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 four-day summer session.

Instruction for the academy is provided by 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.

For summer 2021, the Summer Music Academies will be 100% online. While we would love to be seeing you in person this year, we felt it would be best to offer an experience we know we can deliver on virtually rather than add more uncertainty to a constantly shifting landscape. We have several great options that your students will find to be appealing!

The morning sessions will be playing-centered, focusing on warm-ups, instrument master classes and playing techniques.  Afternoon sessions will be a rotation of engaging elective sessions, games and activities geared toward teamwork, creative and critical thinking and fun.

2021 dates: June 14-17, 2021

View the 2021 schedule here >>

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 6, 2021. A non-refundable $50 deposit, which goes toward the full camp fees, is required with your registration.

Online registration is now open. Register here!

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


$210 for one virtual camper: includes instruction only. Campers must provide their own individual Zoom-capable device and musical instrument.


March 1: 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.

April 1: Scholarship award notification

May 6, 2021: 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, 2021.

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 $50 deposit. See Refund Policy below for more information regarding refunds and cancellation.

June 1, 2021: 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 $50 deposit. No refunds will be issued for cancellations after May 31.

Enrollment and Proficiency

For the High School Summer Music Academy, 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, 2021.

The High School Academy is open to graduates of grades 9, 10, 11 and 12.

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 $50 credit toward your registration fee. In order 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 $50 discount to your registration after the festival has ended.

Scholarship Opportunity

For the High School Summer Music Academy of 2021, 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, 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

For the High School Summer Music Academy, we are excited to announce that we will be offering scholarship assistance to help select students of financial need attend the high school academy. This scholarship fund was established in memory of August Carl Waelde and Bertha Sommers Waelde, who were early jazz figures in New Orleans. The fund will support students attending the Summer Music Academy (SMA) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Scholarship recipients will be selected in accordance with established procedures for SMA scholarships. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate financial need, as determined by their application. Preference may also be given to students with a disadvantaged background or who have faced unusual adversity, as determined by their application.

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.

Contact Us

Questions? You can reach us at: