Northeast Pennsylvania's premier private school


Music Festival

"As a parent of a young cellist, it was very gratifying to hear him praise your program. Your program offered each student great personal attention and intense training in an environment conducive to hard work. Being exposed to true professionals and talented peers, along with the chance to play larger and more challenging works, helped the young musicians progress exponentially. "Ang Lee, parent of summer student

Summer Music Festival

July 14-July 28, 2019

The Summer at Sem Music Festival is a two-week program for young musicians working with expert faculty from around the country to hone their craft in the beautiful environment of Wyoming Seminary. Students will perform in large ensembles right alongside the faculty, as well as small chamber music ensembles, and work on solo repertoire in private lessons. Courses such as "Mindfulness and Wellbeing for Musicians" and "Music Entrepreneurship" empower students to think about how music will fit into their lives in the long term. Guest artists and conductors-in-residence lend their expertise as we pursue musical excellence in a warm and supportive environment.

Meet the Director

Dr. Jonathan Harvey

Dr. Jonathan Harvey is the Music Director for the Summer at Sem Music Festival. In addition to his work at SSMF, Jonathan is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, MA, and Music Director of the Brattleboro Concert Choir in Brattleboro, VT.

As Music Director of SSMF, Jonathan oversees all aspects of the festival's program design and management. Working closely with guest conductors and faculty, he coordinates the summer repertoire and daily schedules to ensure the best possible experience for the young artists of today.

Instrumental Program

At a Glance

The Instrumental Performance program of the Summer at Sem Music Festival encompasses two large ensembles: Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra. The program is designed for dedicated players who are interested in honing their skills on professional-level repertoire. In addition to solo work and chamber ensembles, students will play in either the Concert Band or the Symphony Orchestra right next to expert faculty on their instrument, under the direction of renowned conductors-in-residence. Seating rotates regularly in both ensembles, so that all students have the opportunity to be challenged and rise to the occasion. During this program, guest conductors-in-residence will lead and mentor students in preparation for two Saturday evening large-ensemble concerts, and faculty will prepare students for frequent solo and chamber recital opportunities.

Daily Schedule

8:45 a.m. – Community meeting
9:00 a.m. – Studio masterclass /
Group lesson
10:00 a.m. – Festival Chorus
11:15 a.m. – Lessons / Practice time
12:15 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. – Lessons / Practice time
1:30 p.m. – Concert Band / String Chamber Music
3:00 p.m. – Wind & Percussion Chamber Music / Class
4:30 p.m. – Symphony Orchestra / Class
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
7:30 p.m. – Evening activity (recitals & concerts)

Meet the Faculty

Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida – Cello

Appenheimer-Vaida completed her musical studies at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Frankfurt, Germany, under the tutelage of Professor Susanne Mueller-Hornbach and has undertaken additional studies with Gerhard Mantel, Siegfried Palm, Hubert Buchberger, Ulrich Voss, Menachem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio), and Edna Golandsky. Before moving to Northeastern Pennsylvania, she taught at Justus-Liebig- University, Giessen, and headed the string department for the Buseck Music School while performing regularly both as soloist and chamber musician throughout Germany. Ms. Appenheimer-Vaida is the artistic director of an annual chamber music festival at Wyoming Seminary.

Lisa Burrell – Violin

Dr. Jefferson Campbell – Bassoon

With a focus on music that appeals to all audiences, Jefferson has commissioned and premiered over 20 new works for the bassoon in recent years. His New York City debut recital at Symphony Space in January of 2012 was titled “21st Century Bassoon: music that’s fun to play" and featured music composed since 2003. His collaborations with composers Jess Hendricks, Justin Rubin and marimbist/composer Gene Koshinski have resulted in a series of popular new pieces featuring the bassoon in a variety of settings including bassoon alone, with piano, with electronic playback and with various combinations of percussion. The recently popular funk bassoon duet “Get It!" by Koshisnki was the result of a commission from Campbell in 2007.

Dennis Carter II – Flute

Carter has a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Wayne State University. He has toured the US with the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players, The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra and Carl Rosa Opera Company (UK). Currently Principal Flutist with the Dearborn Symphony, he also holds that position with the Fisher/Masonic Theater Orchestra of Detroit, Warren Symphony and Orchestra Canton. A busy freelancer, he has performed with the all of the area orchestras including Detroit Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony and most recently the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra.

