Read what our past festival composers, ensembles-in-residence, and composition faculty are saying about their experiences at Connecticut Summerfest! Be sure to check out our Composition Program Guidelines if you're interested in applying to our festival.
Connecticut Summerfest 2023 was a game-changer for me both professionally and personally. We weren't just individual composers at a festival; we were a community of music-makers learning from each other. I went into CT Summerfest 2023 with a lot of imposter syndrome, but I left feeling confident, respected, and deeply proud of my unique compositional voice.
–Grace Coberly, 2023 Festival Composer
Connecticut Summerfest was one of the most rewarding summer festivals I have had the chance to be a part of. There are very few summer programs out there that have the quantity of rehearsal time in addition to a whole audio and video recording session provided to participants of Connecticut Summerfest--it truly exemplifies the level of support and care Gala, Aaron, and the rest of the staff have for the festival's participants and the resulting musical experiences. I would (and do every chance I get) absolutely recommend Connecticut Summerfest to any composer.
—Alan Mackwell, 2023 Festival Composer
Connecticut Summerfest is an exceptional festival that not only prioritizes new music in every performance, but also actively cultivates successful new pieces through collaboration. Moreover, it truly comprehends the essential elements of bringing a new composition to life in the world. With its revolutionary methods of communication, collaboration, and presentation, including both live performances and video recording sessions, Connecticut Summerfest introduces game-changing features to the realm of new music festivals.
—Garrett Arney, arx duo, 2023 Ensemble-in-Residence
Connecticut Summerfest was an exceptionally well organized program that made room for the composers and ensembles to develop satisfying reciprocal relationships in a short time. Both the communal support and the artistic excellence filled me with a feeling of "this is why I do my job." It's very in touch with what tools are needed for career success, and a rigorous celebration of new music. I can't recommend it highly enough.
–Meg Rohrer, Hub New Music, 2019, 2021, and 2023 Ensemble-in-Residence
I feel that Connecticut Summerfest represents the best of what an emerging composer festival can be. The organization, thoughtfulness, and professionalism of the festival organizers is of the very highest order. Attending Connecticut Summerfest was one of the best decisions I've made in my compositional career and I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone who considers composing to be an important part of their artistic practice.”
— Kento Stratford, 2022 Festival Composer
I had such a blast during Connecticut Summerfest! Everyone was so talented and a pleasure to spend time with, and I really felt inspired when I left for home to do some good work. I would highly recommend this festival to any composer looking to learn and grow!”
— Janay Maisano, 2022 Festival Composer
Connecticut Summerfest provides a welcoming environment in which composers and ensembles can come together to work, learn, and strengthen our community. Connecticut Summerfest is run at a high level with meticulous attention to detail every step of the way from programming to logistics (both in person and online) to post-concert social events. They have their ear to the ground, and invite artists who share high level and thought-provoking work. Connecticut Summerfest is the real deal.”
— Michael Avitabile, Executive Director of Hub New Music, 2019, 2021, and 2023 Ensemble-in-Residence
Connecticut Summerfest created an inspiring and accepting environment full of thought provoking events. I enjoyed every presentation I went to, and had a great time getting to know the composers around me. In addition to looking deeper into my music at lessons with faculty, I learned about publishing, commissioning, and more of the business aspects of being a composer. Attending Connecticut Summerfest 2021 was an invaluable experience, and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of it.”
— Brittney Benton, 2021 Festival Composer
Connecticut Summerfest has been hands down the best experience I've had at a summer program as a composer. The ensemble was fantastic, the line-up inspiring and generative, and the people friendly and fun! Getting to work with and have my music played by singular artists has been professionally a very fortunate experience. But the most memorable part of this festival is the wonderful feeling that I made some genuinely honest connections with kind humans. I feel very lucky for the entirety of this adventure!"
— Stephany Svorinić, 2020 Festival Composer
The diversity of voices in this festival was a true joy.
I will recommend to my composition studio for years to come."
— Matt Sargent, 2020 Composition Faculty
Connecticut Summerfest manages to create a warm, close-knit, and welcoming community without sacrificing the rigor, intensity, and quality one hopes to find at a summer new music festival."
— Dale Osterman, 2020, 2019, and 2022 Festival Composer
I loved getting new perspectives from so many different composers and musicians!
I had an incredibly inspiring week."
— Becky Turro, 2019 & 2018 Festival Composer
So much artistry and skill in such a short period of time! It was such a pleasure to work with the talented young composers throughout the festival. It's such a rarity to be a part of a festival that puts contemporary music front and center, and it was a joy to be an ensemble-in-residence with an organization and community that shares our same artistic values for making new music."
— Kari Landry, Akropolis Reed Quintet, 2018 Ensemble-in-Residence
Coming from a non-traditional path in developing as a composer, I was welcomed into a stimulating collegial environment, learned a great deal, and left with great new friends and real opportunities for performance of my work. A very well-organized festival!”
— Jeff Young, 2017 Festival Composer
Connecticut Summerfest not only brings musicians together, but the small size and intimate setting in Connecticut allows composers and performers to interact and develop relationships that most other festivals do not provide. The performers brought in represent the best in chamber and contemporary music, and the speakers provide insightful and intriguing presentations from using yoga to improve performance practice to the history of Haydn and Wagner's entrepreneurship. Aaron and Gala have created a positive environment that allows composers both young and old to develop into better composers, musicians and entrepreneurs."
— Dale Sakamoto, 2016 Festival Composer