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Summer programs for composition?

HuntHunt Posts: 20,833Registered User Senior Member
edited January 2012 in Music Major
Looking ahead to next summer, my son (rising high school junior) is interested in a summer program in composition. Anybody have good or bad experiences to share? Places I've read a little about are Interlochen, Tanglewood, Brevard, Wintergreen, Eastman, New York Summer Music Festival, and California Summer Music. Are there others I should be looking at, or thoughts about any of these? Thanks.
Post edited by Hunt on
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Replies to: Summer programs for composition?

  • mamenyumamenyu Posts: 1,520Registered User Senior Member
    Yellow Barn Young Artists Program and Aspen Music Festival have composition programs that high school age students can participate in.
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Posts: 1,761Registered User Senior Member
    Those are all fantastic...with Tanglewood, its the high school division or BUTI and it's in association with Boston University rather than with the Tanglewood composition program proper. Nonetheless, many alum go on to great schools and end up at the actual Tanglewood program at some point.

    What is your current location? I could also give you a few pointers about programs during the school year which would be good.

    Some other programs...many geared towards undergraduates/graduates though, but if your son has enough training and experience, it could be possible (but check the sites): Norfolk and Bowdoin.
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Posts: 1,761Registered User Senior Member
    hmm...I though Aspen's minimum age for composition was 18? I've never heard of this program mamenyu; what is it?
  • mamenyumamenyu Posts: 1,520Registered User Senior Member
    Aspen does take some underage students; at 16, they can live in the dormitory at Marolt along with the college students. A high school junior I know, quite an accomplished composer, attended last summer at Aspen...liked the program. One of the smaller orchestras performed the piece.
  • violadadvioladad Posts: 6,640Registered User Senior Member
    University of Nebraska/Lincoln has had a recurring high level chamber music program that actually pairs composers with a quartet or ensemble for the week.

    Level is pre-professional, college/conservatory so I don't know if it's applicable in your specific case.

    http://www.unl.edu/music/sidelinks/aboutSOM.shtml (This year's program is already past, and the direct link doesn't work. The link provided is the school of music home page. If you want direct contact info and can't fond it, PM me.)
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    My S2 studied composition at Brevard summer between 9th and 10th grade as his 'second instrument' - cost a bit extra. But he really enjoyed it, and learned a lot.
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Posts: 5,060Registered User Senior Member
    If you are a California resident (they take very few out of state) CSSSA-Innerspark at Cal Arts. When D studied composition in the 11th grade--it was true one on one with faculty from UCLA and Berkley. About 9 students to 4 faculty members and several grad assistants. Master class was with composer John Adams. The program was very intense, she was working from 9am to 10pm 6-7 days a week.
  • MahlerSnobMahlerSnob Posts: 53Registered User Junior Member
    I would NOT under any circumstances recommend CSSSA for composers. I was a composition student there in 2002, and it was one of the biggest wastes of a summer I've ever experienced. Unless your child is interested only in computer music, it is not a worthwhile program.
    I attended BUTI the following summer, and it was excellent. While it is true that the BUTI comp program is not officially connected to TMC, there were several shared masterclasses and a fair amount of contact between the BUTI and TMC composers. BUTI also offers the invaluable opportunity to observe the BSO, TMC, and guests up close for six weeks - something no other program can really compete with.
  • HuntHunt Posts: 20,833Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for the responses. We live in the Maryland suburbs of DC, but my son is already so overcommitted in the school year that it would be hard to add anything. I would appreciate any thoughts on how selective summer programs like BUTI are as well.
  • compmomcompmom Posts: 3,803Registered User Senior Member
    Walden School in Dublin NH is fantastic. Ages 10 to 18, with classes all day in thoory and composition. There are weekly forums in which pieces are played, and a final festival that includes completed compositions by all students, with visiting professionals (including, in the past, many well-known composers and musicicians). The results of the program were truly amazing. There is a site online.
  • HuntHunt Posts: 20,833Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for all the help. My son is going to apply to BUTI and to the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival...if he doesn't get in to one of those, we'll try something less selective (maybe more camp-like).
  • compmomcompmom Posts: 3,803Registered User Senior Member
    Just a warning: last year, we had no idea how selective Bowdoin is, esp. for a high school composer. Kids who have won major awards for their compositions don't get in, and even the kids' composition teacher (an MM from NEC) applied three times and never got in. JUst so that your son doesn't get disappointed if he does not get in. I felt like my ignorance kind of set my daughter up!

    BUTI, Yellow Barn and Walden are the other ones we know of...at least, in the Northeast. The one in New York State looked good (someone mentioned it) and Eastman has a program too.

    Has your son been to any other summer programs for composition?
  • jazzzmommjazzzmomm Posts: 545Registered User Member
    This may sound too far afield, but a boy in our neighborhood studied composition in Paris last summer. I don't know the name of the program, but I could easily find out if anyone would like. Maybe someone here knows what this program is, or which school it is attached to.
  • compmomcompmom Posts: 3,803Registered User Senior Member
    Oh, that would be great to hear about! Our daughter fantasizes about going to Paris to study (she takes French). So many composers used to go to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, it almost seemed like a rite of passage for young composers. Let us know anything you know about it, thanks!
  • HuntHunt Posts: 20,833Registered User Senior Member
    We've definitely downplayed his chances at getting in to either Bowdoin or BUTI--he hasn't been to a composition program, but did study theory in a past summer program. There were only a few of the selective programs he could apply to because of other things already scheduled in the summer. I think most of the less selective programs have later application deadlines, fortunately.
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