Chris Ferrara – Violin

Kemp Jernigan – Oboe

A native of Gulf Shores, Alabama, Jernigan performs extensively in and around New York City in ensembles varying in size and style. A graduate of the Yale School of Music, Jernigan has been a guest artist at festivals such as Bridgehampton, Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society, Ocean Reef, Washington Friends of Music, Black Hills Chamber Music Society, Millbrook Music Assembly, and Musical Bridges over San Antonio. He is a frequent guest performer with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mark Morris Dance Group Ensemble, as well as a founding member of the ensemble SoundMind.

Gene Koshinski – Percussion

Percussion artist, composer, and educator Dr. Gene Koshinski (b. 1980), Professor of Percussion at the University of Minnesota Duluth, has delighted audiences worldwide with his dynamic performances and creative programming. Well-known for his extraordinary versatility as a solo, chamber, symphonic, jazz, pop, and world music artist, he has performed in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Slovenia, the UK, Canada, and throughout the United States.  He has recorded for the Naxos, Innova, Centaur, MSR Classics, and Equilibrium record labels and his performances have also been heard on the CBS, PBS, and ESPN television networks as well as NPR.  He is sponsored by Pearl/Adams Instruments, Sabian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, and Innovative Percussion and his method book, solo albums, and over 35 published compositions are distributed internationally. 

Tsukasa Mizuguchi-Waltich – Piano

A native of Japan, Mizuguchi-Waltich received her Bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University and Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton. During her time in school, she studied piano with Thomas Hrynkiw, Ann Liva, and Walter Ponce. She has performed numerous solo recitals, chamber music, and piano concertos, including Mendelssohn’s piano concerto, Saint-Saëns’ second piano concerto, and Beethoven’s first and fourth piano concertos. She has worked with the Wilkes Community Conservatory, the Arcadia Chorale, the Lyric Consort, the Encore Music Camp, the Performing Arts Institute, the Catholic Choral Society, and other organizations throughout the United States.

Jamie Orfanella – Trumpet

Lisa Raschiatore - Clarinet

Raschiatore is a freelance musician and teacher in the Southeastern Michigan area. She currently serves as Principal Clarinetist with the Michigan Philharmonic and Bass Clarinetist with the West Michigan and Traverse Symphony Orchestras. She has appeared as a substitute musician with the Grand Rapids, Michigan Opera Theatre, Windsor, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras on clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and basset horn. She has also toured the country with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players as principal clarinetist, and this fall will appear in the pit of a nationally touring Broadway show at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit.

Julie Russell – Double Bass

Kristen Sienkiewicz – French Horn

Sienkiewicz is Assistant Professor of Horn at Austin Peay State University. She is in demand as a freelance and studio horn player in Nashville and the broader region. This season she can be heard playing with orchestras from Alabama to Indiana, and as co-principal horn in Middle Tennessee’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra. Prior to moving to Tennessee she was an active chamber and orchestral horn player in Boston and throughout New England.

Suzanne Wagor – Viola

An avid chamber musician, violist Wagor has collaborated with numerous artists,

including members of the Tokyo String Quartet, the Nash Ensemble of London, and the Peabody Trio. Wagor holds a B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory, an M.M. from the Julliard School, a Performance Diploma in Orchestral Training from the Guildhall School of Music, with additional chamber music studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has twice been a finalist of the American String Teachers Association National Competition.

Justin Waller – Trombone

Waller is an active musician and teacher in the Greater New York City region, where he has performed and recorded with such groups as the American Brass Quintet, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Long Island Symphonic Choral Association, and several others. Recent solo performances include a guest recital at the Summer Trombone Workshop, hosted at the Manhattan School of Music, and a performance of the Concertino for trombone and string orchestra by Lars-Erik Larsson, with the SCCC College Orchestra.

Jared Ziegler – Saxophone

Meet the Conductors

Patricia Cornett – Concert Band

Catharine Bushman – Concert Band

Paul Hostetter – Orchestra

Hostetter holds the Ethel Foley Distinguished Chair in Orchestral Activities for the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University; Artistic Director of the Music Under the Dome series; and the conductor and artistic advisor for the acclaimed Sequitur Ensemble.

He has held appointments as the Director of Orchestral Studies at the John J. Cali School of Music at Mont Clair State University, the music director of the Colonial Symphony and High Mountain Symphony, artistic director of Winter Sun Music Festival, music director of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Principal Conductor of the NY Concerti Sinfonietta, founder and artistic director of the Music Mondays Chamber Series in New York City, and the associate conductor for the Broadway production of Candide and assistant conductor for the Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm.

