FAQs for Applicants

Q: When is the application deadline?
A: The 2024 priority deadline is January 15 at 11:59 PM PT. We accept applications after this deadline for select programs, however, the application fee increases. (Note that our SlideRoom platform is ET, so for example, West Coast students who submit after 11:59 ET, will see the following date listed as their submission time.)

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. If your recommender has trouble locating the SlideRoom email, they should email the recommendation letter to Grace Bell at grace@bowdoinfestival.org, who can upload it to your application.

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

Q: Can I apply after the initial deadline?
A: Yes! For select programs, applications are accepted until all studios are filled. If you miss the priority deadline, we recommend submitting your application by February 10.

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: Scholarship is awarded based on both merit and need. If you would like to apply for scholarship, please complete the scholarship form on the application. Please refer to the Financial Aid section for more information.

Q: How do I apply for an RA position?
A: Resident Assistants (RAs) act as supervisors in the residence halls and apartments and receive a scholarship to cover full room and board. To apply, please prepare the following for inclusion in the online application: (1) A statement describing why you would like to be considered for an RA and (2) A list of past experiences that qualify you for an RA position. Please refer to Financial Aid page for more information.

Q: When do I receive admission results?
A: Most applicants are notified in the first week of March. However, results are released on a rolling basis and we ask for your patience.

Q: Can the application fee be waived?
A: The Festival does not want the application fee to be a barrier to submitting an application. If you would like to request an application fee discount, please email Grace Bell at grace@bowdoinfestival.org.

Q: Can I have feedback on my audition videos?
A: Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to provide feedback.

Q: I already applied but I must make an adjustment. Can I edit my application?
A: Please email Grace Bell at grace@bowdoinfestival.org or give her a call at 207-373-1441. She may be able to help you update your application.

Q: What is the age range?
A: There is no specific age limit for the Instrumental Program, however, most participants are between 13 and 30. Most students in the Composition Program are 18 and older. The Collaborative Piano Program accepts applicants 18 and older. The Fellowship and String Quartet Programs are open to students 21 and older.

Q: Can I link YouTube or Vimeo videos for my media submission?
A: Yes! This is excellent way to share your videos with the Festival.

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, please email them to Grace Bell at grace@bowdoinfestival.org and she will add them to your application.

Q: I applied for both sessions, but if admitted, can only 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. If a spot opens, the faculty reconsider each applicant on the waitlist. 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 waitlist are considerable.

FAQs for Admitted STUDENTS

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

Q: When is my final balance due?
A: April 15.

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 Housing page.

Q: Can I receive a recording of my performances?
A: Yes! All campus performances are recorded and our Production Team will email a link to your video within 3 weeks of your performance.

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. Please refer to our packing list in the Student Handbook.

Q: How do I do laundry?
A: Washers and dryers are available in every residence hall. Laundry detergent is not provided.

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: There will be no refunds after April 15, except for documented medical emergencies, in which case only the participation fee may be refunded on a pro-rated basis.

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

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 Osher Hall (#77 on the map) to pick up your registration packet and room key. If you have not done so already, please email Grace (grace@bowdoinfestival.org) 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 RAs 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 residence hall room.

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 Grace (grace@bowdoinfestival.org) and we will help you arrange for a harp to be brought to campus. The student 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. All late arrivals, early departures, or other absences must be approved by Festival Directors prior to your arrival.

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 auditions will occur virtually over Zoom in advance of the Festival, starting in late May. Be prepared to play 2–5 minutes of a solo piece of your choice. Students will receive their assignments about two weeks before the beginning of their session and should arrive ready to start rehearsing with their groups immediately. Chamber music coaching schedules for each three-week session are as follows: Tuesday 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 Free Events 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: Yes. Students 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: Should I bring a stand?
A: Yes, instrumentalists should bring a folding stand for individual practice and ensemble rehearsal.

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 faculty member 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 perform in a Young Artists Concert, each chamber group or solo performer must submit an application signed by the private instructor or coach. 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 Room & Board page.

Q: Where do I eat at Bowdoin?
A: All participants dine 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.

Q: Are there any non-musical activities at Bowdoin?
A: Please see the Student 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 in Osher Hall.

Q: How many participants does the Festival host each summer?
A: 250 (180 per 3-week session).

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. If there is an emergency or you are having trouble reaching someone on campus, please call the Festival’s Director of Admissions & Operations at 207-373-1441 or Campus Security at 207-725-3314.