Despite having only a few days to rehearse, an orchestra made up of students attending the Summer Institute at the Round Top Festival Institute flawlessly performed a series of classic works before a packed concert hall during the Summer Festival opening night concert. 

The evening began with a performance of Concerto for Orchestra by Witold Lutoslawski. Festival Hill founder James Dick joined the orchestra following intermission to perform the Piano Concerto No. 1 in E. minor by Frederic Chopin. The final, exhilarating movements of the evening were from Suite from The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky. 

The concert is the first of several performances to be put on by the orchestra students as they complete six weeks of intense development during the Summer Festival Institute. Weekly performances by the students will continue through Saturday, July 13. Go here for information on performances and to get tickets.  

The acclaimed Summer Institute at Round Top Festival Institute has been a bastion of learning for orchestra students for 53 years. A construction project aimed at improving the experience for students and teachers recently broke ground on the Festival Hill campus. Construction is underway on The Educational Ensemble Center – a much-needed 5,264-square-foot addition being built on the west side of the Festival Concert Hall which will provide purpose-built rehearsal spaces that can double as breakout rooms for business conferences and retreats. 

The new building includes seven rehearsal studios (each with donor naming opportunities), expanded spaces for the library reading room, book and archival stack spaces, additional backstage restrooms, a loading dock. There will also be an area for concert concessions and public restrooms. 

“This has been not just a dream, but a necessity,” says Round Top Festival Institute founder and artistic director James Dick.

According to Festival Hill, the rehearsal and teaching spaces are currently spread across several buildings on campus. Presently, there aren’t enough rehearsal rooms to accommodate the Summer Institute program, and these rooms cannot accommodate larger instruments.

Construction is underway on the Educational Ensemble Center at Festival Hill. Donor naming opportunities are still available for the project.

The Educational Ensemble Center will not only accommodate larger instruments like harps and double basses, but prevent them from potential damage by way of being permanently stored at the ensemble center. 

The Education Ensemble Center is scheduled for completion by 2026. For major naming opportunities contact James Dick.