The 10th biennial Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music runs through June 18 and will present concerts and workshops on the Midcoast and in Ogunquit. Concerts will feature recent chamber music by American composers, and workshops will explore the creative process with regional artists, musicians and school students.

The Seal Bay Festival’s goal is to make American chamber music a living experience for concert audiences, artists and school children. All repertoire is prepared rigorously in collaboration between composers and performers in an intense, but idyllic island setting during the first week of the festival.

Performers in residence will include the Cassatt String Quartet and pianist Adrienne Kim of New York. Composers in residence will include Gabriela Lena Frank of San Francisco, Laura Kaminsky of New York, Anna Weesner of Philadelphia and Samuel Zyman of New York and Mexico City. Workshops will be led by festival educational Nicolas Scherzinger, composer and saxophonist from Syracuse University.

The concerts will be held Monday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Hokanson Hall of the Vinalhaven School; Wednesday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Waterfall Arts Belfast; Thursday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Rockland Congregational Church; and Friday, June 17 at 8 p.m. at Ogunquit’s Dunaway Community Center.

A workshop/performance for school children from North Haven and Vinalhaven will be held Wednesday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Vinalhaven School. A symposium with festival musicians and regional visual and performing artists will be held at Waterfall Arts Wednesday, June 15 at 3 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Co-directors of the Seal Bay Festival are Daniel S. Godfrey, Composer-in-Residence at the Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music; and Steven Stucky, Given Foundation Professor of Music at Cornell University and recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Also on the festival board is composer John Duffy of Camden.

Concert programs will include “Quijotadas” for string quartet by Frank; “Cadmium Yellow” for string quartet by Kaminsky; “Lift high, Reckon; Fly low, Come Close” for violin, cello and piano by Weesner; and the world premiere of “Cartas de Frida” for piano and string quartet by Zyman. In addition, the concert on Vinalhaven will include a structured improvisation by a group of students from the Vinalhaven and North Haven schools. At all four concerts, all composers on the program will be in attendance and will introduce their own works.

Seal Bay is based on Vinalhaven; this is the first year the Belfast concert will be at Waterfall Arts, whereas the symposium has been held there in the past.

“It’s an unintimidating environment, which is always good when it comes to contemporary music,” said Godfrey.

There is a suggested donation of $10 for the Midcoast concerts. A portion of the proceeds from the Vinalhaven concert will be donated to Partners in Island Education. For more information, visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to