Frequently Asked Questions


FAQs for Applicants

Q: When is the deadline?
A: The 2017 initial deadline is January 22nd at 11:59 PM. However, we do accept applications after the deadline.

Q: When is the letter of recommendation due? How does my teacher submit it?
A: Upon submission of your application, your teacher will receive an email with instructions for submitting a letter of recommendation. Please encourage them to submit the letter within one week of your application submission.

Q: Who judges applications?
A: All admissions decisions are made by the Festival faculty.

Q: Can I apply after the initial deadline?
A: Yes! Applications are accepted until all studios are filled.

Q: I play two instruments, can I apply for two programs?
A: Yes, although you must submit two applications and fees.

Q: Am I eligible for scholarship?
A: Yes, scholarship is awarded based on both merit and need. If you would like to apply for scholarship, please complete the scholarship page on our Decision Desk application. Please refer to the Financial Assistance page for more information.

Q: How do I apply for an RA position?
A: Please refer to Financial Assistance page.

Q: When do I receive admission results?
A: Most applicants are notified in the first week of March.

Q: Can the application fee be waived?
A: Out of fairness to all applicants, we are unable to waive or reduce the application fee.

Q: Can I have feedback on my audition videos?
A: Due to the many applications we receive and process, we are unable to provide feedback.

Q: I already applied but I must make an adjustment. Can I edit my application?
A: Please call the Festival office. We may be able to update the application.

Q: What is the age range?
A: There is no specific age limit, however most admitted applicants are between 13 and 30.

Q: Can I link a YouTube video for my media submission?
A: No, all submissions must be uploaded to Decision Desk via media file. If your media exists on YouTube or another video site and you do not have the original file, there are many free online services that allow you to download an existing YouTube video onto your desktop.

Q: I’m applying for financial aid but do not yet have a proof of income document. What should I do?
A: Please upload a placeholder document indicating that you will provide necessary documentation when available. When you receive your tax forms, you can then email them to the Festival and we will add them to your application.

Q: I applied for both sessions, but if admitted, can only can attend one or the other. Possible?
A: Yes. If you are admitted for both sessions, you may accept both, or accept one and decline the other.

Q: I’m on the waitlist. Is there an order to the list? When will I know the final decision?
A: There is no order to our waitlist. Should a spot open, the faculty reconsider each applicant on the wait list. If you are accepted, you will hear from the Festival immediately. Please understand that our waitlist is very fluid and we do not maintain a large list. Chances of being accepted from the wait list are quite high.

FAQs for Admitted Participants

Q: How do I get to campus?
A: Please refer to the Travel and Visa page.

Q: When is my final balance due?
A: May 1.

Q: I was accepted, received financial aid, but it’s not enough. What should I do?
A: You may contact the office and appeal for additional aid. Although in most cases the initial award is final, our aid committee will reconsider all appeals individually.

Q: Where do I live on campus?
A: Please refer to the Campus Life page.

Q: Can I receive a recording of my performances?
A: Yes! All campus performances are recorded.

Q: What should I wear?
A: As a summer festival, day to day dress is very casual. Please bring comfortable walking shoes and clothing for both hot summer days and cool evenings. Concert dress is formal.

Q: My friend has also been accepted. Can I room with them?
A: In almost all cases we can honor roommate requests. Please indicate your preference on the enrollment forms.

Q: I was accepted but would like to live in the community with my parents. Is this possible?
A: Yes. Please contact the Festival and we will cancel your on-campus residence. We still recommend purchasing a meal plan.

Q: Can I be refunded?
A: All payments are non-refundable. However, if you have a documented medical emergency, we are at times able to reimburse room and board costs.

Q: What is the daily schedule?
A: Please refer to the Festival Schedule page.

Q: Is there a campus map?
A: Yes. Please refer to the Bowdoin College Campus Map.

Q: I will arrive after registration. What should I do?
A: If you have been given permission to arrive after 6:00 PM on Saturday, please go to the Bowdoin College Summer Programs Office in Coles Tower (#68 on map) to pick up your registration packet and room key. If you have not done so already, please let us know if you need to arrive late. When you arrive at your residence, please have an RA (resident assistant) check you into your room and sign your room condition form. The RA’s can also help you find any information you missed.

Q: Where do I live on campus?
A: You will receive your final room assignment upon arrival. Your green ID card will grant access to the front door of your residence building, Studzinski Recital Hall, and Osher Hall. The white ID is the key to your room of residence.

Q: Is the campus safe?
A: In addition to employing 14 residence life staff (on-call 24/7), the Festival uses the security department and infrastructure of Bowdoin College. Bowdoin College Security is available to escort concerned students from one campus building to another after sunset.

