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BMC students perform on lawn of White House, 1961
Brevard students perform on lawn of the White House, summer 1961. Photo courtesy Brevard Music Center

Brevard Music Festival

In the cool Blue Ridge mountain-lake setting of Brevard, North Carolina, musicians from all over the world come to study at the Brevard Music Center (BMC), founded 64 years ago, one of the oldest and finest summer music institutions. Its 145 buildings are spread over 140 beautiful mountainside acres. Each year, more than 370 students, ages 14 through post-college, join professional musicians to devote themselves fully to music for seven weeks. In addition to a rigorous schedule of instruction, students also play side by side with faculty and guest artists in the presentation of more than 70 public concerts, staged operas, and musicals for a paying audience. Because there is an emphasis on performing with professional musicians in addition to instruction, Brevard is unique in giving students the opportunity to understand the world of the professional musician. During 2000, students will perform, and visitors will see performances diverse as, Verdi's Aida, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondolier,Strauss' Die Fledermaus, Lerner and Loewe's Brigadoon, Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Brevard began in 1936 as a summer band camp for boys on the campus of Davidson College. Transferring to the campus of Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina during WWII, the "Transylvania Music Camp" finally opened its doors in 1945 on a beautiful site just outside the town of Brevard in western North Carolina, thus becoming known as the Brevard Music Center. Its primary mission, from the very beginning, has been to promote quality music education. Today Brevard concentrates on training in performance and music theory under repertory conditions. Brevard Music Center's five orchestras, three bands/wind ensembles, plus piano, classical guitar, composition, conducting and chamber music programs offer numerous performance opportunities for every student. Throughout BMC's history, numerous guest artists, such as Frederica von Stade, who have come to perform have extended their stays to give master classes for students.

To study at Brevard, young musicians must have completed a competitive audition and selection process. During the summer of 2000, participants from approximately 40 states and 10 foreign countries will take part in BMC's intensive educational programs. BMC succeeds in living up to its motto: Mentoring - Our Mission; Performing - Our Passion.

The project is documented with nine pages of text, a press release, a 2000 season brochure, a booklet on BMC entitled Theme and Variations, a brochure describing 2000 season classes and application form, a glossary magazine, Overture: Your Guide to the Brevard Music Festival, 1999 season, and a magazine article on BMC from Southern Living. Also included are 46 color slides and two videotapes: "Blue Ridge Summer Serenade," and "Impressions," featuring the 1999 Brevard Music Festival.

Originally submitted by: Jesse Helms, Senator.



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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