Music Academies


June 17–23, 2018

music camp trombone
music camp trombone
music camp trombone
Mahr’s Band
Mahr’s Band
Mahr’s Band
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Slide 17
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St. Olaf Music Academy, Minnesota – work with the incredible St. Olaf music faculty. Orchestra, Band and Choir ensembles as well as classes, lessons, and more.

If you want to spend time with others who love music as much as you do — and learn from some of the most outstanding faculty in the nation — plan to be here for the best week of your summer! Join high school students from around the nation in this intense and exciting week of music-making under the direction of the internationally acclaimed St. Olaf College music faculty.

Sessions, Fees, and Registration 

Register now with our secure online form or complete a printable registration form on your computer and send it via mail or fax. Registrations are accepted until capacity has been reached.

St. Olaf Music Academy: $$$
For high school students who have completed grades 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th. 

This performance-based experience will challenge and encourage you to stretch your musical abilities. Everyone participates in at least one large ensemble (band, choir, or orchestra) and days are filled with elective classes and an optional second, large ensemble. Two 30-minute private lessons are included with your camp tuition, and a package of two more lessons is available for an additional fee.

You will be enrolled in two or three classes, depending on your major ensemble participation.  Class registration is on a first-come basis.

Classes include:

Instrumental Chamber Music, Ear Training, Music Theory, Rhythm Workshop, Conducting Basics, Jazz Improvisation, Musical Theater Workshop, Handbells, World Music, The Nuts and Bolts in your Musical Toolbox.

Major Ensembles:
Band Conducted by Timothy Mahr ’78, conductor of the St. Olaf Band
Choir Conducted by Therees Hibbard, conductor of the Manitou Singers
Orchestra Conducted by Steve Amundson, conductor of  the St. Olaf Orchestra

Class Descriptions:
Chamber Music:
For woodwinds, brass, and strings. Instrumentation will vary depending on registration.

Ear Training:
An introduction to every musician’s most important skill: listening. Explore ways to improve your ear.  Instruction will include group singing, dictation, and lecture-demonstrations.

Music Theory:
A valuable introduction to what’s behind the notes on the page, this class will benefit vocalists and instrumentalists alike.

Rhythm Workshop:
With a fun and interactive approach, this workshop will improve your music reading skills through body movement, improvisation, and rhythm games.

Conducting Basics:
Work with our professional conductors to learn basic conducting patterns, and start seeing music from the other side of the podium.

Jazz Improvisation:
Start from scratch or polish your skills in improvisation.  This class is open to all instrumentalists.

Musical Theater Workshop:
Enhance your musical theater skills while working on repertoire from the Broadway stage. Taught by a professional singer/actor/dancer/educator.

Whether you’ve never rung before, or if you’re an experienced ringer, we have an ensemble for you.

The Nuts & Bolts in Your Musical Toolbox:
A five-session mixed bag of subjects covering some of the most important aspects of being a musician.  Topics will include stage presence, dealing with stage fright, career opportunities in music, preparing for a college music major, an audition help session, being a healthy musician, and musical resources everyone should know.

Additional Lesson Package: $65
Two additional half-hour lessons, instrument or voice of your choice.

Admission is on a rolling basis and ends May 1, or when the Academy capacity is met.

Academy 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.

Students are housed two per room and may request a specific roommate. Roommates need to request each other on their registration form. Academy space is filled on a first-come basis and spots cannot be held for a late-registering roommate.

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.

Meet the Faculty 

Therees Hibbard – Choir
Timothy Mahr – Band
Reinaldo Moya – Orchestra

Nicholas Adragna – Tuba
Tim Bradley – Horn
Martin Hodel – Trumpet, Brass Chamber
Larry Zimmermann – Trombone, Euphonium

Dave Hagedorn

Chris Atzinger
Sarah Burk 
Kent McWilliams

Francesca Anderegg – Violin, Viola, String Chamber
David Carter – Cello, String Chamber
Charles Gray – Violin, Viola, String Chamber
Elinor Niemisto – Harp
Paul Ousley – String Bass

Alison Feldt
Therees Hibbard
Dale Kruse
Anna Mooy

Scott Anderson – Clarinet, Wind Chamber
Kurt Claussen – Saxophone
Dana Maeda – Oboe, Bassoon
Jill Mahr – Flute
Catherine Ramirez – Flute

Kym Chambers – Music Theater
Kurt Claussen – Ear Training
Dave Hagedorn – Rhythm
Jill Mahr – Handbells
Reinaldo Moya – Conducting, Theory
Paul Ousley – Conducting

Academy Schedule

Evening performances include recitals by St. Olaf faculty, counselors, and students. Academy concludes with a series of recitals on Friday and a concert on Saturday featuring the camp band, choir, and orchestra. The concert will be streamed, and a digital download of the final concert will be available.

Days are filled with classes, lessons, rehearsals, and practice, but that’s not all. After a great meal each evening you will enjoy faculty recitals, student recitals and performances, and social and recreational activities directed by academy counselors who are St. Olaf music students. A dance and a Talent/No Talent Night complete this rigorous and fun-filled week. You will return home with new skills, new energy, new friends, and a heightened commitment to music.

Final Concert:
Saturday, June 24 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm in Boe Memorial Chapel.
We encourage guests to stay for the entirety of the concert.

To stream the final concert, please visit Streaming & Multimedia

Financial Assistance 

Bon Appetit – Stav Dining Hall

Meals are prepared by Bon Appetit. Healthy options include the salad bar, grilled meats and veggies, and hot entrees, cereals, yogurt, fresh fruit, a deli station, soup, and dessert station.  There are plenty of food options for vegetarians, gluten-free, and other specific needs.  However, if you have a specific food allergy, please email us so we can get your camper connected with the kitchen.

Do you like good food? So do we! Four schools across the country, St. Olaf being one of them, with food service operated by Bon Appétit Management Company were placed on the Princeton Review ‘Best College Food’ list this year. Campers will have the chance to taste the amazing creations, experience and service from our friends at Bon Appétit! Check out this article to learn more about their recent accomplishment!

Transportation, Additional Housing, and Non-Residential Option

Contact the St. Olaf Academy office to inquire about transportation options to and from the airport, additional housing, and non-residential options.

Frequently Asked Questions 

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.

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 themselves 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 at?
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.