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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 will be divided up 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 faculty members, guest artists and graduate students of 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.

June 11-16, 2023

View the 2022 schedule.

Registration, fees + deadlines


To secure your spot in the High School Summer Music Academy, please follow the Register link below and complete the online registration form by May 11, 2023. A non-refundable $150 deposit, which goes toward the full camp fees, is required with your registration.


All students will also need to submit a recording of a two-minute excerpt of their choice that demonstrates their tone quality and technical ability. Submit your recording here by May 12. 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


  • $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 College of Music facilities and CU dormitory facilities.


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, 2023.

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 comes open, we will notify you of the opening no later than June 1, 2023.

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 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 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.

COVID-19 protocols

The Summer Music Academy follows all state, county and campus guidelines to help keep our students and community safe. Masks are required in public indoor spaces on the CU Boulder campus, regardless of vaccination status; masking also applies to community members attending in-person indoor events on campus. Exceptions include directors while conducting an ensemble, students playing a wind instrument or anyone actively eating/drinking. We strongly encourage eligible individuals to be vaccinated before coming to campus. For more information, visit

Contact us

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