Jeri Lynne Johnson – Orchestra

Vocal Program

At a Glance

The Vocal Performance program of the Summer at Sem Music Festival is designed for dedicated vocalists who want to explore the many facets involved in developing the singer’s art, in the Concert Choir, as well as solo work and chamber ensembles. Vocal students who seek to expand their skills and repertoire for either professional or personal aspirations will benefit from this opportunity to study with master faculty within the field. Intensive rehearsal and class time are devoted to in-depth development of technical and expressive abilities, including posture, breathing, resonance, diction, style, phrasing, and textual communication. During this program, guest conductors-in-residence will lead and mentor students in preparation for two Saturday evening large-ensemble concerts, and faculty will prepare students for frequent solo and chamber recital opportunities.

Daily Schedule

8:45 a.m. – Community meeting
9:00 a.m. – Studio masterclass /
Group lesson
10:00 a.m. – Festival Chorus
11:15 a.m. – Lessons / Practice time
12:15 p.m. – Lunch
1:00 p.m. – Lessons / Practice time
1:30 p.m. – Vocal Chamber Music
3:00 p.m. – Concert Choir 
4:30 p.m. – Class
6:00 p.m. – Dinner
7:30 p.m. – Evening activity (recitals & concerts)

Meet the Faculty

Molly Allen – Soprano

Allen holds a bachelor of music and a master of music degree in vocal performance from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America. She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area where she teaches at Harmonic Music Studios. When she is not teaching, Allen is pursuing a career in opera. She has performed the role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Gilda in Rigoletto, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Julie Jordan in Carousel, Miss Silverpeal in Der Schauspieldirektor, Jou Jou in The Merry Widow, Cupidon in Bel Cantanti Opera Company’s production of Orphee aux Enfers, and Nella, in the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival’s production of Gianni Schicchiand.

Patrick Cook – Tenor

Praised by the Washington Post for his “imposing and promising tenor,” Cook began the 2017-18 season with the creation of the role of Dr. Osborn in the world premiere of Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt with On Site Opera in performances at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. Later this season, he sings the title role in excerpts of La clemenza di Tito in the operatic pastiche On Behalf of a Madman with Grand Harmonie in Boston as well as the title role of Sadko with Bel Cantanti Opera. His engagements next season include his Washington National Opera debut as Kronprinz in Puts' Silent Night.

Rebecca Henry – Alto

With her “beautiful mezzo timbre,” Rebecca Henry is capturing the attention of audiences throughout North America. Most recently heard as an Apprentice Artist with Ash Lawn Opera, Ms. Henry is distinguishing herself as a communicative and engaging performer. During her recent tenure with Ash Lawn Opera, Ms. Henry portrayed a playful yet otherworldly Dritter Knabe in Daniel Rigazzi’s interpretation of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Lauded for her convincing portrayals in trouser roles, Rebecca has appeared as Tirinto in Handel’s Imeneo, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, both with Opera McGill as and Prince Orlofsky with the Janiec Opera Company in their production of Die Fledermaus.

Grant Mech – Baritone

Grant Mech

Mech has appeared in numerous operatic productions, including Alcina (Melisso) with Cantanti Project, La Clemenza di Tito (Publio) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Bartolo) with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, the titles role in Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi with Delaware Valley Opera, Turandot (Mandarin) with New Rochelle Opera, La Serva Padrona (Uberto) and The Pirates of Penzance (Police Sergeant) with Boheme Opera NJ, and La Cambiale di matrimonio (Tobias Mill) with Garden State Opera. He has appeared in concerts and recitals, singing works such as Brahms’ Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Schubert’s Schwanengesang.

Meet the Conductors

Christopher Jackson – Choir

Dr. Jackson is the Director of Choral Activities and Head of Voice at Muhlenberg College since 2017. Professor Jackson works frequently as a guest conductor for Honor Choir Festivals on the east coast, and has led masterclasses and workshops on conducting and Baroque music at the San Juan Conservatory of Music. He has taught courses in Music History, Vocal Methods and Pedagogy, Conducting, and He is also the co-founder of professional ensemble Bricolage, which debuted with performances of David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning composition, The Little Match Girl Passion, in conjunction with various Collegiate and High School Art Departments and to raise funds for Women’s and Children’s shelters.

Arianne Abela – Choir

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Day students: $950 per 2-week session

Boarding students: $2500 per 2-week session


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Contact Us

Gayle Sekel
Director of Summer Programs
Nick Fritz
Associate Director
of Summer Programs
Katie Michaels
Admission Associate 
for Creative Arts

Mailing Address:
Wyoming Seminary
Summer at Sem
201 North Sprague Avenue
Kingston, PA 18704-3593 U.S.A.

Fax: 570-270-2198

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For day students and boarding students ages 12-18




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