Summer Music and More at Staunton’s Heifetz Institute
Heifetz International Music Institute educates young musicians in their artistic growth and treats the community to a variety of world-class listening opportunities. Here’s some background on the program and a peek at what’s on stage this summer!
What is Heifetz?
Heifetz was originally founded in 1996 as a 6-week summer experience by concert violinist and teacher Daniel Heifetz. In 2012, Heifetz moved its location to Staunton and opened the doors to 62 students. Now, 26 years later, the program is much, much larger. Students receive instrumental as well as performance and communication training.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, 40 Heifetz faculty members virtually served 100 students across 9 time zones. They streamed concerts to over 500,000 viewers through YouTube, Facebook Live, and the Violin Channel. And this year, more than 150 students are studying in Staunton!
Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts
Celebrate music with this year’s annual Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts, which extends through August 6th and offers both chamber music and multi-genre selections! Performers include Heifetz faculty, special guests, and 127 string musicians from 9-27 years old. Choose from over 50 concerts. Concert offerings can be either free or ticketed, but since children under 12 are invited to attend all concerts for free, there’s no need to hire a sitter!
- Stars of Tomorrow (Francis Auditorium, Tuesdays and Thursdays, ticketed): This series is packed with incredible performances by extraordinary Heifetz students, visiting alumni artists, and Heifetz piano faculty.
- Market St. Musicale (South Market Stage at Grace Christian School, Fridays, free): These afternoon shows include powerful performances and conversations with the musicians.
- Junior Division Showcase (South Market Stage at Grace Christian School, Saturdays, free): You’ll be amazed by the talents of Heifetz’s youngest students, aged 9-15.
- Celebrity Series (Francis Auditorium, Friday evenings, ticketed): These 75-minute programs bring top performers to Staunton and will feature works by various artists. There’s a happy hour event before each concert that will feature regional wines and foods.
- Heifetz Hootenanny (Page Terrace, Saturdays, ticketed): This informal series allows students, staff, and special guests to create “one-of-a-kind, multi-genre mash-ups.”You might hear bluegrass picking, Broadway belting, folk fiddling, or rollicking rhythm and blues!”
- Chamber Music Sunday Matinees (Francis Auditorium, Sunday afternoons, ticketed): Enjoy chamber music masterworks and spotlight performances by students in the Heifetz Chamber Music Seminar
- Heifetz Grand Finale (South Market Stage at Grace Christian School, August 6): The season’s final concert is a passionate “rousing concert brimming with fire, passion, and virtuosity.” Performances by Heifetz students and faculty are followed by a farewell toast.
Heifetz Ensemble-in-Residence Program (HEIR)
As an alternative to normally scheduled Heifetz on Tour programming, Heifetz provided music during the pandemic with its HEIR (Heifetz Ensemble-in-Residence) Program. Heifetz alumni returned for intensive coaching sessions, public concerts, chances to record music together, and opportunities to provide lessons and partner with area schools. The successful program will conduct two sessions in the fall of 2022.
Another part of the HEIR program is Heifetz’s Heartstrings program, which connects performers with frontline workers and patients at Augusta Health. This program connects musicians and patients for intimate virtual or in-person bedside performances. Additional ensemble performances cater to larger audiences and bring music and joy to the wider hospital community.
Crescendo: A College Preparatory & Music Mastery Program
Stuart Hall School and Heifetz International Music Institute have partnered to build Crescendo, a program for students in grades 5-12 that provides academics to prepare students for “engaged lives of curiosity, creativity, and contribution.” The program also provides “intensive music study for violinists, violists, and cellists in an environment that is developmentally appropriate.” Apply now for fall enrollment!
Check out Heifetz’s multimedia page for videos and sophisticated recorded performances like the Rubato Virtual Concert Hall recordings and the Chock Full O’Bach series.
Looking for a Special Gift?
The Heifetz Gift Shop (107 E. Beverley Street) is your answer to finding music-themed gifts. From wearables and cards to Heifetz chocolate bars and sheet music printed umbrellas, you’ll find a unique gift sure to make someone smile.
Want to rent an instrument for a budding musician? Heifetz has a large selection of instruments to rent or buy.
And if you’d like to take an unusual route to support Heifetz, donate your unwanted household items and clothing. They’ll sell them on eBay and use the profits to support the Institute.