Call for Musicians 2019 Music in the Trees

Call for Adventurous Musicians Music in the Trees: ecologically based music event August 17-18, 2019

Belwin Conservancy is looking for four duets, trios (or other) with strong improvisational skills to perform from tree hunting stands (16’ high, individual seats attached to trees within Belwin’s four-acre, red pine grove). Open to vocalists, instrumentalists, body percussionists and all combinations.

Requirements: Must be “attuned” to nature and willing to improvise with surrounding natural sounds. Must meet with composer and event’s music director Susan Haugh in early summer to discuss music – bring your ideas to the meeting! Must play in sun and rain.
Expression of interest, ensemble ideas and questions due by June 10.

Red Pine Grove
Planted in the 50s, these trees are beginning to die. Belwin will begin transitioning this area with a more native habitat. Music in the Trees will mourn the death of the trees and celebrate this transition.

Music in the Trees

DATE: Saturday, August 17-18, 2019
TIME: 11:00am – 3:00pm each day
LOCATION: Red Pine Grove, 4-acre site next to Belwin’s Education Center 1553 Stagecoach Trail S., Afton, MN 55001


Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tree Stand Ensembles will play two, 50-minute sets each day, on a rotating basis. We prefer the same ensembles play both days, for depth of experience but are open to ensembles that are only available one day. There will be two sound installations located in other parts of the woods with found materials for audiences to use as percussion and play along.

Sunday 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM there will be a fully accessible performance by musicians and dancers from the Hmong community, in partnership with CHAT (Center for Hmong Arts and Talent). This performance will be located near the Education Center and will be indoors if rain. We will work out the rotation in the tree stands so that no one is performing during this hour.


  1. Provide an setting for musicians to work surrounded by and with nature.
  2. Expand audience learning and understanding of music/sound through performances that feature natural sounds.
  3. Create an event featuring musicians from diverse communities.
  4. Foster a fun, creative, and curious exploration of ecology for youth and adults.
  5. Create a sensory-friendly experience where diverse audiences can participate.
  6. Create an aesthetically beautiful event to match the complex beauty of the grove. Music and visual layout will be featured with the help of visual artist Alyssa Baguss.
  7. Create a welcoming atmosphere where diverse audiences and performers can feel connected to nature. We will do this through exploring and telling the story of the performers (and staffs) cultural experiences with trees, and the process of restoring human connections to the land and to one another. We are not sure how these stories will be shared among performers, staff, and with audiences but we are confident that together we will create an amazing experience.


Each ensemble will be paid $500 per day.


May 3 – Call for musicians sent out.
June 10 – Interest expressed via email to subject line “Music in the Trees” June 14 – musicians chosen
June – meetings with Susan Haugh and site visits
August – 12-16 open for rehearsals on site in tree stands
August – 17-18 event

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