Next Retreat:

June 27 - July 15, 2018

About Us

The Place 

The Conductors Retreat at Medomak is situated on more than 100 acres of pine forests, herb gardens and blueberry fields, by the pristine shoreline and clear, cool waters of Washington Pond. There are kayaks and canoes, and docks for swimming. There are some large cabins, several smaller ones, the lodge, dining room, and a newly renovated barn, home to many of the score-study and conducting sessions.  Housed in the lodge is the Conductors Retreat library, an area for wireless internet access, and a recreation room with Ping-Pong tables.  There are areas to study and practice, places to review video recordings of the day's work, and an area to work at the keyboard.   There are tennis and basketball courts, shaded walking paths, and an outdoor chapel in the woods. The days can be warm and sunny or blanketed in Maine mist.  The nights are sometimes cold and crisp. The dark surroundings are the perfect canvas for the unusually brilliant night sky.  The nights are filled with the sounds and songs of crickets and loons, and the rhythmic lights of fireflies. The picturesque Maine coast is 30 minutes away. 

In 1904, Frank Poland and Walter Bentley founded Medomak Farm Camp. In 1905, the name was changed to Medomak Camp. Generations of young men and women grew up with the Medomak philosophy: expand yourself; compete with your own abilities and standards. Set your own strategies and vigorously pursue your achievements, but always remember the other person. 

"We could hold the retreat at a university or a conference center, but it wouldn't be the same; it wouldn't be a retreat. Medomak's location provides a change, a departure from everyday life. I began going to this place when I was eight years old. There is still a unique feeling of what this place once was. The values that used to be taught here can benefit the world of music in general, and conductors in particular. It is the perfect place for conductors to shed whatever veneer they have accumulated, or walls that may have grown between themselves and the music or musicians. It is also simply a great place to accomplish something. There are few distractions; it's quiet, not every minute is scheduled. The work is intensive, yet there is time to get away, to work, and to think."         
Kenneth Kiesler, Founder and Director

The Difference  

The Conductors Retreat at Medomak is a singular place where you can...  
  • Find new perspectives and skills in score-study, invest time studying the music, learn important repertoire and gain deeper understanding.
  • Discover new ways to free your body of tension and become more expressive.
  • Advance your aural skills, score-reading, conducting technique and rehearsal skills.
  • Gain podium experience conducting professional musicians.
  • Experience a holistic, personal, individual approach to mentoring and teaching.
  • Explore a wide spectrum of conducting issues, skills and perspectives. 
  • Develop constructive personal leadership attributes.
  • Focus on the art and the craft of conducting, the music, the people, and service to the community.
  • Find exciting new perspectives and ideas among new colleagues and experienced, inspiring faculty.
  • Benefit from the physical space and time to be alone and contemplative.
  • Live, learn, and work within a community committed to a philosophy of non-competitiveness. 
  • Reap rewards from the interconnection of personal growth with conducting growth.  
  • Live and learn in an environment where conductors at all stages can both benefit and contribute. 
  • Be assured that mentoring, teaching and learning are honored.
  • Synthesize score-study, aural skills, movement and physical expression.
  • Practice conducting that is specific, expressive, and resonant with who you are as an artist and individual.