Singing Through the Summer

SBO Staff • ChoralMarch 2008Survey • March 11, 2008

Music educators and students alike can benefit from a change of pace now and again. One place to accomplish such a feat to recharge the batteries, commune with kindred spirits, learn new tricks or styles is a summer music camp. Clinics, camps, and workshops exist in just about every conceivable shape and size, but many of the vocal music variety provide quality instruction and the opportunity to excel among a group which is often more highly motivated, and perhaps more talented, than those found in most classrooms.

While it’s a rare educator who wouldn’t recommend that their students attend some such summer program much less hope to participate in one themselves in this latest survey, Choral Director turned to our readership to gauge the actual prevailing trends regarding summer camps and workshops for student singers.

Does your school or program have an affiliation with a summer music camp or choral workshop?


What percentage of your students attends choral workshops or camps over the summer?


“Band and instrumental students are more involved in summer music camps.”

William Farley
West Orange Public Schools
West Orange, N.J.

“We are in a very low income community and most [students] can’t afford the price.”

Judy Olson
Jarrell ISD
Jarrell, Texas

Do you work (teach, conduct, adjudicate, facilitate) at these events?


“The summer programs I know of in our state are at the universities and involve their teaching staff, which is a good way for college bound student to get acquainted with university staff.”

Janis McRae
Conrad Public Schools, Conrad Christian School
Conrad, Mont.

“It is not that I need free time I like to go to them myself.”

Linda Marks-Morgan
Louisville Male High School
Louisville, Ky.

Is there room for non-musical events at choral summer programs?


Are there any drawbacks to attending choral summer workshops and camps?


“Usually the type of student who attends these camps is intrinsically motivated to do so. Sometimes, the positive experience there is overshadowed by the return-to-real-life experience the kids face in their home school’s choir program, where many students don’t share the same interest. While it would be beneficial for these students to come back recharged with leadership and vision, it often is not the case when the choirs don’t live up to their experienced expectation.”

Darrell Crowther
Coronado High School
Henderson, Nev.

“The students that really need the practice don’t attend.”

Timothy M. Black
Kadena High School
Okinawa, Japan

What opportunities do summer programs present that students might not otherwise find?


“It is a great opportunity to meet singers from across the state and the region and make many lifelong friends.”

Lee Mabe
Lexington High School
Lexington, N.C.

“Students are also exposed to new repertoire, different conducting styles, and much more.”

Debby Baker
Wellston Middle and High Schools
Wellston, Ohio

“Summer workshops are akin to Honor Band and Choirs in that students attend these events with other equally motivated musicians they always come home very excited about the experience.”

Deborah Divine
Enterprise High School
Redding, Calif.

“Students get to do more and attack more difficult roles than they would during the school year.”

Martin Lassman
Cab Calloway School of the Arts
Wilmington, Del.

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