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Adult a cappella singing summer camp

Mount Holyoke College Workshop
in Ensemble Singing

August 2–4 and 5–10, 2024

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Medieval and Renaissance, Early American, Romantic, Folk, Jazz and contemporary songs

“ This was a life-changing week for me. Thank you so very much! ”

— 2019 workshop participant

About Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College is a private liberal arts gender diverse historically women's college in South Hadley, Massachusetts. It is the oldest member of the Seven Sisters colleges, founded in 1837 as the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary by Mary Lyon.  Emily Dickinson was one of the school's earliest students. Mount Holyoke is now part of the regional 5-College Consortium that also includes Smith, Amherst, and Hampshire Colleges, alongside U. Mass. - Amherst. The college's 800-acre campus includes a prominent art museum, an observatory, and a botanic garden.

Mount Holyoke College is within driving distance (2½ hours) of New York and Boston. Peter Pan Bus lines operates daily service to South Hadley from New York City and Boston. Amtrak serves the town of Springfield, Massachusetts just 30 minutes from South Hadley, and bus service is available from Springfield to South Hadley. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, services all major airlines and is a 45-minute drive from the campus.

The Western Wind Workshop

This workshop represents the 43rd anniversary of Western Wind workshops which began at Dartmouth College in 1981. What makes a Western Wind workshop unique is the focus on small ensembles. In small groups, everyone plays a role and makes an essential contribution. Here’s a chance to sing a variety of music with other singers at your own level. Each group is personally guided by a Western Wind member.  During the Tuesday-Saturday 5-day session, guest faculty members prepare participants to perform repertoire beyond that learned in one's core group. You may sing a solo or small ensemble piece of Early Music with continuo accompaniment under the guidance of specialists Bob Eisenstein and Hideki Yamaya and/or you may sing a vocal jazz or pop arrangement with the help of arranger and composer Yumiko Matsuoka.  Another highlight of the 5-day workshop is a Silly Seminar featuring skits, an off-beat T-shirt contest, and an Elmer Fudd style rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus. 


Click the button below to make your deposit to register for the workshop (refundable through July 19). You will receive an e-mail confirmation with further information. The deposit is $200 for Weekend Only participants, $450 for on-campus 5-day or 8-day participants, $400 for 5-day or 8-day commuters, and $0 for scholarship applicants.  The remaining balance is due by July 31.


Tuition, Meals and Accommodations

Rehearsals and performances will take place in Pratt Music Hall, Abbey Chapel, and the Auditorium, all lovely spaces with air conditioning. Buckland Hall, a roomy, mid-century modern dormitory, offers single and double suite accommodations with shared bathrooms. The college provides fans since none of the campus dormitories is air-conditioned. Feel free to bring another fan in case of a heat spell. Lower-story and basement rooms tend to be cool, so on these floors, you might need the blanket that will be supplied alongside sheets, towels, and soap.  Buckland has a large living room and kitchen where we can socialize after each evening's seminar. 

Dining options include fresh salads, grilled entrees, smoothie and coffee stations, and sushi or other international options. Much of the produce comes from local family farms, and Mount Holyoke College is always looking for ways to increase these local partnerships.

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Arrival / Departure Info


session begins Friday evening, August 2 and concludes Sunday, August 4.


session begins on Monday evening, August 5 and concludes Saturday,

August 10, late afternoon.


session begins on Friday evening, August 2 and concludes Saturday,

August 10, late afternoon.

Monday August 5 is a day off until the evening. It’s an opportunity to explore the gorgeous Mount Holyoke campus, swim, hike, shop and visit local area attractions. 5-day and 8-day participants residing in the dorm can arrange to stay there the final Saturday evening following the conclusion of the workshop for a modest additional charge.

Linda Lee Jones, soprano
Christina Kay, soprano
Gayla Morgan, mezzo

Eric S. Brenner, countertenor

David Vanderwal, tenor

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Elliot Z. Levine, bass (co-founder)

William Zukof (co-founder)


Robert Eisenstein, viola da gamba. Founding member of The Folger Consort, early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. Long-time director of the Five College Early Music Program in Western Massachusetts. Lecturer in Music History at the University of Massachusetts. Performances with the Newberry Consort, Tanglewood Festival, Cappella Nova, the New York Consort of Viols, the Washington Bach Consort, Hesperus, and the National Symphony. BA Antioch College; MM, Sarah Lawrence College.


