Skip To Main Content

#GivingTuesday – Last year, more than 7,600 Penn Stater’s raised their voices in support of nearly 90 University campaigns and contributed over $700,000 in less than 48 hours. Help make #GivingTuesday 2020 a record-breaking success!

Read More >
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Select where to search:


PWMF Encores

Bringing the 2020 festival to your home concert hall! Maestro Gerardo Edelstein and festival musicians served up 4 nights of PWMF Encores. For each virtual 60-minute (approx.) concert Maestro Edelstein hosted a live discussion with musicians about last year’s festival. Sit back and enjoy encore performances from the 2019 concerts!


Visit the PWMF Encores website

Giving Thanks

We thank our donors, our audience members, musicians, staff, and friends for their continued support. We look forward to welcoming you back to the 2021 festival in person.


Streaming Concerts

Penn’s Woods Music Festival is pleased to share festival concerts via streaming video.

About the Festival

Penn’s Woods Music Festival offers outstanding chamber music and orchestral performances by professional musicians. Supported jointly by Penn State and the surrounding community, the festival seeks to inspire a passion for classical music through innovative concert programming, educational activities, and informal events.

The Penn’s Woods Music Festival (PWMF) is a summer professional orchestral and chamber music festival begun in 1986 and offered in its current format, since 2008. The festival was begun to provide something the community did not have – a professional classical music festival in the summer. The festival, with a community advisory board, is supported by generous contributions from community volunteers and patrons.

PWMF is a wonderful collaboration with outstanding professional musicians from the area and from across the nation performing beside Penn State School of Music Faculty, alumni, and exceptional students.  These extraordinary forces gather for two weeks of high intensity music making that is the highlight of the concert year. PWMF provides the most exciting orchestral experiences in the region – standing ovations are certainly a frequent occurrence.

PWMF’s world class roster of conductors and musicians has delivered two world premiere compositions and several U.S. premiere compositions.

Festival Facts

Learn more about the people and the music.

Festival History

History (1986–2002)
In launching Music at Penn’s Woods in 1986, School of Music Director Lyle Merriman expressed hope that the festival would become a centerpiece of central Pennsylvania’s summer art offerings. Markand Thakar was music director during the first two seasons. The concerts were in Schwab Auditorium with the chamber music recitals in Eisenhower Chapel and, later, in the Music Building Recital Hall. The 1987 season offered four, instead of three, concerts. It was also the year of the first guest conductor. When Markand Thakar left Penn State, the guest conductor of 1987, James Paul, succeeded him as the musical director of the festival for 1988. In 1989 Douglas Meyer became music director and invited James Paul to return as guest conductor.

Expansion was steady and the programming extensive. The orchestra was growing not only in number but also in proficiency. The orchestra outgrew the stage of Schwab Auditorium. To accommodate the larger orchestra, a move was made to Eisenhower Auditorium. During Meyer’s tenure, the Escher Quartet was in residence for several years, bringing a new perspective to solo artists and a new dimension to the chamber music. The Alard Quartet, based at Penn State, had been a part of the early years, but now, with the addition of the Escher Quartet, the student musicians had additional coaching.

Then, from 1994 to 1999, Pu-Qi Jiang served as music director and conductor. Jiang made an immediate impact. He often included female conductors and young composers as well as new or seldom-played works by American composers, plus world premieres.

In 2000, the orchestra was honored to perform at the National Governors Association Annual Meeting. Conducted by renowned Philadelphia Orchestra resident conductor Luis Biava, the orchestra featured the United States Army Chorus in a concert of music composed by Aaron Copland to close out the NGA meeting.

2001 marked the arrival of Gerardo Edelstein as music director. A native of Argentina, Edelstein is one of America’s talented new conductors. Maestro Edelstein has received ovations for his skillful conducting of the orchestra. There have been many changes over the years. The locally assembled chamber group was an international assemblage. Musicians from the United States, Brazil, China, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Croatia, Korea, Russia, and Hungary played and lived together for one month each summer.

In 2003, the orchestra festival was suspended due to budget cuts at the University.

History (2008-present)
In 2008, the orchestra festival was reinstated.

Festival Music Directors

Markand Thaker
1986-1987

James Paul
1988

Douglas Meyer
1989-1993

Pu-Qi Jiang
1994-1999

Vacant (Guest Conductors)
2000

Gerardo Edelstein
2001-2002

Festival Suspended
2003-2007

Gerardo Edelstein
2008-

Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is dedicated to strengthening the relationship between the Penn’s Woods Music Festival, members of the festival orchestra, and the community. It achieves these objectives through a range of programs and activities as determined by the membership in consultation with the director of the School of Music, the music director of the Penn’s Woods Music Festival, and festival staff.

