"Sonata camp nurtures on every level. Polly is a brilliant and inspirational teacher. I feel completely alive when I'm there."
"As an adult beginner, my first experience at camp last year was extraordinary. It was truly one of the richest experiences of my life."
"Sonatina is awesome because, not only do you play piano, but you go bowling, eat ice cream sundaes, and meet great friends!"
"I am an adult who started playing piano two years ago. The sonata camp is most helpful and welcoming for beginners and the best teachers are there!"
"A remarkable institution, lots of very special people - a small miracle of fellowship and a blooming garden of musical art."
"The excellent teaching, extensive practice time and inspiration
from other pianists all combine to create a perfect storm of opportunity to dig into piano artistry."
"At Sonata my technique improved and my repertoire grew.
I learned I am not alone. Piano junkies unite!"
Beautiful setting, great teachers, gourmet food and a circle of "annual friends" who share a passion for piano. What's not to like?
"My child went to camp having never played piano and only a basic grasp of music theory. SSIPC gave her enthusiasm for the instrument
and lessons that last the whole year!"
"Sonata camp is the best decision I ever made for developing piano skills, gaining performance confidence and meeting new friends!"
A Short Film on Sonata and Summer Sonatina
POLLY VAN DER LINDE - Director of Sonata, Intermezzo, and Summer Sonatina International Piano Camp, and Monsters. M.M., 1989 Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers Univ.; B.F.A. Piano Performance, 1982 SUNY at Purchase. Attended Juilliard School of Music, Pre-College Division. Soloist with the VT Symphony, Sage City Symphony and Purchase College Orchestras. Studied with Edgar Roberts, Robert Goldsand, Daniel Epstein and, in London, Benjamin Kaplan. Recipient of the Naumberg Foundation Award. Founder, former director and piano faculty member of the Rutgers Community Music Program in New Brunswick, NJ. Travels the U.S. giving master classes and lessons. Currently teaching online piano lessons internationally. Since 1969.
ROSAMOND VAN DER LINDE - Founder of SSIPC, Sonata and The Sonatina School of Music. B.A. Bennington College . Studied piano with Lionel Nowak (student of Edwin Fischer) and Julian DeGray (student of Tobias Matthay). Studied composition and theory with Theodore Strongin and Louis Calabro. Established piano programs at Southern Vermont College and the Community College of VT. President of the VMTA 1967-73. Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences. Teaches classes, private lessons in piano and composition, lectures, demonstrations, master classes, and book readings around the world. Written a memoir about the van der Linde family and piano camp. www.APianoInEveryRoom.com. Since 1969.
GEORGE LOPEZ - Piano. Laureate of several international competitions including the Xavier Montsalvatge Competition for 20th Century Piano Music in Barcelona. Has performed extensively in Holland, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Spain, South America, Japan and the U.S. Recently recorded Melloni's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra in Prague. Gave world premiere performance of Jan Swafford's In Time of War with cellist Emmanuel Feldman in Boston's Jordan Hall. Has performed Mozart's Piano Quartet in G Minor with the Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet. Piano faculty Phillips Exeter Academy. Artist in Residence at Bowdoin College, ME. Since 1999.
JOAN FORSYTH - Co-Director of Education & Outreach for the Composers Guild of NJ. Piano Department head at Third Street Music School. Former Director of the preparatory department at the Concordia Conservatory in Bronxville and taught at Bronx House Music School in NYC. Piano faculty member at Bennington College. Expert early childhood music educator, licensed in Musikgarten and Suzuki piano. Well versed in the Canadian Royal Conservatory of Music system. Performer with concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, Russia and Japan. An advocate for contemporary music. B.M. in Piano Performance from the Univ. of British Columbia; M.M. from the Juilliard School; D.M.A. from Rutgers Univ. Since 1992.
REBECCA KRANE - Piano, flute. Currently a freshman at Harvard University, where she is a member of the Harvard Piano Society. During high school, Rebecca studied piano privately while participating in her high school concert band, samba drumming ensemble, and a variety of woodwind ensembles with her music school. SSIPC only. Since 2010.
