Detail for Smith College Workshops

Session I: June 26–28, 2020
Session II: August 7–9 and 10–15, 2020
2020 workshops have been cancelled

Share the joy of ensemble singing with The Western Wind!
Western Wind Workshops are uniquely interactive, intense musical experiences. Each participant is made part of a small ensemble that is guided / facilitated (not conducted) by a member of The Western Wind. In their small ensembles, participants sing an eclectic and intriguing selection of music that might include Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Early American, 19th and 20th-century part-songs, rounds, hymns and folk-songs, jazz, pop, improvisations and more!

Through small-group sessions and master-class style seminars, The Western Wind addresses each singer’s individual development, fostering growth in skill and accomplishment. Because the ensembles are formed based on musical skills, the workshop is open to singers at all levels – professionals and amateurs, soloists and ensemble performers, conductors and music teachers.

See pictures of past Smith Workshops

View the 2019 Workshop Postcard

Located amid the charming sophistication of Northampton, Massachusetts, Smith College is the oldest women’s college in the United States. Smith’s historic campus, nestled at the foot of the Berkshires, is surrounded by the unspoiled countryside of New England. The campus provides excellent facilities for jogging, tennis, workout, swimming and squash. Scenic, wooded walks and a superb art collection are added offerings.

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


You may make your deposit now for the period of your choice.
(You will receive an email acknowledgment with a link to our questionnaire.)

First time? 10% discount if you are a
first-time participant at a Western Wind Workshop.
Workshop veterans, bring a friend and share the discount!

Session Details:

Workshops Basics/Qualifications

Our participants come from a variety of musical backgrounds and have a vast range of experience. The minimum requirements are that you’re able to carry a tune and have a basic familiarity with music notation. If you’re unsure, please give us a call, and we’ll help you out.

Bring Your Group! Pre-existing groups are welcome at Western Wind Workshops. Discounts available on tuition for groups of eight or more.

Get a 10% discount if this is your first Western Wind Workshop.

A 5% tuition discount is applied for Friends of the Western Wind. Partial scholarships available based on financial need.

Tuition and Accommodations


Weekend – $335 (after 7/7, tuition increases by $25)

5-day – $615 (after 7/7, tuition increases by $35)

8-day – $720 (after 7/7, tuition increases by $40)

Room & Board Costs

Weekend – $215 double/$245 single (includes 2 nights; Saturday breakfast thru Sunday dinner)

5-day – $485 double/$540 single (5 nights; meals from Tuesday breakfast thru Saturday dinner)

8-day – $715 double/$765 single (8 nights; all meals thru Saturday lunch)

Participants are housed in a lovely and airy dormitory on campus. Participants also have the option to arrange their own overnight accommodations. A list of nearby hotels and motels and travel information will be sent upon request. Delicious meals are served on campus. The Smith food service creates fresh meals on the premises and will accommodate most diets including vegetarian and vegan.

Off-campus participants who choose to have meals on-campus will be charged for these meals at check-in ($14.50 for breakfast, $17.50 for lunch and $27.50 for dinner). There is a discounted price if you have both breakfast & lunch ($30.50/day) or lunch and dinner ($44.50/day), as well as for those who choose to have all meals on-campus ($52/day).

Arrival/Departure Info

Smith I:

Weekend session begins Friday evening, June 26 and concludes Sunday, June 28.

Smith II: August 7–August 15

Weekend session begins Friday evening, August 7 and concludes Sunday, August 9.

5-day session begins on Monday evening, August 10 and concludes on Saturday, August 15 in the late afternoon.

8-day session begins on Friday evening, August 7 and concludes on Saturday, August 15 in the late afternoon. (Monday August 10 is a day off until the evening. It’s an opportunity to explore the gorgeous Smith campus, swim, hike, shop and visit local area attractions.)

5-day and 8-day participants residing in the dorm can arrange to stay the final Saturday evening following the conclusion of each workshop for a modest additional charge.


Session I:

Linda Lee Jones, soprano
Elizabeth Van Os, soprano
Todd Frizzell, tenor
William Zukof

Session II:

Linda Lee Jones, soprano
Elizabeth Van Os, soprano
Eric S. Brenner, countertenor
David Vanderwal, tenor
Todd Frizzell, tenor
Elijah Blaisdell, baritone
William Zukof

Guest Faculty:

Robert Eisenstein, viola da gamba (Session II). Founding member of The Folger Consort, early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C. 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.

