Summer Music Festival

We regret to announce the postponement of the Summer Music Festival until further notice. Please read this letter from our director.

The Summer Music Festival is an intensive, two-week residential music program in Fayetteville, West Virginia. During the festival, each day is jam-packed with chamber music, private lessons, workshops, large ensemble, master classes, Dalcroze eurhythmics, and more. Hardly an hour goes by without hearing some luscious melody or some technique passages wafting through the fresh mountain air. If you are ages 12 - 23, already have some experience on your instrument, and want to enhance your musical training, then Coda is where you need to be!

What sets Coda’s Summer Music Festival apart is its diversity. This year, we are offering three unique program tracks: Classical Music, Bluegrass Studies, and Composition / Songwriting. In addition to the rich curriculum involved in each Track, students will also choose two musical electives from a wide array of options, which in the past have included improvisation, electronics and looping, supplemental theory, folk music, and composition classes. Proficiency level and socioeconomic status among students hinder no one. Students of all skill levels are able to bond, collaborate, and be sufficiently challenged in their musical pursuits.

Our incredible faculty for the Summer Music Festival hold degrees from top music schools and conservatories throughout the United States, including the Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Northwestern University, among others. Students at Coda receive the highest in professional training within a nurturing and encouraging environment, rivaled by few other music programs. The faculty are not only committed to cultivating a healthy atmosphere of musical excellence, but also to upholding Coda's true mission – to help students grow into the men and women they were meant to become.

We recognize that the skills and disciplines employed in musical education can be applied to all aspects of daily life. With this in mind, we have developed the program specifically to present students with many opportunities to develop crucial social, mental, and personal life skills. Our faculty and counselors will assist students with their musical studies as well as daily life at camp, such as creating and maintaining a personal schedule, organizing a chamber music rehearsal, or setting healthy goals. One cannot truly become an artist without taking care to enrich the body, mind, soul, and spirit. The Summer Music Festival upholds Christian morals and principles of character and within that context we challenge students to cultivate integrity, discipline, and positive self-image, and to find their true purpose and meaning in life. Group discussions and optional Coda Talks are a part of the daily schedule, providing a safe environment to wrestle with these values and ideals.

On top of all that, students will get to explore West Virginia's breathtaking outdoors. There are always one or two recreational outings for students and faculty alike, such as hikes in the New River Gorge, ropes courses, zip-lining, and more. There is also no shortage of daily walks, frisbee games, or your run-of-the-mill four-square tournament. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, there will be three to four concerts featuring our talented faculty, as well as a large student concert gala to finish off the festival with a bang. All concerts are free and open to the public, and greatly celebrated within the Fayette County community.

Make the most of your summer and embark on the adventure of a lifetime with us at Coda Mountain Academy Summer Music Festival. Be exceptional. Emerge better, not just as a brilliant artist, but as a vital citizen of your community, a pioneering leader, and a responsible and confident individual.

2018 Summer Music Festival Tracks


Our largest musical track, the Classical program, provides classical music students with a broad and well-rounded musical experience. Students will be placed into chamber groups (small ensembles of three to six performers) which rehearse together every day. Each group will be led by our amazing artistic faculty, who will be their coaches, guides, and mentors for the duration of the camp. In addition, Classical students will be placed into our residential Coda Chamber Orchestra, which will prepare a number of orchestral works to perform on the final Student Concert. Classical students will have the opportunity to participate in the other essential musical courses such as Eurhythmics, electives, and masterclass, all of which push the boundaries of their musical breadth and expertise.

  • Eurythmics

  • Orchestra

  • Private lessons

  • Electives

  • Chamber music

  • Coda Fusion

  • Best for students who play classical instruments

Composition / Songwriting

Led by the festival’s composer-in-residence, Zack Stanton, composition students will take private lessons, analyze great classical and film music, and will even hear their own compositions come to life. Masterclasses and electives will explore the diverse music of numerous composers. Additionally, for musicians interested in studying composition in college, guidance will be provided in preparing strong portfolios. This track is designed to strengthen a student’s understanding of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre; to learn orchestration through analysis; and to finish writing a short work for performance at the music festival.

Songwriting students will hone their skills also through private lessons, analysis of great songs, and performing their music. Masterclasses and electives will explore the music of many American songwriters. This course is designed to help songwriters learn to combine thoughtful, engaging lyrics with creative, emotionally-arresting music; to focus song arrangements and accompanimental orchestrations; and to create a demo recording of your best song(s).

  • Eurythmics

  • Orchestra

  • Composition class

  • Private lessons (in composition)

  • Electives

  • Composing time

  • Coda Fusion

  • Best for students who want to focus on learning more about composition and songwriting


A staple at the Summer Music Festival, the bluegrass program feels like home to folk musicians who are constantly craving a jam session! This program is open to any student (from beginning to advanced) who plays the fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, dobro, or bass, and focuses on the ins and outs of bluegrass and folk music. Students will play in large jam sessions as well as in smaller, more intimate settings. Faculty members will work with students on chart reading, rhythm, new tunes, rehearsal techniques, and overall musicianship. Students in the Bluegrass program will likely perform off campus within the surrounding Fayette County community.

  • Eurythmics

  • Bluegrass ensembles

  • Private lessons

  • Electives

  • Coda Fusion

  • Best for students who want to focus on Bluegrass music

*Program activities are tailored to accommodate all ability levels. Coda faculty are happy to provide a unique experience for students based on their skill level and needs.

Our Directors

Julian Taylor

Former Program Director & Violin Faculty

Since 2010, Julian Taylor has been a part of the Coda community as a resident violin faculty member at the Summer Music Festival. His creative outlets in music have helped bring about the fresh and unique musical atmosphere that Coda represents: the exploration of many musical genres and a pioneering spirit, always searching for innovation. For the fourth year, inspired to continue reaching out to West Virginia’s talented youth and broaden the scope of Coda’s impact, he and his wife Marilyn Taylor, have taken on the role as Program Directors over the Summer Music Festival.

Robert Nicholson

Assistant Director & Cello Faculty

Robert Nicholson is the epitome of a true artist through and through. His musical outlets are many and he is well established in each one. He is not only a member of the avant-garde trio Time Canvas, an ensemble exploring the genres of early music, new music, and improvisation, but he is also the cellist of the recently formed, Brahms Ghost Trio. He also performs with many Cleveland-area orchestras and maintains an avid private teaching studio. He loves Baroque music, classic novels, and a dark, rich cup of coffee, bringing a high level of sophistication, quality, and depth to the Coda experience.

Laura Randall

Associate Director & Flute Faculty

Flutist, Laura Randall, became a faculty member at Coda in the summer of 2016. She is returning to the Summer Music Festival as an Associate Director.

Sarah Lee

Associate Director & Bassoon Faculty

Sarah Lee joined the faculty of the Summer Music Festival in 2016. She will be returning to the Summer Music Festival as an Associate Director and Head of Enrollment.

Marilyn Taylor

Former Program Director & Violin Faculty

Marilyn Taylor joined the Coda faculty in the summer of 2015 and immediately fell in love with the mission of Coda and the youth it serves. For the fourth year, her buoyant spirit and organizational skills will be used to continue in her role as a Program Director of the Summer Music Festival, along with her husband, Julian Taylor.

Zack Stanton

Associate Director, Composition Faculty, & Orchestra Director

Composer, Zack Stanton, joined the Coda faculty in 2017 as head of the Composition Department and Orchestra Director. Zack returns to Coda this summer as an Associate Director.

Copyright 2015 Coda Mountain Academy, Inc.

P.O. Box 615 Fayetteville, WV