Members of the MPW Advisory Council (2018)

Joyce Buck, chair
Pieter Ouwehand, vice chair
Howard Bond, secretary
Gordon DeJong
Justin Dorsey
Hannah Lin
Mark Minnich, chair elect
Sally Minnich
Stephen Seidman
Lynn Sidehamer Brown
Carol White

 

David Frego, ex-officio

Sue Haug, ex-officio
Gerardo Edelstein, ex-officio
Russell Bloom, ex-officio
Robyn Krause-Hale, development
If you would like to participate as a member of the Advisory Council, or volunteer for a committee, please contact: Sue Haug.

Advisory Council By-Laws

Mission. The mission of Penn’s Woods Music Festival is to offer outstanding chamber music and orchestral performances by professional musicians. Supported jointly by Penn State and the surrounding community, the festival seeks to inspire a passion for classical music through innovative concert programming, educational activities, and informal events.

Vision Statement. Inspiring a passion for live music in this and future generations.

The Advisory Council

I. Purpose
The Advisory Council is dedicated to strengthening the relationship between the Penn’s Woods Music Festival, members of the festival orchestra, and the community. It achieves these objectives through a range of programs and activities as determined by the membership in consultation with the director of the School of Music, the music director of the Penn’s Woods Music Festival, and festival staff.

II. Organization
The Advisory Council consists of no more than twenty members who are selected for their interest in and willingness to support the festival. Ex officio members include the dean of the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, the festival music director/conductor, the director of the Penn State School of Music, staff from the School of Music (financial assistant, publicity and operations assistant), and a representative of the college development office.

Council members shall be elected for a three-year term (July 1 – June 30). Members’ terms shall be staggered to provide a smooth transition from members who are completing their terms to those beginning their terms. Members shall be eligible to serve an additional three-year term (up to six years), but shall be ineligible for further re-election until one year has elapsed. The members and officers of the Council shall be elected by a majority vote of the Council members present at the May meeting. Each Advisory Council member shall serve on at least one committee or task force.

Council leadership rests with a chair, vice-chair, and secretary (elected for 2-year renewable terms). The chair shall preside at meetings of the Council and shall perform such other duties on behalf of the festival as may be prescribed from time to time by the Council.  Upon completion of his/her term of office, the chair shall be invited to serve as a member of the Council for at least one additional year. In the absence of the chair, the vice-chair shall preside at meetings of the Council. The secretary shall be responsible for taking minutes of meetings. Meetings will occur as determined by the Council chair and the director of the School of Music. The agenda for meetings will be determined by the director of the School of Music in consultation with the Advisory Council chair.

III. Committees
Committees, volunteer coordinators, and special task forces will be appointed each year by the Council Chair, in consultation with the Director of the School of Music, as appropriate to achieve the goals of the festival. Each committee or task force will meet as frequently as necessary to plan and accomplish its work. Standing Committees and their duties include:

Development Committee – to assist the Director of the School of Music with fund raising events and activities, using personal contacts and influence to assist in fund-raising and friend-raising objectives, investigating grant opportunities, and helping to identify potential donors. A college development officer will typically be an ex officio member of this committee.

Nominations Committee – to maintain an ongoing roster of potential Council members, to submit a slate of candidates for Council membership and officers at the May meeting of the Council, and to submit names to fill vacancies as they occur from time to time. This committee is normally comprised of the Council chair and vice-chair, and at least one additional member of the Council.

The Artistic Advisory Committee – to assist the music director/conductor by advising about festival programs and by helping to identify and recruit players for the festival. Committee members are selected by the music director, typically from members of the orchestra, but also including at least one member of the Advisory Council.

Other responsibilities may be carried out by an individual, a committee, or a special task force appointed by the Chair, in consultation with the Director of the School of Music. These duties might include:

  • Coordinating social events that enhance the visibility of the festival within the community and that foster a strong community-university partnership such as after-concert receptions.
  • Developing special activities and events that will help to build audiences and support awareness of the festival.
  • Assisting festival staff with marketing and publicity.
  • Coordinating snacks for orchestra breaks during the festival.
  • Arranging quality accommodations for festival orchestra members as may be requested and to maintain positive communications with those volunteers who open up their homes for this purpose.

Revised 4/6/18

Members of the Penn's Woods Orchestra rehearse in the new music recital hall with soloist James Lyon.

Place holder image for Events
Dec 3

Bach's Lunch: Voice Jury Honors

CSED All Faith Chapel
Voice Jury Honors "Bach's Lunch" is a weekly Thursday afternoon concert series during the school year, jointly sponsored by the School of Music and the

Events

Go. Explore.

DMA Solo Recital: Yera Kim, piano

Music I 121 Esber Rehearsal Hall
Place holder image for Events
Dec 4


DMA Solo Recital Part II: Yera Kim, piano

Music I 121 Esber Rehearsal Hall
Place holder image for Events
Dec 4


Cabaret of Many Colors

Virtual Performance
A graphic with 'Cabaret' in bright lights and the words
Dec 4

Join us for a virtual "Cabaret of Many Colors," including musical theatre performances, solos songs, spoken word, and dance.


See All Events