Guidelines to Apply

Important Dates

Instrumental and Composition Program Application Deadlines:
Early Deadline: March 1, 2023 (FREE to apply) 
Late Deadline: April 1, 2023 (Application Fee: $35) 

Notification of Acceptance: April 15, 2023
Letter of Agreement and Deposit Due: May 1, 2023
ACMI: August 5-14, 2023

If you’re accepted into ACMI you must be available and be able to be present for the full duration of the festival between August 5 - 14, 2023 in Bay View, MI. If you have a short period of time for which you may not be available during the festival, please email us and tell us about your conflict before you apply, or as soon as you know about it.

Participants are expected to travel and arrive on August 4, 2023 and will be expected to depart on August 15, 2023.


ACMI takes place within the Bay View Festival located at 1725 Encampment Ave, Petoskey, MI 49770. The majority of activities will take place within the many buildings located on the campus of the Chautauqua. Performances and recordings will take place in the John M Hall Auditorium, in addition to other locations on camps and in the community.

Application Fee

All applications submitted by our Early Application Deadline of March 1, 2023 do not have to pay an application fee.

All applications submitted by our Late Application Deadline of April 1, 2023 are subject to a $35 application fee. However, if you are accepted into ACMI this $35 application fee will be applied as a credit towards your festival tuition. If you are not accepted, this application fee will not be refunded.

Who Should Apply to ACMI?

In ACMI's second year, we are accepting 10 instrumentalists and 4 composers. All applications over the age of 18 (including undergraduates, graduates, and professionals) are welcome to apply. There is no upper age limit. We welcome international applicants if you are able to secure your own travel, but at this time, ACMI is not able to assist with travel or transportation.

Individual Instrumentalists
The following instrumentalists are encouraged to apply! If you do not see your instrument or discipline in the following list, please send us an email at and we'd be happy to consider your application.

The following instrumentalists are encouraged to apply:
Bb Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Saxophone (Alto, Soprano, Tenor, Bari)
French Horn

Undergraduate, graduate, and professional level composers are encouraged to apply! If you are currently a student, a concentration or degree pursuit in composition is encouraged for applicants, but not required.

Pre-Formed Ensembles
ACMI also welcomes applications from pre-formed chamber ensembles. At this time, we are not able to offer a group tuition pricing, so each individual member would each be responsible for the individual ACMI tuition rate. Members of a pre-formed ensemble are eligible for individual scholarships (please see below).

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before August 5, 2023.​ There is no upper age limit for applicants.

Materials Needed to Apply

Here is a PDF of the Application Questions and Guidelines.

In order to apply, you will need...

  • A computer with internet! The application is housed here on our website and takes around 45 minutes to complete. Please note, you won't be able to save your progress, so the application needs to be done within 1 sitting. We recommend using the PDF above to see the application questions, and gather your materials prior to applying.
  • Two video/audio samples (video preferred) demonstrating your performance or composition artistry (contact Akropolis immediately at for help if you think you will have difficulty providing these two samples)
  • Composers only, a score to one of your work samples
  • A 500-word biography
  • To answer two questions to help us determine your fit with ACMI
  • Your contact information including name, email, and address
To apply for a scholarship you will need...
  • To check the appropriate box within the ACMI application
  • To check your email, then complete the scholarship application and return it to Akropolis within 2 weeks of receipt


To make ACMI accessible to students with financial need, Akropolis has made $2,000 in scholarship funding available via a separate scholarship application. You may indicate if you wish to receive this scholarship application by checking the box within the full ACMI application. After your ACMI application is submitted, you will receive the scholarship application via email, and we request that you submit it within 2 weeks of receipt.

Scholarships will be determined after receiving all applications and reviewing the need of all applicants accepted to the festival. Participants will be accepted without regard to their financial need. Then, among the accepted applicants, any scholarship applications will be reviewed. The $2,000 in scholarship funding will be allotted at that point, divided up to make the most impact possible on accessibility.

For pre-formed ensembles, each individual will be considered for a scholarship separately, on their own, and any members of a pre-formed ensemble interested in a scholarship should apply individually for a scholarship. The person completing the ACMI application on behalf of the ensemble can indicate in the application if any members of the ensemble would like to apply for a scholarship.

