Avaloch Farm Residency

Text by Michael Compitello

In addition to performing with The Percussion Collective, I also serve as Assistant Director at Avaloch Farm. There, I've seen time and time again the transformative value of a focused residency for chamber ensembles, and was delighted to see the Percussion Collective at such a special place this June.

At its core, a residency at Avaloch is about giving ensembles time and space to work on projects in an inspiring and nurturing environment. With beautiful studios, fantastic food, and a lively group of fellow residents, time at Avaloch is a wonderful combination of independent work and shared experience.

We spent our time at the Farm learning Christopher Theofanidis’s Drum Circles, Alejandro Viñao’s Stress and Flow, and working on arranging projects. Because we are a large ensemble which performs in a number of different configurations and often assembles very close to concerts, it was extremely valuable to be able to assemble in one place and work towards a unified interpretation of our repertoire. At the same time, rehearsing and living with a large subset of our group allowed for dense information sharing about the ins and outs of our parts. Since a few of the Collective members were learning the same part to Drum Circles as me, we colluded on making our setup more efficient, sound concepts, and other details. Finally, we took advantage of our time together to work towards some administrative goals. I was inspired each day by what everyone in our group brought to our time together, and can’t wait for our next retreat!


Avaloch Farm Music Institute provides a unique opportunity for chamber music and jazz ensembles at any stage of development, to have the time and space to work intensively on repertoire, prepare for recordings, concerts or competitions, work with composers on commissions, and forge or reconnect to a group musical identity. It was the combined vision of a dedicated philanthropist and a committed musician that provided the inspiration for Avaloch Farm. Dr. Alfred Tauber was seeking a way to bring something of lasting cultural value to the Boscawen, New Hampshire area. Cellist and music educator Deborah Sherr had long envisioned creating a professional musician’s retreat which would provide the resources and opportunities enjoyed by artists in other disciplines, but which were unavailable to performing musicians. Together they have designed an extraordinary concept, which has proven to be invaluable to performers and composers.

Avaloch Farm joins the rich tradition of American institutions created to support the vision of our artists.


Robert van Sice