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The Monadnock Institute at The Walden School

A first-of-its kind contemporary performance program for youth, as part of a collaboration with ICE, Face the Music, and The Walden School.


This summer, The Walden School is partnering with the New York City-based organization Face the Music and renowned artists of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) to offer the inaugural Monadnock Institute at The Walden School. Not only does this residency bring together three premier new music institutions, it also brings together youth composers and youth performers – the music creators of tomorrow – into an exciting collaboration to be mentored by outstanding professional performers and composers who are themselves leaders in the new music field.

This project also seeks to offer The Walden School experience to Face the Music students who are focused on performance, by having them in residence for the first two weeks of Walden’s flagship, 5-week Young Musicians Program. The Monadnock Institute students will attend classes and participate fully in Walden student life, as well as receive coachings and mentorship from ICE performers. ICE will perform a concert featuring new works by Walden faculty as part of a Walden/ICE co-commission. Face the Music students will perform on one of Walden’s weekly Composers Forums, featuring new works by Walden students. And finally, ICE and Face the Music will jointly present a concert of their chosen repertoire for the Walden and Monadnock communities. All events will be free and open to the public.

The goal of the project is for all three groups – Face the Music, ICE, and Walden – to expand their programmatic scope and to collaborate with new partners in exciting ways. For many of the Face the Music students, this project offers an opportunity to study composition for the first time, to work closely with a professional ensemble, and to venture from home to a residential summer camp where they will be fully immersed in music. The full-time Walden students will, in turn, be expanded by this experience as they will be able to compose for these excellent teen players, exchange feedback, and engage with all of the artists involved in the residency project. Students from Walden and Face the Music will observe and participate in the open rehearsals of ICE and the Walden faculty composers readying their works for world premiere.

During the Composers Forum, Walden students will have their works or works-in-progress performed and then discussed, as a composer/faculty moderator facilitates and leads the audience in conversation. Face the Music participants will also have ample opportunity to join in the recreational part of Walden, which includes swimming, hiking, dances, open mic nights, and the general camaraderie found in an overnight camp setting.

Project Media

Minina, by Dai Fujikura
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This piece, featuring members of ICE, is an example of their world-class, exemplary chamber playing and of their commitment to and expertise in performing contemporary music. Featuring Claire Chase, flute; Nick Masterson, oboe; Joshua Rubin, clarinet; Rebekah Heller, bassoon; and Nathan Davis, dulcimer. Recorded in 2014 as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. Please review the excerpt 08:24 – end.

The Lookout, by Charlotte Kottenhahn-Leslie
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Features: The Walden School

This piece is just one example of composition work done by a young person at The Walden School. Written by a 15 year-old student in summer 2014, this recording features Aaron Wunsch on piano and Tawnya Popoff on viola. Giving these young student composers the opportunity to work with professional artists as mentors, teachers, and performers is a rare, unique, and invaluable opportunity.

Fearful Symmetries, by John Adams

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This performance by Face the Music demonstrates these young performers’ high-caliber playing, along with their understanding of and interest in new music. These students are already engaged with contemporary music as performers, and the opportunity to work with professionals and peer composers will only strengthen their skills and commitment to new music. Please review the excerpt 2:40 – 4:50.

Start and End Dates



Dublin, New Hampshire

Project Created By

Dublin, New Hampshire
The Walden School, founded in 1972, is an acclaimed summer music school and festival offering programs that emphasize creative application, specifically through the study of musicianship, improvisation, and composition. In residence on the beautiful campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, New Hampshire, the school provides an inspiring retreat-like environment ideal for creative music making.…

In Collaboration With

Monadnock Institute faculty and students
New York City, New York
Ensemble-in-Residence and Monadnock Institute faculty
New York, New York


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