Avaloch Farm

We have just returned from an inspiring and nourishing week at Avaloch Farm Music Institute. Co-directors Emlyn and Dan spent a week collaborating with MAW friend and composer Clay Mettens on a new piece for flute and cello duo and discussing ideas for future projects. Not only did we work intensively together within our own group, but we also connected with so many great fellow musician friends both new and old!

We are super excited to share the products of this collaboration in performances this fall and beyond. Stay tuned!


MAAA Artistic Innovations Grant

We are very happy to announce that we have received a 2019 Mid-America Arts Alliance Artistic Innovations award to support our 2020 project celebrating women in aviation! Next spring we will perform at several venues and universities around Kansas and Missouri in programs featuring new works by composers Ingrid Stolzel and Carolina Heredia. These concerts will include performances by an amazing team of musicians from University of Missouri, Missouri State University, and the Kansas City Symphony. Thank you so much to the MAAA for supporting this project that celebrates the daring accomplishments of American women through the 2020 centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment!

Please check back soon for more information on this exciting program.


On April 26-27 co-directors Emlyn Johnson and Dan Ketter will join forces with Virginia Commonwealth University faculty and students to perform Chris Chandler’s Audubon Sketches at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU. We’re looking forward to the return of the flowerpots!

This performance will take place amidst Rashid Johnson’s installation, Monument. We are excited to work with old and new friends in Richmond and share this evocative, immersive music with new audiences.

More details about the two performances can be found HERE!

Thank you to Tiffany Valvo, clarinet professor at VCU, for inviting us!


Year in Review

2018 was an exciting and busy year for the American Wild Ensemble. We returned to North Cascades National Park for a week of residency activities, collaborated with new partners including Women’s Rights National Historical Park and the Bernheim Arboretum, commissioned several new pieces with the assistance of some generous granting organizations, AND released our first album!

This year we were happy to build new partnerships while rekindling old ones, staying true to our mission of celebrating American people, places, and ideas while expanding our reach and our widening our circle. We look forward to sharing more adventures with you in 2019!

Speaking of our mission, back in March we teamed up with XUAN to capture some footage from our performance at Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY. Check out the video below to learn a little bit more about our ensemble and some of our goals for the years ahead!


We are pleased to announce that our audio and video albums are now available on multiple platforms! We are particularly excited about the hour of beautiful video footage of our 2016 tour through the national parks, documented by Jorge Arzac, that accompanies the first disc of our double album. These films give a strong context for the music, sharing the inspirational places that brought our project to life.

You can purchase or stream Music in the American Wild on iTunes/Apple Music (audio and video), Amazon, or through our label ArtistShare!

We are grateful to everyone involved in this album, from our performers and composers, to our production team, to our artistic partners, and finally to the National Park Service for its enthusiasm about this dream project. Thank you to all of you for your continued support, and happy listening!

MAW Album Cover.png

SONICBernheim/Harvest Moon

We’re looking forward to performing at SONICBernheim/Harvest Moon on Sunday, September 23. Join us at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, for an evening of performances that explore how music and nature can interact. We’ll be performing Chris Chandler’s Audubon Skeches, an open-duration work that imitates, echoes, and engages with the sounds of nature through the use of instruments and natural materials. We’re excited to perform on this very cool series and look forward to seeing our Kentucky friends in the forest!


They're here!

We are so excited to announce that we've received our Music in the American Wild CDs! This week we're shipping out pre-orders, and we'll be announcing our official release date soon for CDs and streaming. More updates on the way!

Thanks to Lauren Blair and Geoff Sheil for the beautiful album artwork and photography, and to Cheri Dorr of Dorr Designs for the sleek layout!


North Cascades

Hello from the North Cascades National Park Service Complex! The American Wild Ensemble is in the park all week celebrating their 50th birthday with performances and musical activities. Thank you to Washington's National Park Fund, the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, New Music USA, and the park itself for all their support in making this week happen!

If you're in the Cascades, check out our daily schedule of events on the park's website, here.

PC Molly Goldman

PC Molly Goldman

More Great News!

We are happy to announce that Music in the American Wild has been selected as a 2018 Classical Commissioning program grantee by Chamber Music America! We'll be working with composer Takuma Itoh on a new piece for our ensemble that will be completed next year and can't wait to share his beautiful music with all of you. We're really looking forward to this exciting collaboration and to hearing the pieces created by our fellow grantees, several of whom are already friends and colleagues. Thank you, Chamber Music America, for your generous support!

Check out the roster of 2018 Classical Commissioning grantees HERE!

Chamber Music Magazine Feature

We are thrilled to be featured in the latest issue of Chamber Music Magazine! Thanks to Brendan Howe for interviewing our director and sharing the message of what Music in the American Wild is all about. Check out Chamber Music America for more information on the fantastic chamber music being created by performers and composers across the country - and read the full magazine here!


Mid-summer Update

The summer is flying by as we prepare for our return trip to North Cascades National Park!

We've been crafting our activities for our week of music-making, and on August 21-25 we'll be hosting workshops, concerts, and activities in the park. Visitors can join us for several daily programs, including an active "Music Moves Outdoors" workshop, a session on how "Nature Inspires Music," and a good old fashioned back porch music jam. Of course there will be evening campground concerts, too, with music inspired by animals, landscapes, and the great outdoors, that will be a perfect way to bring your day in the park to a close.

We have a few new members joining our team this summer, and we'll be introducing them to you on Facebook in the coming weeks. We are really excited to be expanding our American Wild Ensemble family!

North Cascades National Park Residency

We are thrilled to announce that this summer we will be returning to North Cascades National Park for a week of music making in the wild!

We will host a series of daily concerts and musical activities in the park August 21-25, all leading up to North Cascade's 50th anniversary celebration on August 25. Denise Shultz, Chief of Interpretation and Education at North Cascades, has been a great champion of Music in the American Wild since the beginning, and we are really excited to continue our collaboration with the whole team at this beautiful and rugged park.

PC Geoff Sheil

PC Geoff Sheil

If you're looking for a great vacation this summer, we hope you'll join us in North Cascades for a week of singing, dancing, music making, and community building all inspired by the beauty of nature! Check back soon for more details on all our activities.


Happy Spring!

Spring has finally sprung in our little corner of the world, and we are already gearing up for a great summer adventure! We'll be making an official announcement soon, so check back for some exciting updates in the near future.

In the meantime, last week director Emlyn Johnson and violist Emily Sheil spoke about Music in the American Wild, musical entrepreneurship, and community engagement with a class at University of Maryland. Thanks to professor Lee Hinkel for inviting us to speak with his class! We've also been back in the studio finishing up the mixing process and heading toward mastering..... meaning our album is nearly complete! Woo!

Since we last wrote, we also had a great performance at the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY, in which we premiered a dynamic new work for soprano and ensemble by Caroline Mallonee. Thanks to our generous audience for coming out to support us even in the aftermath of a huge blizzard, and a great thanks to the staff at the WRNHP who were wonderful partners in this event.

See you in the wild!

WRNHP Countdown

We're less than two weeks away from our Women's Rights National Historical Park performance!

Join us on March 3 at 2:30 PM in Seneca Falls for a beautiful and powerful program!

On Friday we had our first rehearsal, and we have an amazing lineup of musicians for this concert. Members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, University at Buffalo faculty, and the leaders of Buffalo String Works are all coming together to share music by Amy Beach, Joan Tower, and Caroline Mallonée.

WRNHP concert poster-3.png

Looking Ahead

This month we've spent many evenings in the studio with our producer, Paul, listening to tracks from our upcoming album, tweaking a level here and fixing a detail there. (You can check out some of Paul's great work here!) We're thrilled with how the audio is sounding!

Alongside these late nights, we're beginning our preparation for our March 3rd performance at the Women's Rights National Historical Park. MAW director Emlyn visited the park back in the fall to meet with the rangers there and explore the different historic properties governed by the park. We're really looking forward to engaging with a different concept of the American "wild" through this collaboration - celebrating individuals, communities, and movements that have made great waves in our society.

Check back soon for more details on our upcoming performance and album release!


New Year, New Adventures

The MAW team has been working hard behind the scenes to bring you some great new projects in 2018. We are nearing the end of our album edits (woo!) and are excited to share these audio and video recordings in the next few months! Filmmaker Jorge Arzac and producer Paul Coleman have been creating some really beautiful work, and we're so grateful to have them both on our team.

In March we'll perform the first concert in a new series inspired by women's voices. On March 3rd we'll perform at the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY, where we'll premiere composer Carrie Mallonée's new work "Solitude of Self," alongside works by several other American women of the past and present. 

Check back soon for more updates on the album, our Women's Rights performance, and more adventures!

Solar Eclipse!

We are so excited to celebrate the total solar eclipse

today at Great Smoky Mountains National Park!


At noon today MAW flutist Emlyn Johnson and cellist Daniel Ketter will be performing as a duo on the mainstage at Clingmans Dome. Later they will collaborate with Dance Exchange as the dancers work directly with the crowd at the event to create eclipse-inspired group movement. Our MAW duo will perform alongside fellow musicians, dancers, storytellers, NASA scientists, and astronauts - it's going to be a party!

We are thrilled to be back at the Smokies taking part in this historical event. Thanks to the National Park Service staff for inviting us back! If you want to join in the celebration from afar, check out the NASA 360 link HERE. The whole day of events will be livestreamed for viewers around the world!