Inside Music at Port Milford
Music at Port Milford, established in 1987, offers a four week intensive chamber music experience for advanced music students, ages 12-18 in historic Prince Edward County, Ontario. Students, who are admitted competitively, work together to produce weekly performances of chamber, orchestral and choral works. The atmosphere is one of cooperation. The 2019 Artist Faculty include the outstanding Quatuor Saguenay, PUBLIQuartet, and Tokai String Quartet, conductor Michael Newnham, pianist Andrea Botticelli, and Marie Berard, Concert Master of the Canadian Opera Company. Weekly Faculty Artist and Student Performances.
While putting together challenging weekly performances, students work cooperatively, forming friendships. The summer school is located on an historic thirty-five acre farm overlooking South Bay. The Students are housed in charming cabins, complete with front porches and lake views.
It was the founders' great love of string quartet playing and their many happy years as students and teachers in summer music programs that led to the creation of MPM. Consequently, chamber music is at the heart of our program. Each student is assigned to a chamber group based on their level and experience and given daily coaching sessions. Music is chosen from the standard quartet literature: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Dvorak, Schumann.
Performances and Special Events
Each week culminates in a Saturday evening Faculty Performance, and a Sunday afternoon Student Performance, including chamber groups, orchestra, chorus, and madrigals. In addition, as part of our community outreach, we host an annual "Port Milford Takes to the Streets" event. Student chamber ensembles play for shoppers along Main Street, Picton, reaching community members who may not otherwise get out to the MPM performances. During Session II select instrumental ensembles perform for Seniors at an annual Garden Party event, giving those community members an opportunity to hear some great music played by our terrific students
Prior to breakfast, counselors are available to lead group runs, polar bear swims and yoga stretches. Afternoon recreation time allows for a bit of relaxation such as swimming (certified lifeguard on duty at all times), pick up soccer games, frisbee, chess, reading in the hammock, chatting with friends. On non-performance nights, evenings are set aside for movies, jam sessions, the famous MPM dances on the deck and campfires overlooking South Bay.
Everyone sings in the MPM chorus, which meets daily. We believe that singing, besides being great fun, is one of the best ways to teach sight-reading and pitch-discrimination. We sing challenging rounds, folk songs, and 3-4 part motets and cantatas. The Madrigal Singers group is an option for students who are strong readers and wish to do additional singing each day.
Each student receives weekly individual instruction with an assigned teacher. Our high student/teacher ratio optimizes opportunities for additional individual attention.
Students are housed with their counselors in cabins overlooking South Bay, the converted 1800's barn, or the old General Store. All classes are held in the house and adjacent farm buildings. Our big country kitchen produces a variety of fine meals which we eat together on our wooden deck with a lovely view of the water.
Meals are prepared by a team of culinary professionals in our beautiful country kitchen. Each meal is eaten outside on the deck, overlooking Lake Ontario. Vegetarian options are available at every meal, and other dietary restrictions also can be accommodated.
The string orchestra rehearses each morning and performs weekly. Reading skills are emphasized. The repertoire ranges from the baroque period to the contemporary.
Ensembles in Residence
Each session will feature a resident ensemble, in addition to other outstanding faculty. The resident ensembles serve as coaches, mentors and private teachers, and are presented in weekly performances.
8:00 breakfast and clean-up
11:00 snack break
1:15 quiet time