ANNA DAGMAR - Classical and Jazz Piano. British-born, NYC-based singer. Studied jazz and classical piano. Performance and music education degrees from the Eastman School of Music. Original songwriting and a Gold Prize Winner of the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest, a Kerrville New Folk Finalist and a member of the Advanced BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. Teaching experience includes Mamaroneck High School, the Nightingale-Bamford School and a private piano studio. Released her fourth album, Satellite, which reached #5 on the National Roots Radio Chart. Currently composing a full-length musical. www.AnnaDagmar.com. Since 2000.
CLAIRE HAMILTON – graduate of Hobart and William Smith College, majoring in math and music. In addition to playing the piano, she participates in multiple singing ensembles. SSIPC only. Since 2004.
MATT MOON - Media, web developer and greenhouse manager. Matt sets up and video records the live streaming of the Sonata and Sonatina master classes and concerts. M.A. in Biostatistics, Boston University. Native Californian, competitive athlete for most of his life, career experience in the medical device field as a regulatory and clinical manager. Enjoys computer programming, swimming, cycling, skiing, sailing. Since 2007.
TODD SMITH - Trained in Zurich, Switzerland. Traveled all over Europe and Africa to learn more about cooking. Worked for many years at the Victorian Inn in Wallingford, VT. Corporate Chef at Gertrude’s in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Executive Chef at the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore. Worked at Bon Appetit. Extensive experience catering as well through MOR Catering, his own business. Sonatina since 2017.
DALE COBB - Operations Manager and Thai Massage. B.S.E.E. Michigan Tech University. Former experiences include lead engineer at Lockheed Martin, teacher of computers and physics, and network administrator. Certified in Thai Massage. Dale enjoys yoga, Tae Kwon Do, and hiking. Husband of Polly van der Linde and father to Taylor and Austin Cobb. Since 1993.
TRIIN VALLASTE - Piano. Diploma in Piano, Tallinn High School for Music (2001), B.A. in Musicology, Estonia Academy of Music and Theatre (2005), M.A. in Musicology, Estonia Academy of Music and Theatre (2007), PhD in Ethnomusicology, Brown University (2014). Concerto performances in the Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia. Solo, chamber, and accompanying appearances in Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Italy, Germany, and USA. Involved as a pianist in the chamber music and choral music scene. Active as a scholar - her research focuses on the interrelationship of popular music, identity, and politics in the post-Soviet world. Since 2006.
JEFFERS ENGELHARDT – B.M. in Piano, Oberlin Conservatory (1998) ; M.A and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, Univ. of Chicago (2005). Jeffers is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Amherst College. Teaches courses in ethnomusicology and the anthropology of music; community-based ethnography; music and religion; global popular music,, human and cultural rights; musicianship; and the analysis of world music. (https://amherst.academia.edu/JeffersEngelhardt). Author of Singing the Right Way: Orthodox Christians and Secular Enchantment in Estonia and an edited volume Resounding Transcendence: Transitions in Music, Religion, and Ritual. Interested in piano music of 20th and 21st centuries. Alumnus of SSIPC. Since 1995.
ELLEN DILTHEY – M.M. in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Northwestern Univ. Served as educational director of the Marymount Preparatory Music Program, Marymount College. Currently an adjunct professor in the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Teaches piano in North Adams, MA and at Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox, MA. Taught students of all levels and ages for 25 years. Her teaching style is relaxed and nurturing, with an emphasis on musical interpretation, practice techniques, and attention to individual learning styles. Certified yoga instructor in The Kripalu tradition, and a certified Thai Yoga Bodywork Practitioner.. Lives in The Berkshires with her husband and four sons. Since 2010.
