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Frost School of Music & Festival Napa Valley Form Multiyear Partnership



The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and Festival Napa Valley have announced a multi-year partnership to collaborate on university-level educational, chamber music, and orchestral music programming. As part of the partnership, to be called “Frost School at Festival Napa Valley,” Frost faculty and students will be fully integrated and play key roles in many of the Festival’s programs, including the Blackburn Music Academy, the Manetti Shrem Opera Program, and Festival Orchestra Napa.


The announcement was made jointly by Frost School’s Dean Shelly Berg and Charles Letourneau, Festival Napa Valley’s Vice President and Director of Artistic Planning.


“Festival Napa Valley is one of the most treasured music festivals in the U.S. and we are thrilled to join forces on this new initiative,” states Dean Shelly Berg. “The Frost School trains the whole musician - as an artist, entrepreneur, stage persona, and more, and we are enthused to bring this philosophy of musicianship to the innovative Festival Napa Valley.”


Charles Letourneau added:  “We are delighted to welcome the Frost School of Music into the Festival Napa Valley family. Frost’s renowned faculty members and brilliant students are a tremendous addition to our diverse programs.”


Frost School’s Jennifer Grim, newly appointed Artistic Administrator for Frost School at Festival Napa Valley stated: “Summer festivals are an essential part of any serious music student's training, not only for the music study and performance opportunities but also as a way to establish lasting friendships and connections. I look forward to seeing our students thrive at Festival Napa Valley.”

In addition to Professor Grim, participating Frost School faculty this summer include Associate Professor Margaret Donaghue Flavin (clarinet), Professor Jodi Levitz (viola), Associate Professor Craig Morris (trumpet), Lecturer Bettina Mussumeli (violin), Associate Professor Svet Stoyanov (percussion), and Associate Professor Richard Todd (horn). ​

Approximately twenty Frost School of Music students will participate in Festival Napa Valley’s renowned Blackburn Music Academy this summer. Students are recommended by faculty and selected via an audition process. The Blackburn Music Academy’s faculty also includes members of the St. Lawrence Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Zéphyros Winds, The Percussion Collective, Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival, and the Blue Ridge Chamber Music Festival, and leading musicians from the Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, and Metropolitan Opera orchestras.


Students and faculty will participate in the Festival’s rich program offerings, which this summer include a production of Puccini's opera Gianni Schicchi conducted by Kent Nagano, Vivaldi's Four Seasons with violin soloist Chad Hoopes, and an evening of “Opera Under the Stars” conducted by James Conlon and featuring tenor Michael Fabiano and the winners of the Festival’s Manetti Shrem Prize. Students will also participate in masterclasses, take classes in Alexander Technique, and learn about entrepreneurship, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and arts advocacy.


Frost School of Music Expands Summer Festival Outreach Programs


The Frost School of Music continues to expand opportunities for music students to enrich their musical journey. The partnership with Festival Napa Valley places the school at the forefront with two of the most important and prestigious summer music festivals. In 2020 Frost joined forces with Jazz Aspen Snowmass to present the JAS Academy in collaboration with the Frost School of Music. The four-week full scholarship program is dedicated to identifying and assisting the most talented artists embracing jazz fundamentally while exploring myriad related and unrelated forms of music at the highest level of quality. The Frost faculty works closely with JAS Academy Artistic Director, 7-Time GRAMMY award winner Christian McBride.


About the Frost School of Music


The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is one of the most innovative and acclaimed music schools located in a private university in the U.S. It is renowned for its unique Frost Method® curriculum which creates musicians that have artistic, technological, and entrepreneurial skills to thrive and succeed in the rapidly changing world of professional music. Course work and performance opportunities can be cross-genre and non-siloed, affording 700 students a rare and musically diverse education. Frost is a top choice for the highest level of education in classical, jazz, and pop, as well as music engineering, music education, music therapy, and music business.



It is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was a historic occasion. Consistently named one of the Top 10 music schools by Billboard Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter among numerous other media outlets, The Frost School of Music seeks to transform lives through the study and performance of music and to enhance music’s future as the result of the most innovative and relevant curricula in higher education. For further information, visit www.frost.miami.edu.


About Festival Napa Valley


Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, Festival Napa Valley offers programs that enrich the economic and cultural vitality of the region and make the arts accessible to all. The Festival presents world-class performances staged in iconic venues and inspiring educational programs both during the summer festival and at Napa County public schools year-round. It is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit organization governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders. More than 200 artists, wineries, resorts, theaters, restaurants, chefs, and vintners participate each year. For more information visit www.festivalnapavalley.org.


By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Frost School of Music