I live in Staunton, Virginia, which was already a pretty great place before the Heifetz International Music Institute landed here (in large part because of the American Shakespeare Center), but now it seems downright awesome. The Institute is a summer program for about 80 gifted young musicians from all over the world. They come here for six weeks to study with world-class faculty, also from all over.
Which is great for them, but for the community what makes it special is that they all–students and faculty–give concerts for the full six weeks. Seven days a week, a concert every day.
Last year, because of travel, I managed to get to only one concert. But this summer I bought a season pass, and although I haven’t been able to attend every concert, I’ve been to about four each week. The music is incredible. Some familiar composers and pieces, some things I’ve never hear of. I’m not terribly knowledgeable about classical music, so I am learning a lot. It’s fantastic.
And a side benefit: I’ve met a lot of the other season pass holders, people I hadn’t ever run into around town until now. It’s been great!
Check out the website to watch videos from many of the concerts.