Sonatina Turns 50! Join Our Celebration!

Can you believe Sonatina is really half a century old! It seems like it was just yesterday we were holding our first summer programs, and then our first adult Sonatas a few years later.

This summer we celebrate 50 years of Sonatina piano camp. In five decades, nearly 10,000 students have spent part of their summers living and breathing piano with us—practicing piano and taking lessons, participating in master classes, attending performances, and putting on their own concerts. And let’s not forget all of the fun non-piano stuff: dances, movies, ice cream trips, musical productions, plays, theater, arts and crafts, baking, blueberry picking, composing, hiking, picnics, museum trips, sports, swimming, sightseeing trip to downtown Bennington—and our infamous pizza parties.

Half a century! That’s worth a major celebration. And that’s what we’re planning--going above and beyond anything we’ve ever done before!

In honor of our founders

In honor of our founders, Rein and Rosamond van der Linde, we invite you to join us for a very special celebration:

Summer Sonatina 50th Reunion

July 25 - 27, 2019

Bennington, Vermont

Thursday July 25th

7:00 pm –Summer Sonatina 2019 Student Concert – Laumeister Art Center

Friday July 26th

3:00 pm – Meet past and present Scholarship Students, Tours of Sonatina – 5 Catamount Lane

4:00 pm – Open Mic – Hear Sonatina stories from alums – Sonatina

5:00 pm – Pizza Party  - Backyard, Sonatina

7:00 pm – In Concert:  Internationally renowned recording artist Mackenzie Melemed, a Sonatina Alum –  Laumeister Art Center ($15/fee)

8:30 pm – The Keys to Our Success: Honoring Key people and screening of the Sonatina Movie  – Laumeister Art Center

Saturday July 27th

10:30 am – Sonatina Celebration - Downtown Bennington (At the Four Corners)

  • Performed on Painted Pianos
  • World premiere of specially commissioned four-piano and chorus piece by Sonatina faculty member and composer Joel A. Martin

1:30 pm – Final Concert of the Season – Backyard, Sonatina

Join Us!

Mackenzie Melemed

Twenty-four-year-old classical pianist Mackenzie Melemed studies in the highly selective two-year Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald and Emanuel Ax. Previously, he graduated from The Juilliard School’s prestigious accelerated five-year-dual-degree program with his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree. From The White House to Carnegie Hall, Mackenzie has won the First Prize in numerous international piano competitions and has performed most recently throughout the United States, Finland, France, Poland, and Switzerland. His music can be heard on the Steinway and Sons label, and soon on the Warner Classics label with the world premiere recording of Jeajoon Ryu’s Piano Concerto with Sinfonia Varsovia and Ralf Gothóni. He returns to Carnegie Hall in December 2019.


Mackenzie attended Summer Sonatina for two years early in his musical studies. The program cemented his passion for music and encouraged him to begin his quest for a career as a concert pianist. He looks forward to being part of the Sonatina Piano Camps 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Pianist/producer/composer/arranger Joel A. Martin is the creator of Jazzical®, a marriage of classical, jazz, and more. He has collaborated with and/or written music for Grammy® Award-winners Alan Menken, Kathleen Battle, Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, cellist Eugene Friesen of the Paul Winter Consort, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers. He is currently collaborating and touring the US with multiple Grammy-winning MET opera soprano Kathleen Battle in her production The Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey. Additionally, he is touring as one half of the The Sonicals Piano Duo with George Lopez, and Friesen & Martin Cello-Piano Duo. In June 2019, Joel will present the debut and first concert reading of his opera, HIPOPERA, as well as his 9th CD Jazzical: Armenia!

Joel A. Martin

How To Participate

We’d love to have you join us this July in Bennington, but you can still be with us in spirit, even if you can’t be here in person. Here are three ways you can join the party:

Join Us!

1. Attend the Events

All Summer Sonatina and Adult Sonata participants and alumni are invited to attend all events at no charge, except for the Friday Mackenzie Melemed concert, which has a $15 fee payable at the door. However, to help with planning, you must register and tell us what events you will be attending. Need lodging? We recommend these local Motels, Inns, and B&Bs.

2. Join Us by Video

What do Sonatina and Sonata mean to you? How have these programs impacted your life or the life of your children? Tell us in a 60-90 second iPhone video or YouTube clip, which will be collected with other submissions and shown during the celebration, as well as on our website. Deadline for submission is May 1st. More information.

Send Us Your Media

3. Be a Key to Our Success!

Help us carry on the Sonatina tradition in the future. Support our efforts to offer this remarkable musical experience and to provide ongoing scholarships to deserving future students.

Choose how you’d like to support us. We’ve included a wide range of donation* levels to allow as many people as possible to participate:

$50 or more – You are Key: Receive a specially designed Sonatina 50th Anniversary Key Chain. Your name included on our website Wall of Fame – 300 available


$ 100 or more – Sonatina on Display: Receive a one-of-a-kind Sonatina 50th Anniversary commemorative poster, 18”x 24”, suitable for framing. – 200 available


$250 or more – Carry Us With You: Receive a specially designed Sonatina Music Bag. Your name will be included on our website Wall of Fame, and at our Catamount Lane Location – 100 available


$1000 – Painted Pianos:  Forget Steinway, Yamaha, or Bosendorfer. We’ll inscribe your name on one of the four specially painted pianos, to be on display during our celebration and housed afterwards at Sonatina and locations in downtown Bennington. Each piano will have a unique design painted by a local Bennington artist – only 4 available COMMITTED


$2500  – Paint the Town: This level endows the repainting of our Piano Key Compass at Bennington’s 4 Corners. Not only will you be announced as the benefactor of this special event, but you’ll also receive a framed 8x10 overhead drone photograph of the completed Compass as a one-of-a-kind memento – only 2 available


$4000 – Become Part of Piano History: In the time of Mozart and Beethoven, you needed to be nobility to have a piece commissioned in your name.  Not anymore. We’re offering you a once in a lifetime chance to have our specially commissioned four-piano piece dedicated to you. In addition to receiving special mention on the celebration program and on our website, you will receive a copy of the score autographed by composer Joel A. Martin – only 1 available

Join Us!

4. Purchase Special Sonatina 50th Anniversary Celebration Items Available on Our Website ** coming soon **

*As a for-profit institution, contributions to Sonatina Piano Camp are not tax-deductible.