Community Engagement

GTMF’s mission to provide exhilarating musical experiences goes beyond presenting concerts at Walk Festival Hall. We’re committed to engaging with our community through interactive programs that reach people of all ages.  

“The Grand Teton Music Festival is building bridges in Jackson and beyond through partnerships, access and engagement. Via our free programming, in-person and online, and supporting local music education and young musicians, the Festival is committed to enriching lives in our community through extraordinary musical experiences.”

~Matt Lusins, Chair of Education and Community Engagement Committee, GTMF Board of Directors

GTMF On the Road

GTMF On the Road is a new initiative by the Grand Teton Music Festival to bring live classical music education to audiences in Teton County and surrounding communities through free concerts performed by Festival Orchestra musicians. GTMF On the Road aims to make the art forms of classical and jazz music accessible by breaking down favorites in the genres and introducing audiences of all ages to basic musical concepts. Details & summer schedule

The 2021 Donald Runnicles Musical Arts Scholarship Competition

The Grand Teton Music Festival is proud to present the 4th Annual Scholarship Competition in honor of Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles. The competition is open to graduating high school seniors from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana who will pursue their primary studies in music (classical, jazz, or other) at an accredited four-year college with a music program recognized by the National Association of Schools of Music, or a conservatory with a widely recognized national profile such as The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, or the New England Conservatory. Three scholarships are awarded: $10k, $15k and $25k.

2021 Scholarship Recipients

1st Prize:
Tanner Jorden ($25,000)
Instrument: Piano
Hometown: Billings, MT
High School: Billings Senior High School
College: Brigham Young University

2nd Prize:
Tim McKay ($15,000)
Instrument: Piano
Hometown: Rexburg, ID
High School: Madison Senior High School
College: Brigham Young University

3rd Prize:
Clara Cox ($10,000)
Instrument: Harp
Hometown: Laramie, WY
High School: Laramie High School
College: University of Wyoming


Aaron Kinghorn, cello – Rexburg, ID
Hannah Kittleson, horn – Great Falls, MT
Christian Nielsen, piano – Star, ID

L to R: Stephanie Key, judge (Associate Principal Clarinet, San Antonio Symphony); Joel Noyes, judge (Principal Cello, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra); Clara Cox, harp (3rd Prize); Maestro Donald Runnicles; Tanner Jorden, piano (1st Prize); Tim McKay, piano (2nd Prize)

Teton Music School/GTMF Education Partnership

Teton Music School and Grand Teton Music Festival are partnering to support Teton County School District and Systems of Education’s programming at local elementary schools. Systems of Education is a community collective that brings together organizations in Jackson to take collective action in support of educational needs and opportunities. Based on this partnership, teachers made 40+ visits to local classrooms, providing weekly music enrichment activities to more than 400 elementary students since October 2020. Instructors led hour-long sessions in basic music theory, instrument skills, historical content, songwriting, vocal technique, and improvisation. This summer, GTMF musicians will also be involved with Teton Music School’s summer camp for strings, including clinics, camp attendance at GTMF rehearsals, and chamber music performances.  |  more info

Musical Road Trips

GTMF’s Musical Road Trips is an animated educational series for elementary school students that explores the world of classical music. Music teacher and host Meaghan Heinrich explores music from each of GTMF’s On Location concerts and teaches students about the music through different activities like dancing, singing, drawing, etc. Each episode also features an exclusive interview with one of the musicians from each of the concerts.  Watch videos

Backstage Pass

An informal “behind the scenes” interview series hosted by Maestro Jerry Hou and Eva Cappelletti Chao featuring various GTMF Musicians.

Backstage Pass is an interview segment featuring Festival musicians hosted by Associate Conductor Jerry Hou and violinist Eva Cappelletti Chao. The segments are produced, edited, and shared on GTMF’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Backstage Pass connects audiences to beloved orchestra musicians and builds community throughout the year. Past interviews are available to watch on YouTube.

GTMF Music Forum

Live-streamed masterclasses hosted by a GTMF musician and spearheaded by Maestro Jerry Hou.

The GTMF Music Forum brings professional orchestra expertise to Wyoming music educators and students in comprehensive live-streamed masterclasses. Spearheaded by GTMF’s own Associate Conductor, Jerry Hou, and including other GTMF musicians, these classes focus on prominent classical music composers, instruments, compositions, pedagogy, and history throughout the genre.


Other Community Engagement Initiatives

Pre-Concert Talks

Before each Festival Orchestra concert, Festival Musicians present educational introductions to the evening’s performance. Learn before you listen, with lectures beginning at 7 PM on Thursdays and Fridays and 5 PM on Saturdays in the Barbara Furrer Goodman Memorial Garden near Walk Festival Hall’s north entrance.


StringFest unites regional orchestra students for an intensive three-day clinic led by Festival Musician and Music Director of the Utah Youth Symphony Barbara Scowcroft. The educational event concludes with a concert to showcase the students’ newly refined skills and talents. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, StringFest was cancelled this year. We look forward to offering this program in 2022.


GTMF’s flagship music education program augments the standard music curriculum in local band and orchestra classrooms. Tune-Up teachers are practicing musicians with expertise in a wide variety of instruments. They provide individualized instruction, private lessons, and facilitate rehearsals. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tune-Up was cancelled this year. We look forward to offering this program in 2022.

Student Ambassadors

Named in honor of our former Board Chair, the Sylvia Neil Student Ambassador Program gives young music lovers a chance to be an integral part of an evening at the Grand Teton Music Festival by working closely with our Box Office and Front of House staff on select concerts. Each summer, Grand Teton Music Festival seeks 15 to 20 young adults to serve as Festival Ambassadors throughout the summer concert season. If you are between the ages of 13 and 19 and love music, Grand Teton Music Festival wants you to be a part of the Sylvia Neil Student Ambassador Program. Benefits include $12/hour compensation and the opportunity to attend GTMF performances, including sold out shows. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ambassadors Program was cancelled this year. We look forward to offering this program in 2022. 

If you’re interested in supporting GTMF’s Community Engagement Initiatives, click HERE, and note that you’d like your gift to support these programs.

You may also contact Tim Dodge, Director of Development, at 307.732.9952 or