Summer Festival for Flute and Guitar

Red Cedar Summer Festival was founded in 1998 for the purpose of bringing together professional and aspiring-professional flute and guitar duos. The festival ran annually for 16 years through the summer of 2013. Professional flute and guitar duos met on the beautiful Cornell College Campus in Mount Vernon, Iowa in the month of July, joining other professional and aspiring-professional duos for 6 full days of coaching sessions, master classes, concerts in the community, and sessions on marketing & development. This unique opportunity engaged participant duos in conversation and discussion with peer groups. The week was completely non-competitive. The festival philosophy is based on participant-centered learning. The week ended with participating duos in an intimate house concert. For the majority of the festivals, participants stayed in an historic Bed and Breakfast owned/operated by Cornell College. The Festival anticipated a seven-night stay.

Red Cedar Chamber Music Festival jan Boland John Dowdall

Summer Festival for Flute & Guitar

Tuition: $290 US Dollars per person. Tuition covered all classes, coaching sessions, public events, and activities. Housing and meals available for an additional fee.

Festival Philosophy

Red Cedar Chamber Music Summer Festival was founded for the purpose of bringing professional and aspiring-professional flute and guitar duos together to play chamber music, to gain performance experience, and to learn needed business skills to reach their individual goals.

The scope of the festival was expanded in July 2000 when publicity for the festival (once limited to Eastern Iowa) was extended nationwide. That year, five flute and guitar duo’s from five states came together. Read a story by participant Bret Heim about his personal experience at the July, 2000 festival. Since that time, duos have come from across the country to share their ideas, musical focus, and to be inspired by one another. The festival ran from 1998-2013.

The goal of the festival was to keep the number of participants low. We capped festival participation at 12 people (6 duos) so that each participant to had personal coaching time, and lots of personal interaction with festival directors Jan Boland (flute) & John Dowdall (guitar), as well as learning/bonding time with other duo participants. The festival’s structure allowed ample time to explore participant’s personal musical goals. We learn from each other in a supportive and friendly atmosphere. Participants found find the Festival to be a non-competitive, positive experience.

Some Professional Duo Participants

The Heim Duo, Mobile AL [Bret ad Annette Heim]
The Janson-Bozenhard Duo, Philadelphia PA [Jenni Janson and Dave Bozenhard]
Duo Bella, Denver CO [Laura Schulkind and Steve Waechter]
Duo Rubicund, Tacoma, WA [Erica Coutsouridis and Meredith Connie]
The Shank Duo, [Kevin and Christine Shank]
Windstrum, Atlanta, GA [Kathy Farmer and Eric Larkins]
The McKenzie Duo, Chicago IL [Sue and Mark McKenzie]


Kick-Off Faculty Concert
Participant performances in the Community by participating Duos
Daily Coaching sessions with Master Teachers
Daily Master classes
Time set aside for individual rehearsal
Repertoire sharing
Classes to sharpen your music business skills
Closing House Concert by all festival participants

Festival Directors and
Master Teachers (1998-2014)
Jan Boland & John Dowdall
Boland-Dowdall Flute & Guitar Duo
Red Cedar Chamber Music
PO Box 154
Marion IA 52302
Tel 319/377-8028
jandocboland theatsign gmail dot com


Comments from Summer Festival Participants

“Ingenious approaches. Creative & stimulating master classes. You really want us to improve and succeed.”

“The atmosphere you created was completely non-competitive and cooperative. I learned a lot.”

“Definitely one of the best weeks of my musical career.”

“I received lots of inspiration! This is a very unique event. The sharing, performing, coaching & socializing is intense and creates a learning environment that is superior in a non-threatening atmosphere.”

“We have never played so well together. You really know how to help us draw the music off the printed page!”

“This is the single finest musical festival I have ever attended. Your personal care, interest, and generosity at every phase of the festival is unequaled in my experience. You both have gone so far beyond the “extra mile” to help every single duo!!”

“I came away with a great blend of technical and musical ideas — the best part is that it’s not a ” what I do” approach, but one that helps you unearth your own creativity and ability to make fearless choices with your music.”

