Hal Walker

Hal Walker is a singer, songwriter and musical explorer. During the rest of the year, Hal is the music director of the Unitarian-Universalist church of Kent. He brings his talents to Summer Institute each year.

Find him on



Summer Institute has a choir open to all that rehearses in the afternoon and enhances morning worship. There is also a children’s choir that rehearses each day.

Small Ensembles

Connect with one or more others who like to perform the kind of music you enjoy, put a group together, and perform for concerts on Thursday and/or Friday nights. Watch for a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the Dining Hall starting Sunday night, and for a lunch table near the exit of the dining room for Small Ensembles discussion. Then you rehearse on your own schedule with your group. If you don’t know others who play instruments needed for your ensemble, we’ll help you find others who might like your idea and a new SI music group is born! Music can vary from jazz to folk or classical, or anything in-between. Pieces are generally about 3 minutes long. Programs are finalized Wednesday evening.

Folk Orchestra

folk (fok) n. 1.An ethnic group, as a tribe or nation. orchestra (or ki stra) n. 1. A large group of musicians performing together on various instruments. The SI tribe of instrumental musicians will gather in the afternoon to make ready some sounds supportive of adult vespers services (and maybe a morning worship service as well).

Suggested for tribal participation:

  1. having an instrument
  2. playing of aforementioned instrument
  3. music reading ability about middle school level. Leader (hereafter known as “mediator”) will really, really try to keep music in the F-C-G neighborhood.

Contra Dance

Most years, there is a chance to dance to old-time music by David Strickler and friends. No partner or experience necessary. Contra dance is aerobic and social. Dancer-friendly instruction and calling by Susan English.

Hymn Sing

Every evening, everyone interested gets together with others who love to sing, and all sing their favorite hymns. It’s a lot of fun, even if some people are a little hoarse at the pub or the next morning at breakfast.