Music in the Gardens at the Arboretum

Penn’s Woods Music Festival is back with in-person concerts this August

The Penn’s Woods Music Festival (PWMF) resumes in-person concerts this summer with ticketed performances on August 4, 6, 7 and 11, and the free Music in the Gardens at the Arboretum at Penn State on August 14. All concerts begin at 7 p.m., and the ticketed performances will be livestreamed.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the founding of the festival, which began in 1986 in order to provide something the community did not have—a professional classical music festival in the summer.

Russell Bloom, assistant director for outreach and operations in the Penn State School of Music, has been involved with the festival since 1989. “Thirty-three years ago I needed a summer job during graduate school and I was hired to be the assistant manager of the festival. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would experience such a fantastic journey for my career,” said Bloom, whose current duties include managing the festival.”

We have a really special event with talented professional musicians supported by generous patrons who are committed to the arts in this community.”
-Russell Bloom

This year’s festival will feature classical and jazz chamber ensembles performing in the School of Music Recital Hall and on the adjoining Olsan-Stone Terrace.

Music in the Gardens, presented in partnership with the Arboretum and the Music Performance Trust Fund, will feature a chamber orchestra performing on the Event Lawn of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens.

“When Music in the Gardens started, we hoped for 250 people to attend and 500 people showed up! In 2019, the summer prior to the pandemic, the Gardens concert attracted more than 2,500 attendees. This is by far our most impactful and popular concert of the festival. It is really a magical summer evening and a must-attend event,” Bloom said.

General admission tickets for August 4, 6, 7 and 11 are $25 adult/$10 student. Music in the Gardens on August 14 is free (no rain date).

Tickets are available now at In-person ticket sales are August 2–6 and 9–11 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Eisenhower Auditorium box office. The Recital Hall box office will open at 6 p.m. before each ticketed concert.

The School of Music Recital Hall and Olsan-Stone Terrace are located near the northwest corner of the University Park campus, and visitor parking is available at the Nittany Parking Deck for an hourly rate.

PWMF, in its current format since 2008, is supported jointly by Penn State and the surrounding community, and features professional musicians from across the country performing alongside Penn State School of Music faculty, alumni and graduate students. Its goal is to inspire a passion for classical music through innovative concert programming, educational activities and informal events, including PW4KIDS, aimed at young musicians. The 2021 festival is co-sponsored by the School of Music, WPSU, Designer’s Studio and Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.

For more information, including details on concerts and educational programming, visit

The Pennsylvania State University requires adherence to its policies at all times while on Penn State property or attending University events. Penn State has issued rules and precautions that follow, or may in some cases exceed, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By attending or participating in this program, event or activity, you agree to adhere to such guidance and policies, you acknowledge the risk of being exposed to or infected by COVID-19, and you assume any and all such risk. Visit for more information.