Music Academy Announces Extension of Remote Learning Institute


Music Academy of the West extends Remote Learning Institute through July 25; first four weeks previously announced have been extended for two more weeks

All public Summer Festival events pivot to online virtual community experience for fellows, faculty, and audience

Two-week extension focuses on career building opportunities and artistic content creation

Santa Barbara, CA — Music Academy of the West has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by transforming its planned 73-year-old public Summer Festival into Music Academy Remote Learning Institute (MARLI) for the summer of 2020. Full-scholarship fellows will participate in remote training and performance for four weeks from June 14-July 10. Fellows will be joined by Music Academy faculty artists online and make connections with the Santa Barbara community through a unique Virtual Compeer Program. Audiences from around the world will have access to recordings, livestreamed events, and masterclasses via social media and the Music Academy website.

The Institute will extend for two weeks through July 25 to focus on developing career skills and producing creative content. Deferred enrollment to the 2021 Summer Festival has also been offered to every fellow to ensure they may participate in person in Santa Barbara next year.

It is with mixed emotion that we change course from an in-person experience to a virtual one during the global crisis. Part of our focus will be on the power of music to connect us emotionally and there are no better people to lead us in that than these talented young musicians. It is our responsibility to offer them a supportive community and space to continue their education and growth. Our community anticipates being moved by their creativity.

— Music Academy President and CEO Scott Reed

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Keynote Speaker

President and Creative Producer Beth Morrison of Beth Morrison Projects – Indie Opera and New Music, will address the entire Music Academy community on the topic of innovation in an online Convocation on Sunday, June 14.

I’m really looking forward to inspiring everyone to radically change their thinking about how new music functions in our society and invent new ways of producing and presenting music to our changed world. I’m optimistic about the future of classical music now more than ever.

— Beth Morrison

Music Academy Remote Learning Institute is overseen by (pictured, left to right): Chief Artistic Officer Jamie Broumas and Co-Director consultants Jennifer Bowman, Director of Music Education at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Casey Molino Dunn, Director of Manhattan School of Music’s Center for Music Entrepreneurship. Curriculum has been developed in collaboration with faculty artists and input from a Fellow Task Force of returning alumni and new fellows.

We are going to seize this opportunity to guide fellows to use technology to continue their artistic training and explore professional opportunities. Although we can’t be together in person this summer, we can welcome the Music Academy family to unite in a virtual space that will build relationships. We look forward to inviting everyone back to our beautiful campus for the 2021 Summer Festival.

— Music Academy Chief Artistic Officer Jamie Broumas

Each Academy fellow will receive a specialized package of technical equipment to support their musical endeavors during the Festival and beyond; including a digital tablet with technical support, audio recording and editing software, a microphone, headphones, filming equipment, and (if needed) enhanced internet access options. Fellows will own the equipment following MARLI to use for their continued education and career development.

The core curriculum of MARLI for the first four weeks entails training and performance:

  • Weekly Private lessons and studio classes with faculty artists
  • Interactive keynotes, workshops, and lectures led by esteemed experts in music, business, and technology fields. Innovation and skill-Building curriculum will include sessions with guest artists including Principals of the London Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, Beth Morrison, and Christian Reif, as well as representatives from organizations that empower artists’ entrepreneurial endeavors. These workshops connect with a range of artistic training including stage presence, musical leadership, and repertoire study that is central to fellows’ musical studies
  • Opportunities for collaborative music-making with fellows, faculty, and guest artists
  • Mastery of equipment, presenting high-quality audio and video performance recordings, setting up virtual studios

Community-building activities are woven into the program:

  • Live and recorded health and wellness activities
  • Four-week Compeer Program engagement in which local residents will join fellows online via weekly video conversations to offer a sense of community connection
  • Social activities for fellows

Public online experiences will be available including:

  • A select number of signature events including a Virtual Picnic Concert, plus small performances, masterclasses, and interviews
  • Recorded individual and ensemble performances combined with introductions and commentary

Several career opportunity development activities will be offered to the fellows during the extended, final two weeks of the Institute:

  • Auditions adjudicated by principals of the London Symphony Orchestra to participate in the Keston MAX program to perform with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO in London from April 8-18, 2021. Principals of the LSO will provide individual coaching to each Keston MAX finalist prior to the final competition round
  • Piano Competition in which the winner will receive a cash prize and performance opportunities
  • Competition in the Fast Pitch Awards, the chance to pitch entrepreneurial ideas new innovations in classical performance, presentation, social impact, and audience development for a panel of esteemed industry leaders. The panel will select fellows to receive professional development mentoring throughout the year and take part in the 2021 Innovation Residential taking place in Santa Barbara
  • Professional Development Stipend to develop career skills and/or produce creative content


Information about how to access online events will be emailed, available at, and on the Music Academy Facebook page. The 2021 Summer Festival is scheduled for June 14-August 7.


About Music Academy of the West

Music Academy of the West advances the development of 21st century classically trained musicians and cultivates discerning, appreciative, and adventurous audiences. Founded in 1947, the Academy operates on a 10-acre, ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, California. Music Academy of the West’s world-renowned eight-week Summer Festival offers nearly 200 public events. Programs comprise voice, vocal piano, collaborative piano, instrumental, and solo piano. The Academy began a four-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2018 focused on education and performance on both continents. An Innovation Institute supports alumni entrepreneurship with the Alumni Enterprise Awards and an annual residential. In the local community 200 young people participate in the Academy’s expanding choral program, Sing!. For more information, visit

Released: May 15, 2020

Kate Oberjat
Director of Marketing and Communications
Music Academy of the West
[email protected]