I attended in 1982, and had a wonderful experience. I don’t think it is the same kind of program now, but it is the same teacher. I played principal harp in the Festival Orchestra, and we toured to Ontario and Lincoln Center. It was a six-week program then.
Cleveland and Buffalo, or Erie, are the closest cities. Chautauqua is, or was, dry, so you won’t be able to sip sherry between lessons. No alcohol permitted. The lake is rather cold, so the swimming is brisk, the waves can be big, and the water deep. The professional orchestra is quite wonderful and do concerts about three nights a week. I had a charming practice cabin in the woods. Bring mosquito repellent, or get some when you arrive. There are limited shops, and they tend to be expensive. It can be cool at night, and quite hot by day. You might want to make side trips to The Gorge-they’ll know what you mean-and to Mayville, a town full of psychics. I would bring spending money for snacks and whatever. If you won’t have use of a car, you will be there for the duration. It’s a large colony, but enlosed by a wall, which can feel odd after a few weeks. It has many Victorian homes and long-time permanent summer residents. I hope you enjoy it.