Hill and Hollow Music Artist Retreat Guidelines

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Background and Philosophy

After presenting a formal concert series and related outreach for 14 years, we took a sabbatical year for reflection and renewal. We knew that we wanted to keep music central in our personal life and to share it with our community, but we wanted to re-energize our modus operandi. We analyzed who we are, where we are located, and what we have to offer, while we pondered what might be useful to and enjoyable for musicians at various stages in their careers. We realized that what is most deeply satisfying to us is process, and we believe this is at the heart of all creativity. We enjoy interacting with artists and facilitating their process and creativity, while musicians have always enjoyed their time on our farm and our rural Adirondack community. Our period of analysis led us in the direction of offering retreat opportunities for ensembles. We believe we have an appealing situation that allows creativity and synergy to happen.

We have now been following and developing this model for ten years.  It is a flexible scenario in that artists decide what they want to do and when to do it. Typical retreat projects include preparing concert programs to take on tour, rehearsing for an important live performance or recording project, reading sessions to explore new repertoire, “breaking in” a new member of an ensemble, and recording audition material for graduate school or competition. These are just a few of the possibilities!

Our Resources Available

  • Large rambling 1840’s farmhouse, completely renovated and comfortable in any season:
    • four bedrooms (2 queen, 1 double, 1 twin)
    • three full baths
    • equipped eat-in kitchen, including dishwasher
    • gracious dining room
    • spacious, high-ceilinged music room (20′ x 20′) with fine acoustics, Baldwin 6-foot grand piano, several music stands
    • large deck overlooking meadow and forest
    • cozy living room with fireplace and spinet piano
    • separate laundry room
    • two-car garage
    • additional sleeping capacity possible (comfortable day-beds and sofa-beds)
  • To view photo gallery of house, in-depth description, and rental value: http://www.adkbyowner.com/listings/VR6925.html.
  • Meals: grocery stipend provided. Artist prepare own meals, but are invited to some meals at the “Big House” next door (Hill and Hollow Music HQ)
  • Travel: stipend provided
  • Housekeeping: bedding and towels provided
  • Internet Access: satellite wi-fi available at Hill and Hollow Music HQ
  • 1925 Steinway model D piano (9′ grand) housed in a nearby historic church with beautiful acoustics: available for possible recording and/or project “sharing event”
  • Recording engineers with state-of-art equipment and expertise at moderate cost can be scheduled with enough lead-time
  • Appreciative audience we have cultivated for 20 years

Extra-Musical Recreation Opportunities

  • Miles of groomed paths on our farm property through fields and woods for walking, snow-shoeing, and nordic skiing
  • Beautiful river and lakes within minutes for swimming and paddling
  • Adirondack Mountain Club- and DEC-groomed trails and Nature Conservancy-interpreted sites nearby to explore
  • Land Trust five minutes away offers 87 miles of groomed gentle trails for walking, snow-shoeing, and nordic skiing
  • Montreal (QC) and Burlington (VT) 90 minutes’ drive; Lake Placid 60 minutes’ and Saranac Lake 45 minutes’ drive
  • Several nice diners and restaurants minutes away.

Ensemble Expectations

  • Coordinate own transportation: own car is preferable
  • Provide an event: ideally an informal performance and elucidation to consolidate and share what you have been working on during the retreat; in a flexible format, such as a house-concert soirée for 20± patrons or a free & open community concert in a public venue, such as a church, library, or senior center; or a school presentation
  • Respectful care of house for duration: keeping up with daily housekeeping (doing own dishes and sorting trash according to local recycling laws)

Ensemble Eligibilty

  • Emerging professional ensembles (whose members have completed their formal education with B.A., B.M., M.M. degrees or performer certificates)
  • Mid-career professional ensembles that have had recent personnel changes
  • Newly formed professional ensembles whose members are mid-career artists
  • Established professional ensembles
  • If in doubt about eligibility, please contact us

Links to useful information about our neighborhood
http://www.adkbyowner.com (Adirondack by Owner, real estate sales & vacation rentals; view photo-gallery, in-depth description, and monetary value of our guest house)

http://www.townofsaranac.com (About the township in which we are located)

http://www.newlandtrust.org (287-acre preserve, 5 minutes away, with 87 miles groomed gentle trails for hiking, skiing)

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org (Our region’s public radio station)

http://www.adk.org (Adirondack Mountain Club official site)

http://www.nature.org/adirondacks (Nature Conservancy-Adirondack Chapter official site)

http://www.adirondacktrailhead.com (More Adirondack interest and news)