ACMI Encourages Applications From

ACMI does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age (institute open to ages 18 and up only), disability, or veteran status.

We welcome applicants who want to build long-lasting artistic relationships and who love to collaborate. We welcome open-minded individuals of different musical styles and backgrounds who will contribute to a supportive and collaborative environment.

ACMI Performer Benefits

For the 10 instrumentalists accepted, you will be given the opportunity to perform and premiere new music in multiple recitals, receive extensive artistic instruction from Akropolis, give community and/or educational concerts in Northern Michigan, create professional level recordings of the world premieres, discuss personalized career advancement strategies and entrepreneurial practices, and experience the warm support of the Bay View and Petoskey community in a world-renowned, picturesque Lake Michigan chautauqua.

The 10 instrumentalists accepted will receive:

  • The opportunity to work in chamber ensembles throughout the 10 days
  • Lessons and coachings with Akropolis
  • Multiple performance opportunities
  • The opportunity to give the world-premiere performance of a new work created by one of the ACMI composers
  • Recordings of their performances
  • Individualized entrepreneurship and career development sessions
  • Professional connections
  • Lifelong relationships with participant and Akropolis colleagues

ACMI Composer Benefits

Having commissioned and premiered over 100 works for the reed quintet and collaborated with dozens of college-aged composers at university residencies across the country, Akropolis would not exist without living composers and their unique voices. In building this festival, we not only wanted to have chamber music at ACMI’s heart, but new music as well. The two composers in-residence at ACMI will not only create new music side-by-side with Akropolis, but the 8 instrumentalists in attendance as well who also deeply value the voices of living composers.

The 4 composers accepted will receive:

  • A live premiere of their newly composed work by an ACMI artist ensemble participating in the festival
  • Workshops with Akropolis and the opportunity to write a new reed quintet work for Akropolis
  • A high quality video and recording of BOTH new works composed
  • Dedicated composing time
  • One-on-one consultations with Akropolis
  • Individualized entrepreneurship and career development sessions
  • Professional connections
  • Lifelong relationships with participant and Akropolis colleagues

Composer New Work(s) Requirements

For the 4 composers accepted to ACMI, you will be invited to compose a new work up to 10 minutes in duration for an ACMI ensemble-in-residence and will work closely with these musicians during the festival. This work will be premiered by ACMI artists during the 2023 festival.

Prior to arriving at ACMI, composers are expected to have their composition completed (score and parts)  by July 5, 2023 so the ACMI artists have 1 full month to prepare the music. Composers will be encouraged to communicate with ACMI artists and Akropolis during the composition process with any questions they may have. The composers and artists will have multiple opportunities to workshop and fine-tune this piece while at the festival.

Composers will also compose a new work up to 10 minutes in duration for the Akropolis Reed Quintet to be workshopped during the festival. However, this composition does not need to be completed prior to ACMI and can be workshopped extensively with the quintet. Composers will use their additional time at ACMI to finish composing this work with Akropolis’ guidance, and depending on the readiness of the composition, it may be premiered at a later date; however, the performances is guaranteed 6 months after the work is complete.

The two composers will receive a recording and HD multi-cam video of both the work they compose for the ACMI artists and Akropolis.


What made Akropolis want to create ACMI, and why now?

We created ACMI because it's going to be a fulfilling, enriching, and joyful experience for all. Our most meaningful work involves making dreams a reality. That's what ACMI is about.  Since our beginnings, Akropolis has made teaching, sharing, and accessibility to the 5 of us as musicians and people a priority. ACMI is our chance to share detailed, in-depth information and strategies with artists who we expect to make waves in the music world for years to come.

Why are you accepting 10 instrumentalists and 4 composers? 

We capped the total participants at 14 to create an intimate, highly individualized residency experience with the most access possible to Akropolis. With 4 composers in the cohort, each participant can premiere a new work by a composer on-site. Having 4 composers in our cohort to create new works on-site also allows us to pick a greater variety of instrumentalists than if all repertoire needed to be pre-existing. Having both composers and performers also allows the cross-disciplinary collaboration and understanding critical in our field.

What kind of person is this program best for? 

This program is best for...

