Summer at St. Mary's


Professor Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting the Chesapeake Orchestra at the River Concert Series.

Study abroad in Italy

Choir and Orchestra in Alba

You can participate in the Alba Music Festival, two weeks of intensive music making in the north of Italy.


International Alba Music Festival for Performers and Composers


In the 1980s and 1990s, the Chamber Singers of St. Mary's College of Maryland would go on tour for two weeks in May, performing in a variety of major European centers. In 2000, the tour included instrumental students and key faculty. This experience led us to the idea of seeking a regular European home for these May activities, open to all of our students who wished to participate. For 2001-2003, we decided on a residency at a music conservatory in Saluzzo (in the Piemonte region of northern Italy).

In 2004, the residency shifted to Alba (also in the Piemonte region), a move that coincided with the initiation of the International Alba Music Festival. The move to Alba came about because our regular presence in the region which allowed us to find the ideal setting for our activities, one that would provide the best educational and performing setting for our students.

Alba is the capital of the Italian wine industry. It is to Italy what Bordeaux is to France. Major industries in Alba, including Cerreto Wines and Ferrero Chocolates, make Alba Italy's second richest area. Alba has two concert halls, five major churches (which are wonderful performance venues), several pedestrian/shopping districts, and, since Roman times, has been considered, even in Italy, a place of extraordinarily fine cuisine (Alba is where Italy's finest truffles are harvested).

The International Alba Music Festival is an intensive two-week experience, combining study and performance under the guidance of SMCM faculty joined by an international roster of performers from throughout Europe and Asia. We all come together in Alba for two dozen concerts, and much interaction (formal and informal). Students in composition hear their music performed, and interact in private and masterclass sessions with guest composers from the US and Italy.


For more information about the International Alba Music Festival, contact Jeffrey Silberschlag.

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