CoronaVIrus (COVID-19) UPDATE

Holden Village is closed to all guests this summer through August 31st. All summer events are cancelled, including the Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival. We will miss having a Village full of summer guests!

The summer will look different than we all expected; however, we are energized by innovative ideas as we explore a different kind of Holden experience this summer through the weekly email newsletter, BeHolden: All Things New.

Below is a description of the Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival that is offered during a typical summer. Holden Village hopes to offer this event again in the future!

Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival

JUNE 7-13, 2020

The Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival brings together string chamber music enthusiasts to read and perform music in the beauty of the Cascade Mountains.  Addition of woodwinds depends on balance of instrumentation and is at the discretion of the Festival directors. 

Professional players will also be in residence, to enhance the music making.

Festival activities begin Sunday evening, June 7 with a meet and greet and Festival orientation.  The daily schedule will be variable and flexible, making lots of time for reading music, and also time to attend regular Holden faculty presentations as desired. 

You’ll be encouraged to share your music making at coffee breaks and in our daily “Chamber Music for Dessert” presentations, and to participate in music for Vespers.  In Holden style, be open to spontaneous playing opportunities throughout the village! The week will culminate with a Friday evening concert of music prepared during the week. 

A large collection of printed music (duos, trios, quartets, quintets) will be available for your use throughout the week.

Participants should be intermediate to advanced level players, comfortable with sight reading at the level of Mozart string quartets or beyond.

Bring your instrument and find others who share your joy of making music, while enjoying everything else you love about Holden Village!


We are excited that you are interested in participating in the Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival at Holden Village.  For planning purposes, we need to gather information on your housing needs as well as your music experience/abilities.

To register for this event please go to Holden’s Registration page and request the dates of June 7 through June 13, 2020 and the option of registering for Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival  will come up.  The rate is $99/night and $594 for the Festival.  The rate includes lodging, food and all programming.  If you have questions, please contact education@holdenvillage.org.  Information on travel and Lady of the Lake schedules can be found at the following link.


Chamber Music Festival Information Form

Festival staff will use this information for planning purposes.  Please complete the Chamber Music Festival Information Form and return to jhgockel@msn.com no later than April 30, 2020.  We have space for 40 participants.

If you have any questions on the music components of the Festival, please contact Janice at jhgockel@msn.com.


Gockel_Janice.jpgJanice Gockel’s love affair with chamber music began in junior high school.  It was enhanced by eight summers of study at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, including private lessons with Sally Peck and William Primrose and chamber music with Gabor Rejto,  Jerome Lowenthal, and Mitchel Lurie.   Janice holds degrees in viola performance from Augustana College, Rock Island, and Wichita State University.

Her love affair with Holden Village began in the 1980’s when she brought students from her congregation to a Youth Weekend, having heard of Holden from Beany Lundholm, her theory professor at Augustana.   She’s returned numerous times as guest and as volunteer, and the violin and/or viola always comes along, plus a stack of chamber music in case she finds like minded musicians – which happens more often than not.  Always the musical instigator, Janice encourages and participates in  ensembles to play at Vespers or coffee break, for variety shows, or just for fun.   Holden’s  musical spontanaiety even led to a performance of Vivaldi’s “Gloria” accompanied by more than a dozen players.

Janice has inspired inumerable musicians of all ages as Founder and conductor of Hildman Strings (community string orchestra) in Seattle throughout  its 28 year history,  as Founding Director of Music Center of the Northwest (Seattle’s first community music school)  and  as Founder and Director of the Puget Sound Chamber Music Workshop, now in its 30th year.  She plays in Philharmonia Northwest,  Allspice International Folk Dance Band, and in the Frances Walton Quartet.

WINDER_NANCY.jpg Music has always been part of Nancy Winder’s life. She started violin at age 10 and studied in Seattle with E.C. Knutson and Marilyn Garner. She played in Seattle Public School All-City orchestras, but never auditioned for the Seattle Youth Symphony because they rehearsed on Saturdays and she wanted to ski. Turned out string-playing was the higher skill! At St. Olaf College she played violin in the orchestra, switching to viola her junior year. She studied both with M. Beatrix Lien. She brought her guitar along when she came to Holden on volunteer staff in 1971, and was surprised and excited to see all the other instruments and musical styles in the Village! She returned that summer with her violin, and has been bringing her violin and now viola with her whenever she comes to Holden. There are always wonderful opportunities to make music! Nancy also studied viola with Donald McInnes, and has played with most of the amateur/semi-professional orchestras in the Seattle area.  She also has played a lot in church and, in her other life as a parish pastor, she strongly encouraged the involvement of instrumentalists in the worship life of the community. And yes, she has played viola in her vestments! She is excited to be part of the planning for the First Annual Railroad Creek Chamber Music Festival.