  • Anyone desiring a chamber music/solo/contemporary music career
  • Anyone interested in collaborating with composers and creating new works
  • Anyone interested in the career development and business side of classical music
  • Anyone interested in learning from Akropolis in an intimate environment
  • Anyone interested in both traditional and non-traditional performance environments, including non-traditional venues and giving community/youth concerts
  • Anyone open-minded about where their career can go, seeking opportunities to be influenced by new experiences with new people
  • Anyone either completing or having completed any music degree
  • Performers of both traditional or contemporary classical music
  • Anyone interested in experiencing chamber music for the first time, or who is already experienced

Are there limits to what instruments can be performed by potential participants?

The following instrumentalists are encouraged to apply:

  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • Bb Clarinet
  • Bass Clarinet
  • Saxophone (Alto, Soprano, Tenor, Bari)
  • Bassoon
  • French Horn
  • Piano
  • Percussion

If you do not see your instrument or discipline in the following list, please send us an email at and we'd be happy to consider your application.

Can I attend with my pre-formed ensemble? 

Yes! Please keep in mind that every member of your ensemble must pay their own, full tuition. There is no separate group tuition rate this year. We hope to make this available in future years.

How much time will I have for leisure, relaxation, and exploring Petoskey, the beach, etc.?

Leisure time is built into the schedule each day and throughout the week. Please see the sample schedule below. Lake Michigan is a world-renowned freshwater lake sought after by vacationers for very good reason. You will be about 200 yards and a very short walk from Lake Michigan. You should plan to have opportunities to get sun, spend time near the water, and be outside. You will have time to explore Petoskey, which is a very short drive and an extremely quaint and nice town.

What is the typical schedule each day?

The Bay View environment mirrors life as a professional independent artist and is modeled after how Akropolis has worked and grown together for the last decade. Each day offers a balance of coaching, rehearsal, practice, creative brainstorming and actualization, and personal free time. Akropolis values individual free time as much as rehearsal time, and will place a heavy emphasis on participants having as much time to refresh and recharge as they do to better themselves and their craft.

As an example, a typical performer day would be:

  • Free time (e.g. practice, meditation, or a walk)
  • Breakfast
  • Private lesson or career development conversation with Akropolis / chamber rehearsal
  • Lunch
  • Free time (afternoon beach, sun, physical exercise, etc.)
  • Recording session / rehearsal
  • Dinner
  • Free time (attend a live performance, visit Petoskey, etc.)

As an example, a typical composer day would be:

  • Free time (e.g. sketches, meditation, or a walk)
  • Breakfast
  • Composition time / career development conversation / workshopping your music with Akropolis
  • Lunch
  • Free time (afternoon beach, sun, physical exercise, etc.)
  • Recording session / rehearsal / or workshop of your music
  • Dinner
  • Free time (attend a live performance, visit Petoskey, etc.)

Will I receive one-on-one coaching with Akropolis?

Each participant will receive two private lessons/coaching sessions with Akropolis members, which will be divided between artistic, personal, and career-related subject matters determined by your unique situation. You will receive 4 ensemble coachings with Akropolis members.

Will Akropolis perform while I am there? 

Yes! Akropolis will give at least 1 formal, full-length performance while ACMI is taking place.

What repertoire will we perform? Can participants help decide repertoire?

Repertoire will depend on the participants chosen. Allowing for available repertoire will be a part of the application review process. We are expecting applicants on a variety of instruments, and we expect to form a cohort of mixed instrumentation which can be broken into smaller ensembles where repertoire is available. Once the participants are chosen, Akropolis and participants will meet on Zoom to begin making repertoire choices. Participants can express ideas and suggest repertoire at this stage.

How will applications be adjudicated?

Akropolis will score applications based on artistic merit, clarity of career goals, and clarity of purpose for attending ACMI, all as expressed through your application.

What if I don't have any recordings for the application? 

Now is a great time to start making them! We will offer you help with what and how to record most effectively for this application. Just email us at If you already have recordings, we could help you  decide which ones to submit for your application. Recordings are required for us to consider your application, so start planning now for how to make them happen. Reach out to us SOONER rather than later to let us know if you think you might have trouble making recordings so that we can help you find the resources to make them happen.

When is tuition due? Is there a deposit required? 

A $350 deposit is required within 2 weeks of receiving your acceptance to ACMI in order to reserve your place. After that, the balance of your tuition is due July 1st, and payment plans are available by contacting Chris Ludwa at

Are travel, accommodations, and meals covered by my tuition? 

