Our Mission
At SMI we serve the music and our students!

The Summer Music Institutes at Menlo School provide an opportunity unique on the West Coast, providing artistic training and performance opportunities for aspiring young brassplayers to hone their skills in preparation for performing careers. Most of these students require financial aid.

During the Institute, participants study symphonic brass playing and chamber music with the Bay Brass, comprised of San Francisco Symphony professionals and other top brass players in the Bay Area.  The Bay Brass sound has a spiritual quality—distinct from similar ensembles—glowing, radiant, with no blaring hard edges. We also invite top artists from around the nation to be our guests, leading master classes and teaching lessons during the week. Young players come to learn this art of sound, to explore new ways of thinking about ensemble and orchestral playing, to build habits of mind and heart that help unleash their musical potential.  The Institute offers inspired chamber music coaching, discussions with professionals about careers in music, and multiple opportunities to perform. Students spend their days in guided rehearsals, in lessons, and in master classes with San Francisco Symphony principal trumpet Glenn Fischthal,  principal trombone Mark Lawrence, hornist Jonathan Ring, bass trombone artist John Engelkes, and others.

A young quintet performs at Summer Brass Institute at Menlo School in 2006.

Giving Supports Artistry at the Highest Level! in addition to Bay Brass artists, our guest artists for 2009 include Michael Sachs and Oystein Baadsvik. Talented students in need receive up to $1400 in support of their training in the art of sound and interpretation. In addition, Festival Artists of national caliber are engaged to perform, provide master classes and performance classes, and to teach and coach these students. Students from all over the Bay Area, the US, and the world have benefited from learning here at Menlo. Brass quintets from conservatories, such as Peabody Conservatory and San Francisco Conservatory, benefited from support, and three local high school students who would otherwise have been unable to learn at SBI were given Funds in Aid: a tubist from San Jose, a trumpeter from Santa Clara, and a trumpeter from Pescadero. In addition, a trumpeter and a trombonist on the brink of professional careers were granted Fellowship assistance; they are now in the audition process for orchestral work and for the Armed Forces bands. Stories abound over the past four years of SBI: students have grown from rudimentary skills to conservatory level as a result of SBI training and of the connections made with artist teachers, enabling further study and growth even after summer's end. Every year, SBI invites a range of promising participants: from collegiate students ready to make the leap to professional work, to a quintet of youngsters between 12 and 14 starting their first experience with the art of sound and interpretation. The artists of SBI bring their musical vision and passion to performing and to inspiring young musicians.
Give! Join donors who share a vision of artistic excellence:

Contact the Music Director: Vicky Greenbaum at vgreenbaum@menloschool.org


We honor major donors to our Fellowship and Festival Artist fund for 2009:

The Brown Family

The Francis family

The Howard family

The Sorensen/Jacobson family

The Martin family

The Montgomery family

Our record is sterling: 99 per cent of donated funds go directly to music and student assistance!

We deliberately economize on non-musical expenditures to greater serve musical needs.


2007 Summer Music Institutes