violinists in class

We are currently on a waitlist for the following High School sections: violin, oboe, alto sax, tuba and percussion. If you are interested in getting on the waitlist, please email and do not yet pay a deposit.

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 see information for piano students at the bottom of the page.

Dates: June 17-22, 2018

View the 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 11, 2018. A non-refundable $150 deposit, which goes toward the full camp fees, is required with your registration.

Online registration opens January 8, 2018. Register here

For assistance with the online registration form, please download this online registration how-to document.

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 level of the large ensembles and place musicians for optional small chamber groups (see below). 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

Optional: If you would like to participate in a small chamber group or perform as a soloist with piano accompaniment in addition to participation in the large ensemble, please fill out the chamber music portion of the online registration form. Small chamber groups and soloists with piano accompaniment will work with a CU professor or graduate student as a coach in preparation for chamber music and solo music performances. If you would like to do either, we will assemble the appropriate small groups with like-skilled students based on the submitted recording as detailed above.


  • $750 residential
    • Includes instruction, camp t-shirt, room and all meals.
  • $520 commuter
    • Includes instruction, camp t-shirt and 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 College of Music facilities and CU dormitory facilities.


March 1, 2018: Optional scholarship application deadline. See Scholarship Opportunity below for more information regarding application requirements and a link to the application form. Awardees will be notified by April 1, 2018.

April 1, 2018: Scholarship award notification

May 11, 2018: Registration, deposit and recording deadline for residents and commuters 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 5, 2018.

May 31, 2018: Payment-in-full deadline for residents and commuters for the High School Summer Music Academy. Payment may be completed through the registration portal linked above.

May 31, 2018: 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 5, 2018: Waitlist notification

Refund Policy

All refunds will be processed on the card used to make the payment through the registration portal. Prior to May 31, 2018, refund is in full excluding a non-refundable $150 deposit. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after May 31, 2018.

Enrollment and Proficiency

Due to instrumentation limits in the high school camp, enrollment is granted on a first-come, first-served basis reserved with a non-refundable deposit in the amount of $150. For the High School Summer Music Academy, enrollment, while open to everyone that meets eligibility requirements, is limited to 115 students. In the unlikely event enrollment is full, all subsequent registrants will be placed on a waiting list. If a spot comes open, we will notify you of the opening no later than June 5, 2018.

The High School Academy is open to graduates of grades 9, 10, 11 and 12. Enrollment is limited to the following instrumentation: 8 flutes, 8 clarinets, 2 bass clarinets, 4 oboes, 4 bassoons, 4 alto saxes, 1 tenor sax, 1 baritone sax, 6 French horns, 8 trumpets, 6 trombones, 2 euphoniums, 3 tubas, 6 percussion, 1 pianist, 24 violins, 10 violas, 8 cellos, and 6 basses (1 for band, 5 for orchestra). Seating auditions for placement in the large ensemble will take place during the first day of camp.

Performance and abilities are suggested to meet the following guidelines:

  • Proficiency of major scales: 2 octaves, in 16th notes, quarter-note = 112
  • Proficiency of harmonic minor scales: 2 octaves, in 8th notes, quarter-note = 120
  • Proficiency of chromatic scale: 2 octaves, in 8th notes, quarter-note = 80
  • Confidence in performing solo and chamber ensemble repertoire 

Special Opportunity

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 for this academic year. If you are a member of either of these select groups, you will receive a $150 credit toward your registration fee. In order to redeem this credit, please use the discount code provided to you.

Scholarship Opportunity

For the High School Summer Music Academy of 2018, we are excited to announce that we will be offering scholarship assistance to help select students of financial need attend the high school academy. In order to be considered for scholarship assistance, please fill out the form below and return the completed form along with 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. Instead of mailing or emailing the completed form, you may complete the Google form below. The completed form and essay are due March 1, 2018, and awardees will be notified by April 1, 2018. Financial need will be taken into account when reviewing applications, and scholarships will be awarded as funds allow.

View the Scholarship Application form (PDF)
View the Scholarship Application form (Google form)

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 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 where students build confidence and develop good habits and attitudes that shape their future. 

Donald McKinney
High School Summer Music Academy Wind Ensemble Conductor

joel schutJoel Schut
High School Summer Music Academy Orchestral Ensemble Conductor​

Joel Schut is currently a DMA candidate in Orchestral Conducting at Michigan State University and serves as Director of Orchestras at Okemos High School. He holds degrees in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Colorado Boulder under the direction of Gary Lewis and Violin Performance and Music Education from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance where he was awarded the Albert A. Stanley Medal, the school’s highest honor.

As a conductor, Mr. Schut served as Music Director of the Livingston Symphony Orchestra from 2007-2010 as well as founding director of the Detroit Medical Orchestra. He has led a variety of regional and honors ensembles including the Idaho All-State Orchestra. As a violinist, he performs regularly with the Flint and Lansing Symphony Orchestras and has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra and the American Institute of Musical Studies Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria. Additionally, he has toured Mexico and China as a member of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas and performed in Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra Seminar and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra.

A passionate advocate for music education, Mr. Schut previously served as Orchestra Director at Saline High School and North Farmington High School; has worked as a mentor with the Detroit Civic Orchestra and the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra; and led ensembles with the Boulder Suzuki Strings while earning Suzuki Certification with William Starr. With a strong belief in music’s ability to promote citizen cultural diplomacy, Mr. Schut served as an American Music Ambassador on 2010 and 2014 Cultures in Harmony projects in Tunisia, conductor and violin faculty for the 2012 and 2014 Campamento Sinfónico Juvenil de Honduras in Tegucigalpa, guest faculty at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul summer 2013, and artist faculty at the 2015 Myanmar Music Festival. He is a graduate of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas Global Leaders Fellowship Program connecting innovators in youth orchestra education throughout the Americas. Additionally, Mr. Schut serves on the editorial board for the American String Teacher. When not making music he is active as a distance running enthusiast.

Contact Us

Questions? You can reach us at: