Composing in the Wilderness 2017

Fellow Composers:

I’m delighted to announce that we’ve opened registration for Composing in the Wilderness 2017! This one-of-a-kind creative adventure will take place in Alaska, July 12-25, 2016 and due to unprecedented early interest, there are only four positions left open.

More info at:

Now it its sixth year, the course takes you to two spectacular regions of Northern Alaska, Denali National Park and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve. You’ll spend eight days exploring the stunning beauty of Denali’s wilderness and the mighty Yukon River, interacting with scientists and interpretive rangers, and developing your creative skills through translating these ideas into original chamber music. Our time in Denali will be focused on absorption and observations, while our time in Yukon-Charley will be spent on reflection and composing. You’ll get the added excitement of taking bush plane flights (a truly authentic Alaskan experience) to and from Yukon-Charley National Preserve.

Following our wilderness experiences we will return to Fairbanks to work with top performers from the faculty of the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival on your new pieces. We are planning two performances of the pieces – first in Denali National Park, and then another concert as part fo the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival.

Encapsulating inspiration, composition, rehearsal, and performance into only two weeks, this field course is an intensive and exhilarating creative experience. Participants must be trained composers (professional, or currently enrolled in a university composition program) with experience preparing their own manuscripts and writing chamber music for various instruments. Of course, you also need to be adventurous, physically fit and comfortable roughing it.

Space is limited, so don't delay. (And of course, please forward this to anyone who might be interested!). Composers of any experience level (from undergraduates and up) are very welcome, but one of our principal reasons for opening up registration so early is to attract faculty and professional composers who may be able to secure professional development funds to help with expenses. We were astonished to fill over half of the positions in the first 24 hours after opening registration, and I suspect this is an indicator of how quickly the positions will be filled this year.

Come join us for this life-changing creative adventure!


- More complete online information (and pictures):
- Registration: (You’ll need to create a profile first using the little icon in the upper left.)
- Facebook Group:

Articles about previous years:

- (GREAT new article from Boulder Weekly about our 2016 workshop)
- (Australian Music Center)
- (Houston Chronicle)
- (Arts Atlanta)
- (NewMusicBox)

This unique workshop is offered as a collaboration between:

Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
Alaska Geographic
Denali National Park and Preserve
Yukon Charlie Rivers National Preserve
Denali Arts and Humanities Alliance
The Murie Science and Learning Center

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Steve Lias

U.S. Dollar (USD)