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"I was touched by the Nief-Norf Summer Festival and the family it creates. Even now, months later, I feel the connection to the people I met there, reaching across the country and even the world. Almost wherever I go in the US. I now have a talented musician nearby who I got to know last summer. I have the wonderful feeling of my world expanding."

—Iris Sidikman (Read her full 2015 Festival Retrospective)

"I highly recommend attending this festival. As a performance fellow, you are asked to be at your best for rehearsals and are worked hard during the entire two-week festival. I appreciated the rigorous schedule because I knew my time and money were not being wasted; I was constantly learning and engaging in a unique experience."

—Jordan Curcuruto (Read her full festival review published in Rhythm Scene)

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"In ten short days, the ceaseless rehearsal schedule combined with the long discussions into the night, shared meals, and walks around Furman’s beautiful campus had created a strong sense of camaraderie between us. Instead of performing these works with strangers, I was on stage with my colleagues and new life-long friends."

 —Alexv Rolfe (Read his full festival review published in New Music Box)

More festival feedback:

"There isn't a competitive atmosphere, just a bunch of people that want to get together and celebrate contemporary music."

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"I would absolutely recommend this festival, and I intend to do so. I think it is an excellent opportunity to meet young, extremely talented, college-age players that will become the professionals of tomorrow. I know that I expect other performance opportunities, commissions, and friendships to come out of the connections I've made here at Nief-Norf."

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"I feel like this festival has provided me excellent opportunities to grow as a composer and as a person, through dialogue with players, lessons with excellent faculty, and being able to observe the rehearsal process for my piece and other pieces performed at the festival."

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"It pushed me to learn pieces that I may not have been brave enough to approach on my own, and forced me to become comfortable on stage and with all different types of music, not just that kind that I am comfortable with."

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"What I learned at Nief-Norf is that not only is it a realistic potential for my future to be involved in this music, but that I have the ability to control my own future with this music. Practically overnight, I’ve found myself reconsidering the course I envisioned, and scared as it makes me, I’m immensely excited for what lays ahead. I owe it all to Nief-Norf, and the experiences that I had with everyone involved with the program. I really believe that everyone should be exposed to an environment that is so positive about all kinds of music, because it really is life-changing."

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"This festival has provided me the opportunity to learn ensemble rep that I would not have been able to do otherwise in my current situation. It was also very gratifying to work on this very challenging music in such an intense amount of time. Working with the composer fellows was also a great experience in collaboration."

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"It has encouraged me as a performer and emboldened me to try new things and create opportunities outside of the festival."