Kneisel Hall is thrilled to announce the launch of a new long-term outreach initiative in the Blue Hill community.  

The project, entitled “KHBH – Together in Music”, will bring a small team of Kneisel Hall alumni to Blue Hill for two week-long residencies during each school year, one in the fall and one in the spring.  Kneisel Hall’s Artistic Director Seymour Lipkin says, “This outreach program is a splendid opportunity for Kneisel Hall to go into the community and schools to share our love of great music and increase exposure to the study and work done each summer on the Kneisel Hall campus.”  The mission of KHBH is to foster a creative dialogue and invite everyone in the Blue Hill community to participate in music-making at the Hall.  The residencies are designed to extend Kneisel Hall’s physical and musical resources beyond the summer programs in order to connect to and support the great work of local arts and other organizations in Blue Hill.

Spearheading the project is a group of Kneisel Hall alumni who are also members of Ensemble ACJW, a highly selective teaching artist-training program in New York City run by Carnegie Hall.  Violinist Clara Lyon (KH’09-’11), who is also the Director of Creative Programming at KHBH, explains, “Our time with Ensemble ACJW included high-profile concerts, professional development seminars, partner teaching in inner-city schools, and hands-on training in creating interactive performances and community workshops for a myriad of different settings.  We are very excited to bring what we’ve learned to Kneisel and to Blue Hill!”

The centerpiece of each residency will be creative work within the local schools, including George Stevens Academy and the Blue Hill Consolidated School.  The KHBH artists will give interactive performances for larger groups of students and also guide more individualized creative work in a classroom setting, collaborating with students in both arts (music, visual arts, dance) and non-arts classes (literature, history, science, etc.).  Outside of the schools, the KHBH team will present interactive performances throughout the community, custom-tailored to each venue, and design creative workshops and projects in collaboration with other community organizations and businesses, including the Blue Hill Library, the Bagaduce Music Lending Library, and the Parker Ridge Retirement Community

KHBH Operations Director and cellist Hannah Collins (KH’05-’07) says, “We want every activity that we do through KHBH to energize connections among the many different parts of the Blue Hill community, including Kneisel Hall, support the creative work that is already being done, and spark new ideas.  This could mean anything from using music to inspire a local visual artist or poet to create a new work, working with a high school student composer on a piece to be performed on the Kneisel Hall stage, or collaborating with another arts organization in an interdisciplinary project.”  The culminating event of each residency will be a concert at Kneisel Hall featuring a performance by the KHBH artists and a showcase of other creative work done during the week.

The first season of KHBH has been generously funded by a grant from an anonymous foundation.  The fall residency will take place September 22-27, 2014.  Participants will be asked to explore the theme of “Community” by reflecting on questions such as, “Where am I from?  What is my community?  Who is part of my community?”  A full schedule of events will be available this summer.  The spring residency will be May 26-30, 2015.  

KHBH will be an ongoing and inclusive project, which aims to be a true extension of the work done within the walls of the Kneisel Hall Festival School every summer.   Long-term goals include incorporating additional alumni with teaching artist training in future KHBH residencies,and creating a forum for future Kneisel Hall students to learn the important skills used by teaching artists and music advocates.  Clara Lyon says, “For me, more than any educational institution, Kneisel Hall nurtured creativity and humanity, and encouraged me to share both.  KHBH is about finding ways for each of us to connect with those around us by finding creative ways to express ourselves and share those expressions with each other.”

Please contact Kneisel Hall Executive Director Ellen Werner at with any questions, ideas, or information requests.