violinists in class

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 instruction in a one-week summer session. Band and orchestra participants will be placed into a wind ensemble or string orchestra with a nationally renowned conductor. Select students will be divided up into one of many small ensembles in order 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 faculty members, guest artists and graduate students in the CU College of Music.

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

Due to low enrollment, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 High School Summer Music Academy. Please note, the PIANO program will still be held virtually.

In our early planning stages, there was considerable interest for a virtual event, and we felt confident to move forward. Since late 2020, however, a lot has changed. With vaccinations rolling out and things opening up, it became clear that a virtual option was not going to allow for the types of connections our students expect and benefit from at this camp. With the level of restrictions still in place on our campus, especially for musicians, it is not feasible to pivot to an in-person mode either. 

We’re looking forward to getting additional clearance from the campus administration as next year progresses and we look forward to returning to a full in-person event in June 2022. Please continue to watch this page for more updates this fall!

June 12-17, 2022

The 2022 schedule is TBD. View our most recent in-person schedule.

Registration, fees and deadlines


To secure your spot in the High School Summer Music Academy, please follow the registration form link below and complete the online registration form by May 12, 2022. A non-refundable $150 deposit, which goes toward the full camp fees, is required with your registration.

All students will also need to email a recording of a two-minute excerpt of their choice that demonstrates their tone quality and technical ability. Please email this in .mp3 format to This will help us gauge the overall ability level of our campers, so we can meet you where you’re at with our instruction. Note: this is not an audition for acceptance. Piano students should follow these guidelines for submitting their playing excerpt and email their excerpt directly to


TBD for 2022.


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 12: 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, 2022.

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, 2022: 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 and 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 comes open, we will notify you of the opening no later than June 1, 2022.


Suggested proficiencies:

  • Proficiency of major scales: two octaves, in 16th notes, quarter-note = 112
  • Proficiency of harmonic minor scales: two octaves, in 8th notes, quarter-note = 120
  • Proficiency of 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 any high school musicians who are current participants in Colorado All-State or the University of Colorado High School Honor Band: if you are a member of either of these select groups, you will receive a $150 credit toward your registration fee. To redeem this credit, please use the discount code provided to you at the Honor Band Festival. All-State musicians should email us with proof of participation to receive your discount code. If you register for the Academy before either of these festivals, we will apply the $150 discount to your registration after the festival has ended.


For the 2022 High School Summer Music Academy, we're excited to offer scholarship assistance to help students of financial need. To be considered for scholarship assistance, please fill out 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.

View the scholarship application form

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 fill out the SMA Scholarship Application form above to be considered for this scholarship opportunity. 

Academy instruction

Assembled for their talent, teaching ability, dedication and enthusiasm for music, distinguished music professionals from across the country participate in the University of Colorado summer music academies. They include world-renowned conductors, CU Boulder professors, 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 for students to build confidence, and develop good habits and attitudes that shape their future.

Contact us

Questions? You can reach us at: