Allan Dean, trumpet
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

The summer festival takes place on a beautiful country estate in Norfolk, Connecticut (not Virginia). It runs for six weeks, from early July finishing around the middle of August. There are about 40 participants (called fellows) made up of string quartets, piano trios, one or two woodwind quintets and one brass quintet. The program is free and fellows are housed in local residences.

A pre-formed brass quintet is preferred and we have had many fine groups in the past few years from schools like McGill, Northwestern, Oberlin, and the Manhattan School. One can also apply as an individual. On occasion we do not have any groups we want to accept and in that case we put together a group from the individual applicants.

This is a very intense program. The quintet members spend many, many hours together. The group is coached daily by the Yale brass faculty. Normally I coach for two weeks with Scott Hartman and William Purvis also doing two weeks each. We work on the major brass quintet literature and the group will normally perform a major work each week on the participant concerts. 

This is wonderful program for a group that is interested in learning new material as well working in a serious chamber music atmosphere for an extended time. Norfolk gives a brass group the unusual opportunity to be a part of a program that also involves winds and strings with their exceptional literature. We have had groups of all ages from an undergraduate ensemble to young professional groups just getting started.

The Yale School of Music supporting brass chamber music in this unique program is greatly appreciated by the brass faculty and we feel it is one of the best summer programs available.