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 and Summer Study

We have a exciting study and performance programs available to you.  Some are overseas, some are at SMCM during the summer. These can satisfy the college’s requirement for “Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World."

International Alba Music Festival (last two weeks of May)

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 wealthiest 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 musical experience, combining study and performing. Our faculty is joined by an international roster of performers from throughout Europe who come to Alba to perform and interact with our faculty and students. Students may study performance (vocal or instrumental) or composition. All students will play vital roles in the performances or other activities of the festival. While this festival is open to the participation of students from around the US and Europe (and we do attract a growing number of such students), SMCM students' participation is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Alice Waldschmitt, whose gifts underwrite a significant percentage of SMCM student costs (air tickets, room, board, instructional costs). For more information, please see any of the full-time music faculty.

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Summer Opportunities – The River Concert Series

Every summer, the Chesapeake Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Jeffrey Silberschlag, plays a six-concert series on Friday evenings in June and July. The programs include music from the heart of the standard orchestral repertoire, including, in recent seasons, Mahler's Symphonies No. 1 and 5, Bruch's Violin Concerto (with Lara St. John), Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, Strauss's Thus Spake Zarathustra and Till Eulenspiegel, Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 (with Leon Bates) and Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 3 (with Jon Nakamatsu). New music has included Kenji Bunch's Hardware Concerto (with the Ahn Trio) and Jeffrey Mumford's "verdant and shimmering air," and much else, including world premieres of music by William Thomas McKinley written for Ben Bradlee as narrator (What the Presidents Said), David Froom (Songs of a Summer Evening, Striking Silver), Scott Wheeler (Gradualia, a piano concerto for Eliza Garth) and Louis Karchin (Chesapeake Overture).

The principle players in this full-size, professional orchestra are the music faculty of St. Mary's College of Maryland. Student musicians play alongside SMCM faculty and other fine musicians, drawn from among the best players of the Baltimore/Washington region,  Our students are involved in every part of this series. Those students whose interest includes arts management are paid for the full range of behind the scenes work. Students who are interested in performance are, as appropriate, hired to play in the orchestra.  It is possible to do both of these.

For details about these and other international or domestic opportunities for SMCM music students, please speak with any of the full-time music faculty.  For students with special or particular interests involving work or study in the US or abroad, we have been able to help create custom programs of study.  Please come to us with your ideas, and we will try to help.

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