High School Summer Music Academy students


The High School Summer Music Academy is an opportunity for talented band, orchestra and piano students from Colorado and around the country to receive world-class music instruction in a one-week summer session. Band and orchestra participants are placed into a wind ensemble or string orchestra with a nationally renowned conductor. Select students are divided into one of many small ensembles to gain invaluable chamber music experience. Students will also participate in electives that will serve as preparation for collegiate music degree programs. 

Instruction for the academy is provided by renowned guest conductors, CU Boulder faculty members, guest artists and graduate students of our College of Music.

Note: The following information applies to band and orchestra students only. Piano students: Please visit High School Summer Music Academy: Piano.

June 16-20, 2024

Registration, fees + deadlines

All High School SMA students need to submit a video recording of their playing in addition to completing the registration and payment. Please note that this recording is not an audition for admission purposes, but rather a way for our counselors to place students in chamber groups based on their level of playing. 


Registration for the 2024 Summer Music Academy is now closed. Please check back in January 2025 for information regarding the 2025 Summer Music Academy.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

2024 SMA permission forms + waivers
2024 camp schedule​


  • $775 overnight resident: includes all housing and meals
  • $550 daytime-only commuter: includes all lunches

Incidental fees

  • Lost Room Key fee (to be collected at the time of loss): $10-$50
  • Lost Meal Card fee (to be collected at the time of loss): $5-$15
  • Property Damage (where applicable): case-by-case determination

Parents are financially responsible for any and all damages caused by the student to the University of Colorado property including, but not limited to, CU Boulder College of Music facilities and CU Boulder dormitory facilities.

Video recording guidelines:

  1. Play 2 two-octave major scales of your choice. We recommend playing in 16th notes at a tempo no slower than quarter note equals 60. 
  2. Play an excerpt of your choice that is approximately one minute in length. This excerpt could be a solo, music from your school band, pop music, a movie soundtrack, or anything that you feel shows us your playing ability.
  3.  You may record your scales and excerpt in separate takes and then splice them together into one file if you wish. Please only submit one video per student!
  4. Title your video in the following format: LastName_FirstName_HSSMA
  5. Upload your video to Youtube as an unlisted video. For help on how to do this, please see this tutorial.
  6. Once your video is unlisted on Youtube, copy and paste your video link into this form by 5 p.m. on May 11, 2023.


March 1: Optional scholarship application deadline. See scholarship opportunities below for more information regarding application requirements and a link to the application form. Awardees will be notified by April 1.

April 1: Scholarship award notification

May 11: Registration, deposit and recording deadline for the High School Summer Music Academy. Please follow the link above to the online registration form. Registration forms are accepted for the High School camp until positions are filled or the deadline passes. If an instrument section is full, you will be put on a waitlist. We will contact you if a spot becomes available no later than June 1, 2023.

May 15: Deadline to complete and upload all permission forms and waivers. (Students who are waitlisted do not need to complete these forms unless they are accepted into the camp.) Please scan all documents into one PDF and upload to the SMA Google Form.

May 31: Payment-in-full deadline for the High School Summer Music Academy. Payment may be completed through the registration portal linked above.

May 31: Cancellation deadline for full refund of camp fees excluding a non-refundable $150 deposit. See refund policy below for more information regarding refunds and cancellation.

June 1, 2023: Waitlist notification

Refund policy

Refunds will be processed on the card used to make the payment through the registration portal. Prior to May 31, refund is in full excluding a non-refundable $150 deposit. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after May 31.

Enrollment + eligibility

The High School Summer Academy is open to graduates of grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. Enrollment is open to everyone that meets eligibility requirements. Once the registration deadline has passed, all subsequent interested participants registrants will be placed on a waiting list. If a spot becomes available, we will notify you no later than June 1, 2023.

Suggested proficiencies:

  • Major scales: two octaves, in 16th notes, quarter-note = 112
  • Harmonic minor scales: two octaves, in 8th notes, quarter-note = 120
  • Chromatic scale: two octaves, in 8th notes, quarter-note = 80
  • Confidence in performing solo and chamber ensemble repertoire 

Honor musicians’ discounts

We would like to extend an invitation to high school musicians who are current participants in the University of Colorado High School Honor Band. If you are a member of this group, you will receive a $150 credit toward your registration fee at the conclusion of the honor band festival. To redeem this credit, please use the provided discount code when registering for the summer music academy. If you register for the academy before the honor band festival, we will refund the $150 credit to you after the festival has ended. Musicians who were chosen as alternates for the honor band festival will receive a discount code if they are called upon to perform in the honor band festival.


For the High School Summer Music Academy, we’re pleased to offer scholarship assistance to help students of financial need. To be considered for scholarship assistance, please complete the form below, including a brief essay telling us about yourself, your need for financial assistance and how you could benefit from attendance at the High School Summer Music Academy. The completed form with essay is due March 1 and awardees will be notified by April 1. Financial need will be taken into account when reviewing applications and scholarships will be awarded as funds allow.

Scholarship application

August Carl Waelde and Bertha Sommers Waelde Memorial Scholarship Fund

We’re pleased to offer scholarship assistance for diverse students to attend the High School Summer Music Academy. This scholarship fund was established in memory of August Carl Waelde and Bertha Sommers Waelde, early jazz figures in New Orleans. Scholarship recipients will be selected in accordance with established procedures for SMA scholarships. Preference will be given to diverse students who demonstrate financial need, as determined by their application. Diverse students include those from geographic areas and socioeconomic backgrounds that are historically underrepresented in the College of Music and/or those who have faced unusual adversity. Please complete the form above to be considered for this scholarship opportunity. In addition to the general essay requirements described in the application form above, students applying for the Waelde Memorial Scholarship will also be prompted to describe their experience with adversity.

Academy instruction

Assembled for their talent, teaching ability, dedication and enthusiasm for music, distinguished music professionals from across the country participate in the College of Music’s Summer Music Academies. They include world-renowned conductors, CU Boulder faculty, middle school and high school teachers, master class and elective teachers, administrators and outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who serve as counselors and mentors. Together, their knowledge and experience support an extraordinary educational opportunity where students build confidence, and develop good habits and attitudes that shape their future.

COVID-19 protocols 

Questions? Get in touch at musicacademy@colorado.edu, 303-492-6584.