Q: Do I need to transport my harp to the Festival?
A: Although we encourage harpists to bring their own instruments, distance often prohibits this. The Festival works with a harp rental company based in Boston, MA. Please contact the Festival and we will arrange for a harp to be brought to campus. The participant is still responsible for the rental and cartage fees.

Q: Can I arrive late or leave early?
A: Although late arrivals and early dismissals are strongly discouraged, we are at times able to accommodate for extenuating circumstances. However, please be aware that some aspects of the program, such as chamber music, may be unavailable to certain participants arriving late or leaving early.

Q: Do international participants need to make special travel arrangements?
A: Please refer to the Travel and Visa page.

Q: How do I find out about my private lessons?
A: Weekly lessons will be coordinated between you and your instructor.

Q: How do I find out my chamber music assignment(s)?
A: Chamber music assignments are made at the beginning of each of our 3-week sessions; no assignments are made in advance. Placement auditions are held in the morning on the first Sunday of each session. Be prepared to play 2–5 minutes of a solo piece of your choice. On the first Tuesday, chamber group assignments are posted in the information room at 12 Cleaveland Street. Chamber music coaching schedules for each three-week session are as follows: Wednesday and Friday the first week; Monday and Thursday the second week, and Monday and Wednesday the third week.

Q: How do I find out about the masterclasses and lecture schedules?
A: Please check the Festival Insights page.

Q: Can I receive mail at the Festival?
A: All mail should be addressed:

c/o Bowdoin International Music Festival
6300 College Station, Brunswick, ME  USA  04011-8463.

Q: Can I bring a car?
A: Participants may park in the Coffin Street lot, near Osher Hall.

Q: Should I bring music?
A: Please bring solo material (along with the collaborative piano score) for your private lessons. The festival will provide music for your chamber group(s). The Bowdoin College Beckwith Music library is also open for use. Remember to bring your ID card in order to check out music.

Q: How do I play in a masterclass?
A: You are encouraged to attend all masterclasses. Selection of players for each class is at the discretion of the instructor. To play in a masterclass, ask your instructor to recommend you.

Q: When do I perform?
A: The Young Artist Series feature participants performing in Bowdoin College’s Studzinski Recital Hall. Community Concerts allow Festival participants to gain performing experience in front of appreciative audiences at off-campus venues. To be selected for these concerts, each chamber group or solo performer must be recommended by his or her instructor. Fellows and advanced participants are often selected to perform in our Subscription Series and Gamper Festival of Contemporary Music.

Q: Where will I live at Bowdoin?
A: Please see the Campus Life page.

Q: Where do I eat at Bowdoin?
A: All participants on the meal plan eat in the award winning Thorne Dining Hall. Its menu can accommodate most dietary needs. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served Monday through Saturday, and brunch and dinner are served on Sunday. Participants who are not on the meal plan are welcome to eat in the dining hall, but they must pay the cash price for meals. For participants who are not on the meal plan, a grocery store and several restaurants and cafés are within walking distance of the campus. We also provide weekly trips to grocery stores and other shopping locations.

Q: Are there any non-musical activities at Bowdoin?
A: Please see the Campus Life page.

Q: Where do I practice?
A: For individual practice, pianists and composers are assigned to shared practice rooms. Double bass, harp, and percussion players have specific practice studios that accommodate their instruments. All other players are expected to practice in the rooms where they reside. For group rehearsals, chamber groups with piano meet in the pianist’s practice room, and those without piano should expect to meet in a player’s residence. Groups that have more than four players may sign up for additional practice space through the office at 12 Cleaveland Street.

Q: How many participants does the Festival host each summer?
A: 250.

Q: Can you tell me about the Bowdoin College?
A: Bowdoin College has a beautiful, traditional college campus. Overall, the campus boasts more than 120 19th-21st century buildings on the 215-acre property. The Festival inhabits about 10 of these buildings during our summer residency and has access to many others such as the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, Studzinski Recital Hall, Thorne Dining Hall, and the athletic facilities. To see a campus map and pictures, visit the Bowdoin College website.

Q: Can you tell me about the town of Brunswick?
A: Brunswick is a lovely small New England town. Maine Street has shops, cafés, restaurants, and banks, as well as a grocery store and a small movie theater—all within walking distance of the campus. To learn more about the area, visit our local Chamber of Commerce.

Q: Wifi, computers, phones?
A: There is campus-wide wifi and public computers are available throughout campus. Every residence hall room has a campus phone (the number is posted on the phone). If there is an emergency or you are having trouble reaching someone on campus, please call the Festival’s main phone number 207-373-1400 or Campus Security at 207-725-3314.