Forest Music is June 13 at Adkins Arboretum

Once a year, something extraordinary happens in the forest at Adkins Arboretum. Music begins under the tall trees and echoes through the woods, luring visitors to come closer. Born of a partnership between the Arboretum and the National Music Festival, Forest Music is a unique performance art event that brings young musicians and their mentors from the to play in the forest. This year’s Forest Music is Thursday, June 13 from 2 to 4pm.
Positioned individually or in small ensembles along a circuit of wooded paths, these musicians send their music into the air to mingle with birdsong and the rustle of leaves in the high branches. Visitors walking the paths may begin to notice a distant melody that takes shape as they move closer and the musicians come into view. What started as a mystery becomes an intimate encounter as visitors watch them play and perhaps chat with the musicians between pieces before walking on. All along the forest paths, the musicians play simultaneously so that the music shifts and fades and mingles, sometimes harmonizing, sometimes creating magical dissonances.
While the National Music Festival is dedicated to providing numerous performance opportunities, this is its most nontraditional offering. It offers the musicians a unique opportunity to participate in a performance art event, experience the beautiful and surprising acoustics of the towering forest and interact one-on-one with the visitors who pause along the paths to hear them play.
Forest Music is a celebration of musical diversity. Over the years, the forest has come alive with the sounds of violins, clarinets, horns, bassoons, double basses and even steel drums. The repertoire is equally diverse, ranging from classical masterpieces by Bach to timeless hits by the Beatles and even original compositions crafted specifically for the Arboretum’s forest. This musical extravaganza, held during the Festival’s annual two-week run in early June, draws a vibrant mix of visitors from the Festival, the local community and beyond.
Light refreshments will be served, and wine will be available for purchase. Advance registration is strongly recommended. Philip Bernot, wine director at Wishing Well Liquors in Easton, will be joined by his longtime friend Patrick Harney for a presentation of Jardin Wines and Bellview Winery, located in Landisville, N.J. The featured wines will be Jardin White and Red, lovely picnic-style wines, and Bellview San Marco, The San Marco grape was jointly developed by Bellview Winery, Rutgers University and oenologists in Trentino, Italy.
To register, visit or call 410-643-2847.