4 summer music camps open to public

Each summer, the School of Music opens its doors to the public for a number of unique “camps” for local musicians. They are intensive, only a few days long, and you don’t have to be a student to enroll.

Piano Camp at University of Redlands gives pianists the rare chance to learn and practice with their fellow musicians.

Piano Camp

Being a pianist is lonely sometimes, says Andrew Glendening, dean of the School of Music. 

“Usually piano is a very solitary thing. Just you and the piano,” he says, “but here, they get to work with other people.”

University of Redlands’ is holding a camp that aims to bring piano students together. The Piano Camp welcomes students 11–18 years old to make friends with fellow piano lovers while expanding their abilities.

The event, which runs July 25–29, will let students work on their skills accompanying, sight-reading and composing as well as try their hand in playing harpsichord and organ. They will also work on playing music used in drama and dance and learn about the anatomy of the piano.

No audition is needed.​


Harp Camp

Probably the most angelic sounding camp imaginable is the summer Harp Camp offered by, Artist Teacher Mary Dropkin offers a summer course on pedal harp. The class is set for Aug. 1–6 and is geared for intermediate to advanced pedal harp players high school aged to adults—though she will accept exceptionally talented middle school pupils. 

The students will be mostly working on orchestral and chamber music. They spend the mornings working on harp arrangements of Broadway show tunes, then the afternoon presents more focused work on opera.

“The campers will be learning parts that they may sometime be called upon to play,” Dropkin says.

Most summers, 17–20 students come from near and far for the camp. “Students come from all over the U.S., and we even have one young man coming from Columbia Colombia for his third year,” Dropkin says.

The course culminates in a concert—scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 6—that is free and open to the public. 


The Festival of Song and Learning at University of Redlands welcomes singers of all levels.
Festival of Song and Learning

For the first time, Artist Professor Marco Schindelmann is leading a two-day event this summer for singers of all experience levels.

The Festival of Song and Learning, set for June 25–26, will give high school-aged vocalists the skills needed to learn new music, practice effectively and prepare for a college audition, says Schindelmann.

“For a lot of students, practice is walking into the high school gym and singing,” he says. “A lot of young singers don’t know how to practice or even how to learn new pieces.”

The class, which will accept up to 16 students, will cover mostly opera and classical, but students will also be taught how to explore their creativity. “What do you want to say? What do you want to express?” Schindelmann asks.


The Pokorny Seminar at University of Redlands welcomes low brass players to hone their skills.

Pokorny Seminar

For the ninth year running, the sonorous melodies of the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar will rumble through the halls at University of Redlands. This five-day seminar, set for July 5–9, welcomes 5th- to 9th-grade students and adults who play low brass to come and learn from seasoned professionals.

Gene Pokorny, a current principal tuba player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Redlands alumnus after whom the seminar is named, will be one of several guest instructors.

The seminar runs July 5–9 and usually includes 30–60 students, says Andrew Glendening, Dean of the School of Music.

The seminar will cover things not always taught in music classes, such as how to manage a career or how to improvise, Glendening says. 

“A number of people who came through here have gone on to major orchestras and music schools.,” he says.

Each day begins with a group warm-up followed by a lesson from a guest lecturer. Then students will break into groups for “master classes” before lunch and break up again after lunch.

Each night ends with a solo recital by one of the lecturers, and the seminar climaxes with a group performance as well as a mock-audition for each student.