm. They also have a year-round administrative office in Maplewood, NJ. The Weston campus is dotted with practice cabins, a 200 person concert hall, a rehearsal building, a dining facility famous for its delicious homemade food, a converted barn with piano & teaching studios, and student & faculty housing. Kinhaven also has a well-equipped health center, with a nurse on staff, which is available 24 hours a day. Their comprehensive afternoon program features a beautiful swimming pond, volleyball court, soccer field, basketball court, tennis court, and ping-pong tables. Their art house has a fully equipped pottery studio for beginner and experienced ceramists.
With programs and workshops for both youth and adults, Kinhaven specializes in classical chamber music, orchestra, and piano education in a nurturing, noncompetitive, and collaborative environment. Their culture reflects its strong belief in the benefits of shared learning, mutual support, friendship, community, and diversity.
Kinhaven was founded in 1952 by pioneering music educators David and Dorothy Dushkin. The Dushkins met in 1927 in Paris where they were both studying with the famous composition teacher Nadia Boulanger, whose other students included Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson. The couple married in 1930, settling in Winnetka, Illinois, where they started The School of Musical Arts and Crafts, known today as The Music Institute of Chicago. For the Dushkins, music and life were integral to one another. Ensemble playing, across age and ability levels, was an important feature of their approach to music education. The Dushkins’ music education methods quickly took root in the community, and the school developed a national reputation. In 1952, the Dushkins opened Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont, a summer music camp with 13 students. David, the director, emphasized chamber music, and Dorothy encouraged singing and began the tradition of closing the summer session with group singing, usually a Bach cantata. From the beginning, Kinhaven’s central purpose has been the sharing of music through chamber music and singing.
They remodeled their old barn into a few studios and living quarters for 13 children for the first summer of 1952, hoping they would prove the validity of our dream that children of similar musical interests, removed for seven weeks from the compromises and conflicts undermining their gifts, can actually live with music and greatly profit thereby. Using the barn and the main house they launched the camp, which Dorothy had the inspiration to call Kinhaven. From the second year onward the camp grew much beyond anything they had anticipated. The Dushkins accumulated more land and buildings, a larger library and a more expert staff of professional musicians as well as general counselors. The age level went up by several years and musical competence increased enormously.
Kinhaven continued to grow in the 1950s & 1960s. Its core program, called Senior Session today, was its only summer session, and it eventually served 90 students. Kinhaven soon followed the senior session with a two-week adult chamber music session, which featured a mix of chamber music as well as recorder ensemble music. In 1990, they inaugurated a two-week camp for middle-school students. In the early 1990s, the Adult Chamber Music and Piano Workshops were established. In addition to the Senior Session, KinHaven now offers a Junior Session and Young Artist Seminar as well.
KinHaven holds concerts and events during the summer in Weston and in the off-season at various locations around the U.S. Concerts at Kinhaven occur each weekend throughout the months of June, July, and August on campus in their Concert Hall and at various locations in Southern Vermont. Performances can also be viewed online via KinHaven Live.
In 2011, the Board of Trustees chose long-time faculty members Deborah Buck and Anthony Mazzocchi to serve as executive directors and lead Senior Session. They continue to honor Kinhaven’s vision and traditions while strengthening the foundation for its growth and long-term sustainability.
KinHaven continues to maintain connections with former students & staff, keeping up with their news and musical accomplishments. They also gather to support each other at their concerts & events giving alumni opportunities to reconnect.
If you are interested in supporting this organization, consider a contribution to their annual fund HERE. Kinhaven Music School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax-deductible. Thousands of students have benefited from the generosity of donors who continue to make this life-changing musical experience possible.
In terms of future plans, their dream is to create a semester immersion arts boarding school soon.
KinHaven Music School has been a member of the Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce since 2020. According to director Anthony Mazzocchi, “It’s all about building community and connecting to it, especially since we are a seasonal entity. Considering our concerts are free all summer, we hope to see everyone here on campus!”