Your tuition does not cover travel, but does cover accommodations and meals.

What accommodations are provided and what are they like? What linens and amenities are provided?

Sheets, a blanket, pillows and pillow cases are provided. Participants can expect 1 roommate. It is dorm-style housing with shared bathrooms.

What kind of meals are provided and what are my meal options, cooking options, and off-campus meal options?

All meals are provided free of charge with the exception of two meals during the weekends, which you will need to provide for yourselves. Since housing is dorm style, cooking will not be allowed in the dorm rooms, but participants are highly encouraged to bring non-perishable snacks. Several participants and Akropolis members will have vehicles, and ample opportunity is provided to shop at very nearby grocery stores, and to eat at restaurants one mile away in downtown Petoskey. Arranging rides for this is extremely easy. Bicycles are also readily available.

Please notify Chris Ludwa ( of any particular allergies or dietary restrictions prior to the festival.

Can I keep a car on campus? Is traveling off-campus permitted? 

Yes, you can drive to ACMI and keep your car at ACMI. You are free to travel and roam as you wish during the entirety of your free time during the festival.

What is the best way to travel to Petoskey? Is there a free shuttle from the nearest airport?

The closest and most convenient airport is Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City (TVC), which is a 90-minute drive from Petoskey. Other and potentially more affordable options would be to fly to Detroit (DTW) or Chicago and then make the rest of the drive.

Shuttle to and from location Airports
$35 one way from Pellston (20 min. away) or $75 one way from Traverse City (1.5 hrs away). After you’ve been accepted to the program, you will receive an email from Matt McFarlane, Director of Operations at the Bay View Festival, to coordinate your transportation and payment.

Why is there an application fee for the later deadline?

We wanted to ensure we had a free application available. The free March 1 Early Bird application deadline is to encourage you to apply on time, and the late April 1 deadline is available for folks who are unable to get their materials together in time. In a very competitive summer festival environment, the $35 application fee for the late deadline encourages you to apply early, increasing the likelihood that we will garner as many competitive applications as possible before applicants might commit to another festival.

What is your refund policy?

No refunds are given after July 1st. No refunds are made for participants arriving late, leaving early, or canceling. The application fee is non-refundable for applicants who are not accepted. For accepted applicants the application fee is applied to your tuition payment.

What should I pack?

ACMI artists should plan on packing for the full 10 days of the festival, as on-site laundry service is not provided.

In addition to casual summer attire, all performers and composers should pack at least 1 professional outfit and 1 outfit for your video recording session. Outfits will be coordinated prior to attending the festival based on which ensemble and instrumentation you are placed into.

We also suggest swimwear, a beach towel, exercise-related clothing, a book/frisbee or other leisure activity, all toiletries (none are provided), personal electronic devices, cords and chargers, and all personal instrumental and compositional equipment. Music stands are plentiful and you do not need to pack a portable stand.

What percussion equipment is available on campus? 

Timpani, xylophone, marimba, snare and other basic percussion equipment, and local schools capable of supplying additional instruments. We are happy to work with you leading up to the Institute with making sure you have what you need on site, after repertoire choices have been made.

Can I bring my pet? 

No, unfortunately 🙁

Are smoking or drinking allowed on campus? 

Smoking is prohibited in all campus indoor spaces. Drinking is prohibited on campus.

What kind of practice and rehearsal space is available? How much space?

There is ample practice and rehearsal space. You should not expect to have trouble finding a space to practice or rehearse.

Is there WiFi? Cellular service?

WiFi is available in the dorms and throughout campus buildings. Cellular service is good.

Do you accommodate participants with mobility issues? 

Yes. Please notify us of accommodations you need.

Is this the same as the Bay View Music Festival? Do I need to apply to their festival on their website?

ACMI is housed within the 6 week long Bay View Music Festival, but you must apply independently here, at this website, for ACMI.

ACMI applicants should not apply to attend the Bay View Music Festival unless they are interested in their additional programs offered at different dates throughout the summer. These programs all require a separate application and tuition. Akropolis will not be involved or be in attendance for any of these other programs.

You can read more about the Bay View Music Festival here:

Additional questions? 

Please email us at and we will respond promptly! With questions specific to the Bay View Association, contact Chris Ludwa at



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