“We set out with very specific goals for what we needed to get out of coaching and master classes. We got everything we had hoped for and much, much more. The dam has burst — watch us go!”

“Most master classes I have attended are stuffy, competitive and stressful. Your festival is the complete opposite. I was able to let my true self shine through. I was comfortable with where I was musically, personally, mentally & physically. There was no pressure or competitiveness … just joy and great ideas and fun. So much to be gained!”

“The coaching sessions were outstanding. My most valuable experience.”

“You should run a master class on how to run a master class!”

“The positive creative energy here was so stimulating, and the personal & musical intimacy touched me. Many thanks. It’s been a truly spectacular week in every way.”

“These master classes & coaching sessions are unlike any I’ve ever attended. Participants receive coaching at the highest artistic level without the pressure or devastation and competition. Jan and John revel in the success of others!”

“We are profoundly moved at your ability to affirm performer’s strengths, and to diagnose and prescribe help for areas that need to be addressed. You create a very special atmosphere of respect and consideration of feelings, yet also the honestly and evaluation that we want and need.”

“Thank you for who you are and what you are! I look forward to this all year and appreciate you for all that you have created! Cedar Rapids is so fortunate to have you and so are we! Thank you for your support and encouragement and of course, for believing in me.”

“I learned that I create my own musical niche. I don’t have to rely and expect that the only way I can play is if I join a group or audition for opportunities. I can create them myself with some networking and be my own boss! I also learned that when I put myself or surround myself in a supportive environment, I come alive!. This is good stuff!”

“The coaching sessions were at the highest level. Focus was always on musical progress, not a flute or guitar lesson.”

“Coaching sessions continue to be the most valuable part of the week for me. The more time, suggestions, and teaching I can get, the better! You both have contributed so much to my playing.”

“The coaching sessions were so very helpful – the best thing about them is that all the coaching is geared towards bringing out our own innate musicality, not forcing the coaches ideas on us.”

“The participant performances gave the ensembles the opportunity to support the local community and try to put into use the skills/ techniques from the coaching sessions. The venues selected were small, intimate and did not cause a feeling of pressure or stress.”

“I loved our concert at The Iron Works Gallery! Great hosts and what fun to play music underneath a huge spider!”

“You both are wonderful and incredibly inspiring! Thank you for doing what you do and being who you are. The world needs you, and you are such a role model for others. I value the time I get to spend with you because you help me to believe in myself and in my dreams. You are the example of how a dream becomes reality. I appreciate you both very much!”

“Thanks again for a fabulous week – I feel so supported, and ready to take on the world again! This year’s festival was very special! I learned so much from everyone.”

“Thank you for a wonderful experience. We loved the fellowship and the music making! It was an amazing week for us and we’re so grateful.”

“Thank you for another great week of flute and guitar immersion. The coaching and master-classes continue to be my highlights.”

“So many things gained from this experience! Repertoire sharing, open structure of master classes, sharing experiences and learning from Red Cedar and other participants, every guest presenter brought a new perspective and lots of helpful information.”

“Knowing Jan and John, I expected a positive and practical knowledge-filled experience. It was even more and better than I had imagined. Wow!! “

“I came home with a disc of my Duo recorded by Paul Salamon in the beautiful acoustics of King Chapel. This is a Festival feature that you MUST KEEP! Having a professional recorded disc at the end of the week helps unlock doors for future performances and helps serve as a reminder and benchmark of the week’s best work”

“Both Jan and John’s coaching sessions were superb! They have an uncanny knack of getting the interpretive and technical aspects, which unlock the door to communicative performance of a work and polishing a work once we’ve parted ways.”

“Knowing what I know of Jan and John, I knew it would be a worthwhile experience, and it was fun to see my guitarist pleasantly surprised — she was particularly amazed at the generosity of everyone involved in helping us to be successful.”

“You guys are generous beyond my expectations- in terms of time, good will, and resources. Thank you for doing what you do.”

Photo credits go to Forrest Tomes, Len Struttmann and Forrest Tomes.

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