Summer at St. Mary's
Professor Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting the Chesapeake Orchestra at the River Concert Series.
Study abroad in Italy
You can participate in the Alba Music Festival, or study for a semester at our campus in the north of Italy.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Chamber Singers of St. Mary's College of Maryland would go on tour for two weeks in May, performing in a variety of major European centers. In 2000, the tour included instrumental students and key faculty. This experience led us to the idea of seeking a regular European home for these May activities, open to all of our students who wished to participate. For 2001-2003, we decided on a residency at a music conservatory in Saluzzo (in the Piemonte region of northern Italy).
In 2004, the residency shifted to Alba (also in the Piemonte region), a move that coincided with the initiation of the International Alba Music Festival. The move to Alba came about because our regular presence in the region which allowed us to find the ideal setting for our activities, one that would provide the best educational and performing setting for our students.
First on tour, then in Saluzzo, and now with the Alba Festival, our students' participation has been (and continues to be) made possible by the generous sponsorship of Alice Waldschmitt, whose gifts underwrite about half of SMCM student costs (air tickets, room, board, instructional costs).
Alba is the capital of the Italian wine industry. It is to Italy what Bordeaux is to France. Major industries in Alba, including Cerreto Wines and Ferrero Chocolates, make Alba Italy's second richest area. Alba has two concert halls, five major churches (which are wonderful performance venues), several pedestrian/shopping districts, and, since Roman times, has been considered, even in Italy, a place of extraordinarily fine cuisine (Alba is where Italy's finest truffles are harvested).
The International Alba Music Festival is an intensive two-week experience, combining study and performing. Our faculty is joined by an international roster of performers from throughout Europe who come to Alba to perform and interact with our faculty and students.
Beginning in 2005, we expanded our curriculum to include composition studies. Students hear their music performed, and interact in private and masterclass sessions with guest composers from the US and Italy.
Year-round Study Program
Alba Music-Intensive Semester
Each semester, a small group of music students undertake intensive music study in Alba. Primary music teachers are chosen for the participating students as appropriate from among the best musician-teachers in the Alba area (which includes Turin and Milan, both cities with major conservatories). The costs of studying in Alba are the same as being at SMCM- that is, room, board, and tuition in Alba equals exactly what you would have paid for being at SMCM during that same time. While you are in Alba, you will retain all your scholarships and will have your space in the residence halls guaranteed upon your return.
Students stuyding music intensively in Alba join with non-music St. Mary's College students in a variety of classes at the Alba Campus Center. The courses, offered by SMCM faculty as well as local Italian faculty, are crafted to be connected to Alba or, more generally, Italy. Each of these classes satisfies a SMCM Core General Education requirement.
SMCM offers overseas study opportunities in other locations as well, including Oxford University (England), Fudan University (Shanghai), and in The Gambia (Africa). These programs do not generally include music-specific study, but the music department has been able to help music students find music instruction. See the Office of International Education for general details about study abroad.
For more information about the full-semester music study in Alba, and for help in finding music instruction at other overseas locations, contact Jeffrey Silberschlag.