The Elisabeth Morrow School's shared purpose is to provide exemplary academics and character development in a diverse and inclusive child-centered community, inspiring students to become curious scholars, ethical leaders, and global citizens.


The Summer String Festival is the opportunity of a lifetime for students who are passionate about music.

August 9-13, 2021
8:30 a.m.-3:15p.m.
Elisabeth Morrow School
Englewood, NJ
Ages 4-14
For inspired violinists, violists, and cellists 

Applications Open Feb. 14, 2021  / Application deadline April 16, 2021.

Amelia Gold, Founding Artistic Director
Millie Castano, Administrator
Stephanie Nebel, Program Coordinator
James Blumer, Arts Division Administrator

The EMS Summer String Festival is a summer music program for young violin, viola, and cello students who are deeply engaged, experienced, well-trained and love music. The combination of an intense, pre-professional music experience combined with the fun of camp brings together 150 of some of the most outstanding, young musicians nationally and internationally onto our 14 acre campus. This is a highly competitive program that  requires an audition. The Festival culminates with a dynamic gala performance where students shine, performing with the orchestras they’ve been working with throughout the week. Due to Covid-19 safety protocols, the 2021 concert will be virtual.   

A Day in the Life at the Summer String Festival

Students are dropped off at EMS - 480 Next Day Hill Drive, Englewood with their instruments, music, and their lunches.  The morning begins with an All-Festival warm-up at 9:00 a.m. with students separated by orchestra/Suzuki group cohorts and on Zoom.  Students then move into their sectionals based on levels or orchestra rehearsals for group rehearsals.  Throughout the day, students engage in interactive guest artists experiences The in-person program includes art, theater, sports, dance, and tie dye electives. Two daily snacks are provided.

Festival Warm-Up (all-students)

The entire Festival joins together each morning to get everyone connected and energized through playing scales and arpeggios while performing activities like jumping jacks and sit-ups. It is a mix of fun and intense music learning. 

Orchestra (for older students)

Each orchestra rehearses daily. In addition, participants practice together in small groups of 8-16 students called sectionals. They work on the individual parts of their music to improve the overall quality of the orchestra.

Guest Artist Performance (all students)

Performing musicians give workshops varying from jazz and klezmer to classical and rock music. All participants meet and work with the guest artists and are inspired by hearing music in a new and exciting way.

Supervised Practice (all students)

Music faculty and counselors, all of whom are string players, assist participants in daily practice sessions.

Junior Ensemble (for younger students)

Students practice and perform new pieces and previously learned pieces in groups. The class studies pieces from the Suzuki Method books numbers one through three and/or the duet repertoire.

The Gala Concert (all students)


How do I apply to the EMS Summer String Festival?

The application process for the Summer String Festival is competitive. We wish we had space for everyone that would like to attend, but the program fills very quickly each year. The application deadline April 16, 2021.

  1. Submit the application and $50 non-refundable application fee through our online portal, UltraCamp

  2. Submit the Tuition Aid form in UltraCamp, if applying. Then email your most  recent W2 and Form 1040 to Millie Castano at by April 16, 2021.

  3. Practice!

  4. Record and submit your video audition which includes a scale, arpeggio, and polished piece. We will accept students on a first-come, first-served basis following the order in which we receive your audition video.

  5. Receive acceptance/decline letters and Tuition Aid (if applicable) information by April 30, 2021.

  6. Accept your spot at the Summer String Festival by paying the balance of your tuition in full on UltraCamp by Friday, May 14, 2021. After May 14, accepted student spots will be forfeited to students on the waiting list.