FAQ – Music Academy

Frequently Asked Questions

 What does the fee include?
The fee includes lodging, meals, and academy t-shirt.  Students are housed in comfortable, secure students residence halls.  Bedding and bath towel are provided. Faculty and counselors live in the residence halls and provide 24-hour supervision.  St. Olaf employs a professional security staff that is on duty 24/7.

What are the different ways to register?
Register now with our secure online form or complete a printable registration form and send it via mail. Registrations are accepted until capacity has been reached. When completing the online form please see options below.
Option 1: Pay in Full
At the conclusion of the registration form, you will be asked to submit credit card information.  Once submitted, the full amount will be paid.
Option 2: Submit Deposit Only
At the conclusion of the registration form disregard the payment section at the end and close out the window.  The registration form is still saved and submitted.  Once closed, go to the make-a-payment link and submit a minimum $100 non-refundable deposit to reserve your student’s spot today. Registration is not officially accepted until completed registration form and deposit is received on the same day.  Payment must be paid in full 4 weeks prior to camp start date.

Is financial assistance available?
Financial Assistance through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education

What is the refund policy?
Written cancellations (post, fax, or email) received four weeks prior to camp start date will receive a refund less the $100 non-refundable deposit fee. No refunds are given within four weeks of academy start date; substitutions are accepted.

 How do you get on our mailing list to receive open registration updates and brochure?
E-mail us to get added to our list.

How many campers attend music academy?
Between 180–200 musicians.

Are scholarships or financial assistance available for students in need?
Yes, financial assistance will be offered to Minnesota participants through the MN Office of Higher Education.

Are there auditions?
No auditions are required prior to your arrival. On the first day of camp there will be auditions for chair placement:

  • Orchestra auditions (string only) are for seating only. Students should prepare two 2-minute excerpts in contrasting styles (fast/technical, slow/lyrical). Campers will be asked to sight read a short sample. Orchestra winds (brass, percussion, woodwinds) must audition for a chair in the orchestra. These auditions are part of the band audition and the requirements are the same as the string requirements listed above. Wind/percussion players not placed in orchestra will play in the band.
  • Band auditions are for chair placement.
  • Choir does not have auditions.

What is the difference between the Ensemble Track and the Chamber Track?
If you’re familiar with the camp from past experiences, the Ensemble Track is like that – participation in 1 (or 2) large ensembles with lessons and more lighter class options. The Chamber Track has additional hours of chamber coaching with masterclasses covering topics like musician health and wellness, finding and fitting in good practice techniques, and classes with a college prep feel.  While large ensemble participation is an element of the Chamber Track, chamber music is not available within the Ensemble Track.

Are there students from out-of-state?
About 50 percent of the students are from outside Minnesota.

What level of ability do most students play at to attend?
Since this is not an audition academy, there is a variety of skill levels.

What is the gender make up of the academy?
Typically 1/3 boys to 2/3 girls.

Will participants be allowed to travel around campus alone? 
Students are informed to travel with a buddy during movement between breaks.

What are your cell/smartphone and other electronic devices policy? 
Cell phones and other electronic devices are not prohibited but should be used only during free time.

If a participant drives himself or herself to the program, can they leave whenever they want? 
No, at check in the drivers’ keys are turned in and given to the directors of the academy.  If they wish to leave, a note must be provided from their guardian in advance.

Do you have enforceable consequences for prohibited actions?
Students who break rules are sent home.

My child is one year too young for camp. Can he still register?
We maintain a wait list and if there are still openings prior to the start of the academy we will fill positions with younger students. Call the academy office to get your name on the list. 507-786-3031.

What if my child is on medication?
Although academy counselors can hold the medication in a locked room, counselors cannot administer the medication to the students.
All students must be able to administer their own medications.

May I use a credit card to pay for camp other than online.
No. In order to meet regulations, we can only take credit cards using our online form.

What is the refund policy?
Written cancellations (post, fax, or email) received four weeks prior to academy start date will receive a refund less the $100 non-refundable deposit fee. No refunds are given within four weeks of academy start date, but substitutions are accepted.

What if you need to cancel due to a medical circumstance?
Doctors note and written request will need to be submitted.  Once received and confirmed, refund/credit will be submitted on a case-by-case basis.

What if academy gets canceled?
Any academy not meeting the minimum enrollment week prior to camp start date will be canceled and notification will be sent.  Some academies may have earlier deadlines and either a refund/credit towards another academy/camp will be offered if the academy is canceled.

Where is St. Olaf College located?
St. Olaf College is located 40 miles south of the Twin Cities metropolitan area in historic Northfield, Minnesota. Call the conferences, camps, and events office at 507-786-3031 to inquire about transportation options to and from the airport and/or refer to our website for further information.

Transportation, Additional Housing, and Non-Residential Option
Contact the St. Olaf camp office to inquire about additional housing and non-residential options, and go here for transportation options to and from the airport.