Grant Herreid, lute, theorbo (Session II), performs frequently on early reeds, brass, strings and voice with Hesperus, Piffaro, and My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort, and plays theorbo and lute with ARTEK and New York City Opera. He has also performed with the Kings Noyse, the Newberry Consort and the Folger Consort. He teaches at Mannes College of Music in New York, and directs the New York Continuo Collective. He recently worked as stage director for the Accademia d’Amore Baroque opera workshop with Stephen Stubbs, and he played theorbo for the Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Monteverdi’s Ritorno d’Ulisse. He has created and directed several theatrical early music shows, and is a founding member of the group Ex Umbris.

Yumiko Matsuoka, contemporary a cappella and jazz specialist (Session II). Originally from Tokyo, Japan; professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston, teaching ear training. Founder of Vox One, a Boston-based a cappella quintet, whose albums Vox One (1993), Out There (1995) and Chameleon (1997) have won multiple awards from the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA). In 2008 she released an anthology album of her arrangements and compositions entitled To Every Thing There Is a Season. Published by the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.

Mark Johnson has worked with a cappella ensembles of every size and many styles. He has collaborated with Toby Twining as music director, singer, producer, and mix engineer for Chrysalid Requiem (2002) and Eurydice (2011). He has been a producer for Western Wind recordings, and some of his vocal arrangements are sung by the Western Wind on My Funny Valentine (1997). Since 2004 he has sung with Marble Collegiate Church in NYC under the direction of Kenneth Dake. Mark is also a music copyist and editor, and piano and organ tuner, all of which he gets to do at Marble. He appears on Bobby McFerrin’s album, VOCAbuLarieS (2010), arranged & directed by Roger Treece.


A Sample Western Wind Workshop Day
9:00–9:45Vocal warm-ups and rehearsal of large group piece
10:00–12:00Small group rehearsals
12:00–1:30Lunch and relaxation
1:30–2:00Optional musicianship skills classes or duo/trio coaching with guest faculty
2:00–4:00Small group rehearsals
4:15–5:00Optional country dancing with live band
5:15–6:00Optional jazz classes
7:15–9:30Performance seminar by all small ensembles

8-day participants have Monday open for recreational activities, including a swim at a local pond. 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 each Smith workshop week, and on Monday night of Session II.

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!

You can view the full 2019 Session II schedule here.


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, 212-873-2848. Scholarship requests are due by May 1, 2020.


Smith 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 Northampton. There is daily bus service between Northampton and New York City and Boston.

By TrainAmtrak (800-USA-RAIL) now stops in Northampton again.

By Air – Northampton is 33 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 Northampton for approximately $32 each way (reservations are required). Peter Pan Bus Lines (413-781-3320) provides transportation from Bradley to Northampton via a transfer in Springfield, MA. Logan International Airport in Boston is served by all major airlines and is a 2½ hour drive from Northampton.

Registration Policy

Advance registration is required to ensure your enrollment. To register please send your deposit to us via Paypal on this website. A letter of acknowledgment containing pertinent information as well as a questionnaire will be emailed to you upon receipt of your registration. Your balance due for registration and/or accommodation fees must be paid upon your arrival and check-in to the workshop.

This year participants who attend both Smith I (weekend) and either the 5-day or 8-day of Smith II receive a 10% tuition discount for each workshop.

There is also a tuition discount available to all participants who register before midnight on July 7, 2020

Full refunds are made for cancellations received prior to July 8. From July 8–July 22, a cancellation fee of 50% of the deposit will be charged to cover administrative costs. Deposit is forfeited if cancellation is made after July 22. If the workshop is canceled or postponed, neither Smith College nor The Western Wind is responsible for any related costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

Special Offerings

The Smith Workshops also offer opportunities to perform in larger ensembles and sing informally in open reading sessions. Our guest faculty members coach and accompany singers in ensemble and solo repertoire from the Renaissance and Early Baroque, as well as in the subtleties of jazz and pop performance.

Optional performance practice classes are available (during 5-day periods only). Past topics have included vocal jazz improvisation and arranging led by Yumiko Matsuoka, and Early Music topics led by Robert Eisenstein.

Music Policy

The cost of the large group piece (which everyone sings) is included in the tuition. In our small ensembles published editions will be used whenever possible and participants will need to purchase the music used. In addition, a library of outstanding ensemble music will be available for sale.