MATT EDWARDS - Attended high school at Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts. Music Education degree from Southern University. Master's Degree in Education from Walden University. Piano faculty member at Bennington College. Extensive performer and leader of the band, Buck2Fifty. Teaches music at Mount Anthony Union Middle School and is the music director for The First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany, NY. Studied classical piano with Frank White and Myrtle David and jazz with Alvin Batiste and Ellis Marsalis. Lives in Greenwich, New York with his wife Mary and their three children: Henry, Clara, and Oliver. Since 2011.
BONNIE FAIRCHILD - Piano, Monster Rehearsals. B.A. in Piano Performance, Lyndon State College, 1974. Studied with Melissa Brown, John Koch and Rein van der Linde. Taught piano for 35 years. Teacher of piano, flute and cello at Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Director of the piano program at Putney Central School and of Milkhouse Music Studio in Westminster, VT. Former director and conductor of Southern Vermont Youth Orchestra and of Westminster School Orchestras in Westminster, VT. Sings with the Brattleboro Community Chorus and plays cello in the Windham Orchestra. Member MTNA, MENC, ASTA and certified by VMTA. Since 1991.
CHRISTOPHER LEWIS - Piano. Taught and performed throughout the U.S., Italy and British Columbia. B.F.A SUNY Purchase. Concerts at Carnegie, Weill, and Alice Tully Halls in NYC; Orchestra Hall in Detroit; Empire State Performing Arts Center in Albany. Prizewinner, American National Chopin Competition, NY Leschetizky Society. Recordings on Newport Classics label. Held faculty positions at New York University as well as several private schools in New York City. Accomplished organist; Piano Faculty at Bennington College. Since 2003.
GREGG PAULEY – B.M. The Univ. of Southern California, M.M. Mason Gross School of the Arts. Studied with Ilana Vered as well as Andre Watts and Jean-Yves Thibodet. Participated in festivals at Aspen and Rutgers Summerfest. Director of Programs for Music Fest Perugia. Performed extensively at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and Steinway Hall. Featured soloist in concerts at the Sala dei Notari and the Basilica di San Pietro. Has been heard on WNYC, WQXR, and on CBC radio and television. Maintains two private studios and is on the faculty of Tufts Univ., St. Paul's School, and the Concord Community Music School. Is a masterclass teacher and competition adjudicator. Resides in Concord, NH. Since 2005.
JOEL MARTIN- Joel A. Martin's career spans 40+ years including solo performances with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, New Hampshire Festival Orchestra, Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra and Hartford Symphony. He has given recitals at Severance Hall, Phillips Collection, Guggenheim Museum, Kennedy Center, Kaukametsa Hall in Finland, and l'Opera Comique in Paris.
In the last couple of years he has collaborated with and/or written music for Grammy® Award-winners Brooklyn Youth Chorus, cellist Eugene Friesen of the Paul Winter Consort, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers, and multiple Oscar/Grammy/Tony Award-winning Disney/Broadway composer Alan Menken.
This past Nov. 13, Joel collaborated with operatic legend Kathleen Battle at the MET Opera, a historic concert event as it was her return to the MET after 22 years, in a sold-out performance of her acclaimed “Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey.”
MARIEKEN VOLZ - Marieken Volz prepares breakfast at piano camp. She is also self-employed as a transformational mentor, workshop facilitator, and writer. B.S. Mathematics from Maharishi University of Management; Professional Certificate in Mediation, Facilitation, and Conflict Management from Woodbury College.
She formerly worked as a divorce mediator and mediation coordinator for VT courts. In time, her focus shifted to helping people find inner peace.
Her greatest love, however, picked up during her years as a stay-at-home mom, is making delicious breakfasts for hungry hordes any time of the day.
SHEILA KEARNS - Sheila handles day to day tasks of enrolling campers, answering questions about programs, and assisting Polly in all aspects of her myriad responsibilities. Masters in Library Science, University of Texas Austin. Recently returned to her home town of Bennington, VT after 17 years in Montpelier, VT and before that too long a time away from Vermont. When not doing her best to help Sonatina Enterprises run smoothly, Sheila is learning a great deal about the many tasks involved in owning a home built in the 1800's.