Beyond Music

Bennington College and Environs

Bennington College, the home of the 2021 Conference, is set in the foothills of the Green Mountains in southern Vermont, with exquisite views of the surrounding countryside. The campus is a few miles north of the historic town of Bennington, which lends its name to a famous Revolutionary War battle.

The Bennington area has superb restaurants, antique and craft shops, art galleries, and historical museums. The Park-McCullough House in North Bennington, a confection of Victorian gingerbread-style architecture, is a historic landmark and community center and sponsors exhibitions and concerts for the public. Williamstown's summer stock theatre, Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow, the Marlboro Music Festival, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center are all within easy driving distance. Other nearby destinations include the Bennington Museum (noted for its Grandma Moses Gallery) in Bennington; the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in South Shaftsbury, Vermont; the Clark Art Institute and the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts; Hildene House (the Lincoln family home) in Manchester, Vermont; and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts.

The Bennington Chamber of Commerce has information about attractions, events, accommodations, and dining in the Bennington area.

Please consider patronizing the local businesses that support the Conference.


A fitness center and four tennis courts are available at the College with no fees for use. Many participants run on or near the College's beautiful campus. A popular place for swimming is Lake Paran, a short walk or drive from campus. Walking paths are available on conserved land in North Bennington. Boating, swimming, and picnic facilities are available at Lake Shaftsbury State Park, a 15-minute drive. The Green Mountain National Forest and the Appalachian Trail offer hiking and scenic drives.


The Conference is known for its informal get-togethers held in the evenings after the day's activities are over. A welcoming party on the opening night of each week kicks off Conference festivities, and another party follows each of the faculty concerts, which occur Wednesdays and Saturdays. Impromptu gatherings happen every other night of the week.

Room and Board

Conference members live in the College's dormitories, which include twelve traditional colonial-style residences and three award-winning modern residences. Each house has a spacious living room and a kitchen. Rooms are single or double, with twin beds. Linens, blankets, pillows, towels, and soap are provided.

Wholesome, well-prepared meals, including vegetarian entrees, are served buffet-style in the Commons building, a short walk from all Conference housing. Several attractive dining rooms provide a congenial setting where Conference members gather to eat, talk, and relax together.

See also the Frequently Asked Questions page for detailed information about transportation to Bennington, accommodations at the College, and other practical topics.

The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, Inc.
Tobias Werner, Music Director
Donald Crockett, Senior Composer-in-Residence
Susie Ikeda, Executive Director

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