Youth Program – Summer 2021


The Charles Ives Music Festival Summer 2021 program is full and no longer accepting applications.  To learn more about the program, please view our 2021 festival brochure.  Watch for updates in the fall regarding our 2022 festival.

REQUIRED FORMS: All accepted participants are required to sign a Communicable Disease Release of Liability & Assumption of Risk Agreement and an Informed Consent Form as well as a Commitment, Waiver & Consent Form and Code of Conduct Form.

PAYMENT: Tuition is payable by credit card/PayPal using the “Add to Cart” button at the bottom of this page or via check payable to WCYO and mailed to WCYO, P.O. Box 964, Ridgefield, CT. 06877.  If financial assistance is needed, please complete the WCYO Financial Assistance Application and return with the commitment packet to maintain your placement. 


CIMF Summer 2021


Paul Frucht, CIMF Artistic Director
Eric Mahl, CIMF Orchestra Director
Featuring graduates of the Juilliard School and other major conservatories as Artist-Faculty

Admissions Decisions sent via email on or before May 5, 2021
Tuition Deposit and Commitment Forms due May 15, 2021
Apply early to secure your spot!

“CIMF inspired me to reach higher and become a better musician. The faculty were very professional, and easily connected with everyone. Through rehearsals, masterclasses and concerts all of the participants were able to grow together.” – Katherine M.

Charles Ives Music Festival at the WCYO invites all instrumentalists ages 21 and under who have a passion for music, are committed to the pursuit of a high level of music performance, and have at least two years of experience on their instrument. Throughout the week, participants will work extensively with artist-faculty in a unique artistic environment to develop their artistry and musicianship. CIMF is led by Artistic Director Paul Frucht.

* The Festival begins on Sunday, August 1st with an orientation session and a concert presented by the artist-faculty

* The program will take place at First Congregational Church in Ridgefield, CT, or another comparable venue. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we are finalizing the details and will officially announce the venue location shortly.  

* Daily activities run 9:30 AM-4:00 PM Monday through Saturday.

* Each participant will rehearse in one chamber music group including and led by an artist-faculty member. Each group will perform two works or one complete large-scale work at a concert performance on Sunday, August 8th.

* Participants who play orchestral instruments will rehearse and perform as members of the CIMF Orchestra led by WCYO Music Director Eric Mahl. Seating will be determined by applicants’ auditions and/or their participation in WCYO if applicable. Pianists will participate in piano ensemble and/or repertoire classes led by CIMF artist-faculty member, pianist George Fu. Saxophonists must also audition on an orchestral instrument to perform in the orchestra.

* Participants will each receive on 45-minute private lesson with an artist-faculty member.

* Participants will receive tickets to all CIMF artist concerts throughout the week, featuring several guest artists, including cellist Julian Schwarz, pianist Marika Bournaki, and the Ulysses Quartet.

* Participants will attend master classes led by the artist-faculty and guest artists focusing on both solo and chamber works. Participants will also attend specialized activities such as improvisation, composition, and Alexander Technique.

* Tuition for CIMF is $625 for non-WCYO members and $575 for current WCYO members.

* Admission decisions will be made on or before May 5, 2021. Notification will be via email and include a commitment packet for review and signatures. Once accepted, a 50%, non-refundable, deposit is required to ensure placement and due no later than May 15, 2021 along with commitment documents (see REQUIRED FORMS below). The balance of tuition is due by June 15, 2021. (All tuition payment deadlines apply to both WCYO and non-WCYO members.) Reasonable exceptions can be made to these dates due to uncertainty related to the pandemic or for high school seniors awaiting college orientation schedules. Please contact us as needed.

* Deposit, balance, and Full Tuition is payable by credit card/PayPal using the “Add to Cart” button on this page or via check payable to WCYO and mailed to WCYO, P.O. Box 964, Ridgefield, CT. 06877.  If financial assistance is needed, please complete the WCYO Financial Assistance Form and return with the commitment packet to maintain your placement. 

* CIMF Composition program is directed by composer Jonathan Cziner and CIMF Artistic Director Paul Frucht.

* CIMF composers hear one work rehearsed and performed by CIMF artist-faculty or guest artists and another read by the CIMF Orchestra. All performances and readings are professionally recorded and composers will be given the recordings at the conclusion of CIMF.

* CIMF Composers also receive private lessons from the 2021 CIMF Composer-in-Residence Kati Agócs and either Jonathan Cziner or Paul Frucht.

* Throughout the week, CIMF composers participate in daily seminars with guest composers, guest artists, and the CIMF artists and artistic director, as well as seminars discussing seminars discussing orchestration, repertoire, and other subjects of interest led by Jonathan Cziner.

*All CIMF Composers are required to also participate on an orchestral instrument or piano and audition for CIMF on that instrument in addition to submitting the required composition program materials listed below.

* Apply online by clicking the link to the secure online application above or by clicking the link for the printable application above.

* A registration fee of $20 must be paid at the time the application is submitted.

* All applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, April 30, 2021 if completed online or sent by email, or postmarked by Friday, April 30, 2021 if mailed.

* Auditions will take place via video, which must be submitted within one month of the date or your application or no later than Friday, April 30, 2021. Videos should be submitted either as email attachments or via Google Drive or another data sharing service such as Dropbox. Please upload a video of yourself performing two contrasting works and the scales and arpeggios listed below under Audition Requirements and put them in a folder titled “Your Name – CIMF 2021”. Share a link to the folder with and

* While current WCYO members are automatically accepted to participate on the instrument on which they perform in the WCYO, those who wish to participate on an instrument on which they do not play in the WCYO (ie. a flute player in the Wind Ensemble who wishes to participate in CIMF on piano) must complete an audition on their non-WCYO instrument. Composers in the WCYO must also submit the required composition materials (see below) to participate in CIMF as a composer.

* Letters of recommendation may be submitted, but are not required. Letters should be sent via email to

Woodwinds, Brass, Harp & Strings:
– Any two contrasting solo works – one of these works may be replaced by two orchestral excerpts of your choosing.
– Any two major scales and arpeggios selected by the applicant, at least two octaves

– At least two contrasting solo works
– Any two major and any two minor scales and arpeggios selected by the applicant, at least three octaves

– Any two contrasting solo works – one of these should be on a mallet instrument and the other should be on snare drum or timpani
– Any two major and any two minor scales and arpeggios selected by the participant, at least three octaves

– PDF scores and MP3 recordings (MIDI is acceptable) of 1-3 works composed since January 1, 2016. It is strongly recommended that at least one of these be a chamber work that could be performed at CIMF
– Complete list of all compositions including names of pieces, instrumentation, dates of completion, and any details of performances
– All materials should be sent to