A Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat in the Berkshires

Williams College, in the heart of the scenic and cultural Mecca of Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains, will be the site of our 14th Annual Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat. On Saturday, July 6– Saturday July 13, 2019 pianists, beginning and advanced alike, will gather for musical growth and camaraderie in a setting where practice, discussion and progress are easy and rewarding.



2018 Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat Participants

Offerings of the Workshop:

  • GUEST ARTIST– Leslie Amper

From our 2018 participants:

  • “I am so grateful to have found the Midsummer Piano retreat – the highlight of my piano year.”
  • “I’ve arrived home with gratitude to Alison, Debi and John for their wonderful teaching and encouragement, and to all fellow students for their warm embrace and inclusion of the ‘Newbies. My hope is that the Williamstown retreat becomes part of my annual agenda.”
  • “Alison and Debi are matchless and the addition of John is sheer genius. Next year is already installed on my calendar!”
  • “Our week at Williams College is always a mountain top experience for me.”
  • “This annual rendezvous has become very important to me, as it is to all who attend regularly.”
  • “I appreciated the “ministry of presence” of all in attendance and am hoping to renew that ministry next year.” 


debiDebi Adams is a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique and a Nationally Certified Teacher of Piano. She holds a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Boston University. Debi currently teaches the Technique at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where she also directs a teacher-training course. Her teaching has recently brought her to Peru, Seoul and Tokyo. Debi maintains a private practice in piano and the Alexander Technique and performs in the Boston area.  debiadamsat.comthewelltemperedpianist.com

abarrAlison Barr operates an independent studio in Hanover, Massachusetts, and holds the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Certificate in piano. She serves as a musical ambassador in the American Voices YES Academy in Beirut, Lebanon, and recently created the MMTA Music Connect Program, which grants tuition assistance for private lessons. Alison holds a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance from Boston University. With flute as her second instrument, Alison works with her students, children and adults alike, on collaborative musicianship.  She also offers the Midwinter Adult Piano Retreat in Lake Worth, Florida, most every January.  alisonbarr.com

John Ferguson

John Ferguson holds a Doctoral degree in Piano from Indiana University, where he studied piano with Edward Auer and Menahem Pressler.  As an undergraduate he majored in both Piano and Violin at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, and as a graduate student at Indiana studied conducting, composition and violin intensively while earning his degrees in piano. 

Ferguson’s performances have been praised for their “proselytizing zeal–along with fleet fingers, power, and fine dynamic control” (Boston Globe)   Ferguson has performed solo recitals in major cities throughout the US, including concert series’ and festivals in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego, and Providence.   

In 2002 Ferguson was a semifinalist in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition.  Other awards include Second Prize in the San Francisco State Young Pianists’ Competition and First Prize in the Lodi Symphony Concerto Competition.  As a composer Ferguson has received awards and honors from the Bakersfield Symphony, Composers’ Guild, ASCAP, Society of Composers, and American Composers Forum, who commissioned his brass quintet Part Park, Part Art.  Ferguson’s Piano Piece No. 4 was selected for performance at the Toronto 2000 international music conference.  johnferguson.org

GUEST ARTIST: Leslie Amper

Acclaimed Pianist, Leslie Amper, captivates international audiences with her “stupendous” performances. Her performance for us will include her telling the story of the Federal Music Project with music of Williams Grant Still, Ernest Bloch, Ruth Crawford, Cowell, Copeland etc.

A winner of the National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship Grant, Ms. Amper has been invited to perform on Monadnock Music’s Virtuoso Piano Series, Emmanuel Music solo and chamber music celebrations of Schumann, Beethoven, and Harbison, Pittsburgh Symphony Concerts at the Point, Friday Musicale of Jacksonville, Florida, New Hampshire Music Festival and Harvard University’s Fromm Music Foundation Concerts, as well as in England, Italy, and Austria.

Ms. Amper toured the United States with her lecture/piano recital related the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Exhibition 1934: A New Deal for Artists. She was invited by the cutting edge theater director Peter Sellars to be an onstage pianist playing Scriabin in his American National Theater production in Washington, D.C. of Chekhovʼs A Seagull.


PKMose_5 We would like to honor, acknowledge and deeply thank Peter Kristian Mose, the founding faculty member of our retreat. Peter started the forerunner of our Williams program in the Czech Republic in 2000. We’ve based the Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat on this original model. Peter has offered his wisdom and expertise to our program since its inception in 2005, continuing to serve as a faculty member until 2017. Peter, your influence will always be with us and we appreciate that you have pledged your ongoing support to future retreats. Thank you!


TUITION:  $1750.00 (USD) includes:
Lodging, on-campus meals throughout the workshop, a ticket to the Tanglewood concert and special dinner, private lessons, practice facilities, all classes, the master class and performance by Hugh Hinton and a farewell luncheon.

LODGING: Convenient, comfortable dormitory single rooms

TRANSPORTATION is the responsibility of the participant.

Our enrollment is limited to 24 participants and will be based on the receipt of both the tuition deposit and tuition balance.

QUESTIONS: Please direct all questions to Alison Barr at 781-982-8920, or e-mail her at abarr54@verizon.net

TO REGISTER: Registration opens January 2, 2019. To hold your place, please send the following information with a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500.00 USD by March 1, 2019, payable to Deborah Adams, to 33A Harvard St., #302, Brookline, MA 02445. (Please have checks drawn from a U.S. bank.) Balance of $1250.00 USD is due by June 1, 2019. If the workshop is cancelled, the tuition deposit will be fully refunded. Late registrations will be accepted until June 15, space permitting.  However, we generally fill up quickly and will place students on a waiting list after we reach our 24 participants.

Also, please provide:

  • Participant’s Name and Address
  • Participant’s Phone Numbers
  • Participant’s E-Mail Address

If a newcomer, please give a description of your relationship to music study and your experience with private study and/or workshops.

Do you have any special concerns, dietary needs or physical limitations of which we should be aware?

Williams College is not a sponsor or co-sponsor of the Midsummer Adult Piano Retreat