Hideki Yamaya, lute and guitar, was born in Tokyo, Japan. He spent most of his career in the West Coast before settling in New England, where he is a freelance performer and teacher. He is one half of the Schneiderman-Yamaya Duo and is the artistic director for Musica Maestrale, an early music collective based in Portland. He is also recognized as an effective communicator and teacher, and has given masterclasses and workshops at Yale University, University of California, Santa Cruz, Montana State University, Oregon State University, and Aquilon Music Festival.

Registration Policy

Please enroll in advance. By making your deposit ($450 for residential, $400 for commuter; $0 for scholarship applicant) you set all the wheels in motion. You will receive an e-mail with a letter and a questionnaire. The balance is due by 7/31/24. If you are having any trouble enrolling online please call us at 212-873-2184 or e-mail us at If this is your first Western Wind workshop, we will meet you via Zoom or phone before the workshop to help place you in an appropriate small ensemble.



9:00–9:45 Vocal warm-ups and rehearsal of large group piece

10:00–12:00 Small group rehearsals

12:00–1:30 Lunch and relaxation

1:30–2:00 Optional musicianship skills classes or duo/trio coaching with guest faculty

1:45–4:00 Small group rehearsals

4:15–5:00 Optional country dancing with live band

5:00–6:00 Optional jazz classes

6:00–7:00 Dinner

7:15–9:30 Performance seminar by all small ensembles

8-day participants have Monday open for recreational activities, including a swim. 5- and 8-day participants have Thursday afternoon free to play tennis, go jogging or swimming, walk into town, or take a nap!

The Western Wind and guest faculty present a concert on the first Friday night of the workshop.

Weekend participants finish their stay by presenting a concert on Sunday afternoon. 5-day participants present their final concert on Saturday afternoon. 8-day participants participate in both concerts. Full days of performing and listening, participating and appreciating will enrich your a cappella voyage through the ages!


A limited number of partial scholarships based on ability and financial need will be available. For information regarding scholarships please contact The Western Wind office: via e-mail or via phone, 212-873-2184. Scholarship requests are due by May 1, 2024.


Mount Holyoke College is within driving distance (2½–3 hours) of New York and Boston.

By Bus

Contact Peter Pan Bus Lines (413-781-3320) for information about schedules to South Hadley. There is daily bus service between South Hadley and New York City and Boston.

By Train

Amtrak (800-USA-RAIL) now stops in Northampton again, but Springfield may be the better station..

By Air

South Hadley is 32 miles north of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, which is served by all major airlines. A door-to-door shuttle service provided by Valley Transporter (800-872-8752) is available from Bradley to South Hadley for approximately $32 each way (reservations are required). Peter Pan Bus Lines (413-781-3320) provides transportation from Springfield Union Station to South Hadley. Using a ride share service between BLD and Springfield station may be a good option if you don't want to use a shuttle van.  Logan International Airport in Boston is served by all major airlines and is a 2-hour drive from South Hadley. There is Peter Pan Bus service between Logan and South Hadley.

Registration Policy

Advance registration is required to ensure your enrollment. To register please send your deposit to us via Ticket Tailor on this website or by check to: The Western Wind, 250 West 100th Street, Suite 1112, NY, NY 10025. A letter of acknowledgment containing pertinent information as well as a questionnaire will be e-mailed to you upon receipt of your registration. Your balance due for registration and/or accommodation fees must be paid prior to the workshop. You will be billed for your balance due 10 days before the workshop starts.

Special Offerings

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Music Policy


The cost of the large group piece is included in your weekend’s tuition. However, you are required to purchase music used in your small ensembles.


Octavos must be purchased at their retail value. Photocopies are 15¢ per side, if a published piece is not available or the piece is in the public domain.


If your group uses one piece out of a larger collection, you may request (before using or marking the larger book, please!) that the selection be photocopied for you at the charge of 15¢ per page (each side). Please destroy all photocopies of copyrighted music at the weekend’s conclusion pursuant to copyright law.


Music that you make marks in must be purchased.



​A library of outstanding ensemble music is also available for your perusal and purchase. Please feel free to browse. A 10% discount applies to music and concession purchases that total $100 or more! 15% if it’s $200 or more!


More and more workshop participants bring tablets from which they can read digitized scores. This is an option in almost every case.

Bring Your Group!

Pre-existing groups are welcome at Western Wind Workshops.  If enough members of a group enroll, they can apply for a tuition discount and work together as a group.  Please contact for details as early as possible.

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