Ensemble and Class Options

High School Bell Choir


All campers are required to participate in at least one of the large ensembles while at camp. The weekly schedule is set up to accommodate students who want to perform in both band and choir or in both orchestra and choir. The schedule also accommodates wind, brass, and percussion players who want to perform in both band and symphony orchestra. The choir and band are open to all who are interested, without audition. The orchestra is open to all string players, without audition, but wind, brass, and percussion players must audition for orchestra membership. There will be chair-placement auditions right after registration for instrumentalists involved in orchestra and band. Students should bring a prepared piece to play for the audition.

  • Orchestra: During the High School Camp, this is a full symphonic ensemble. The strings meet first period to rehearse together, the full ensemble including winds, brass, and percussion meets fourth period, and fifth period is devoted to sectional rehearsals for string players only. The orchestra gives a final performance on Saturday as part of the final Grand Concert. (strings meet periods 1, 4, and 5; winds, brass, and percussion meet period 4)
  • Band: This is open to all who play wind, brass, and percussion instruments. The full ensemble meets twice each day, with a final performance on Saturday afternoon, as part of the final Grand Concert. (includes periods 1 and 5)
  • Choir: This mixed-voice ensemble meets twice each day and performs on Saturday as part of the final Grand Concert. (includes periods 2 and 6)


Most Classes meet once each day, outside of the ensemble rehearsal times. There are a few select classes that meet twice a day as noted below. With the few exceptions noted below, there are no prerequisites for any of these classes. Students are encouraged to take one class each class period (periods 3 & 4). Many classes do have enrollment limits, so early registration is suggested.

Musical Class Offerings

  • Beginning Ukulele: No prior experience is necessary. Students will work on learning basic chords to be able to play for their own enjoyment.  Students are welcome to bring their own ukulele, but instruments will be provided.  There is no performance element with this class. (offered period 4)
  • Chamber Choir: A choir of approximately 24 voices, selected by audition after Sunday registration, which meets daily to learn literature more suited for a small ensemble. The audition process is intended to identify voices that match well, so there is nothing that should, or can, be prepared in advance. The ensemble will perform on Saturday at the Grand Concert (offered by audition period 3).
  • Composition: Class members will work on individual composition projects of their choice, guided by camp faculty. Completed compositions may be presented during end-of-week performances. The class is open to both beginning and experienced composers. (offered period 3) Note: Private composition lessons are now also available to serious composers at the same cost as instrumental or vocal lessons.
  • Conducting: Techniques of conducting will be introduced at whatever levels the class members need. There will be opportunities for critiques and for student conductors to lead a live ensemble. (offered period 3)
  • Electronic Music: Students will use some of the computer programs and electronic equipment in Luther’s electronic music studio to learn about the world of electronically-generated sound. They will have the opportunity to create an electronic piece of their own. Compositions ready by the end of the week will be presented at a performance on Friday. (offered period 4)
  • Handbell Choir: This ensemble is devoted to playing music designed for handbell choir. No prior handbell experience necessary, but it is helpful. The only requirement to audition for this ensemble is to be able to read pitches and rhythm. (offered by audition period 4)
  • Jazz Improvisation (Beginner): A jazz theory and techniques class geared for students who have not had a great deal of background or experience in improvisation. Basics will be covered, and students will have opportunities to try out what they are learning in front of their classmates. (offered period 4)
  • Jazz Improvisation (Intermediate): A class geared toward the more experienced jazz performer, with emphasis on more advanced theory and technique of improvisation. (offered period 4)
  • Jazz Band: A performing ensemble, selected by Sunday on-site audition, which works on a variety of jazz styles and techniques through standard jazz literature. The group performs on Saturday as part of the Grand Concert.

    The Jazz Band audition will last 5-10 minutes. Students will be asked to play scales, do some sight-reading, and perform a short excerpt of something they've been working on (such as a solo, etude, or technique studies) OPTIONAL: play the melody and improvise over a jazz standard found in the Real Book. (offered by audition period 3)

  • Keyboard Workshop: This workshop is most useful for students with a minimum of 4 years of lesson experience on piano or organ. Students will concentrate on the instrument of their choice, but will have the opportunity to work on piano, organ and harpsichord. Class time will be devoted to study of repertoire, technique, keyboard history and how to teach beginning students. Students in the workshop must also be enrolled in private lessons at camp. If a student wants to perform on the recital at the end of the week, they must come to camp with a memorized selection. Performance on the recital is not a requirement. (offered period 3)
  • Music Theory (Beginner): Students will review basic concepts of music theory including note names, rhythm, and key signatures. Students will also study some of the tools and techniques and terminology used in understanding music theory. Skills such as chord structure, solfeggio, and basic aural skills will be taught. (offered period 2 or 3)
  • Music Theory (Intermediate): Students will explore the techniques and language of music theory in this class. Material covered will vary, according to the previous theory experience of the students enrolled, and should be valuable to both composers and performers. There is no performance component to the class. (offered period 2 or 3)
  • Musical Styles: A music appreciation-style class, in which campers will be exposed to the sounds, history, and theory of many musical styles which surround us every day. There is no performance component to this class. (offered period 4)
  • Percussion Ensemble (for non-percussionists): An ensemble devoted to learning and performing music written for large percussion ensembles. Percussion experience is not required for period 3. The ensemble will have a performance on Friday. (offered period 3)
  • Percussion Ensemble (for percussionists): An ensemble devoted to learning and performing music written for large percussion ensembles. Percussion experience is required for period 4. The ensemble will have a performance on Friday. (offered period 4)
  • Songwriting: Open to all aspiring creatives, collaborators, and problem-solvers. Explore strategies for developing lyrical and musical ideas into fully-formed songs. It is helpful if students understand and are able to play basic chords on the piano or guitar, but due to the group format of the class it is not required. Keyboards will be available during class. Students who feel more comfortable playing guitar or ukulele are encouraged to bring their own. (offered period 3 or 4)
  • Vocal Performance: A workshop devoted to learning about the voice and safe, productive ways to use it musically. Students will not learn to perform specific literature. Instead, items covered may range from safe warm-up techniques to proper breathing, from breath control to sound projection. Group and individual singing may be required. Many return campers repeat this class year after year as their voices change and mature. (offered period 4)
  • Woodwind Choir: A performance ensemble open without audition to any and all woodwind instruments. The ensemble will rehearse and perform music written or arranged exclusively for large woodwind ensembles. They will have a performance on Friday. (offered period 3)

Art and Theatre Class Offerings

  • Clay Sculpture: Basic clay sculpture technique will be taught to students at all levels of experience. Students will be assigned a basic project idea, which they will adapt to create their own sculpture. Projects will be kiln-fired and will be available for class members to take home at the end of camp. (offered period 3 and 4)
  • From App to Art: Using iPads, students will explore a variety of useful visual art apps to create a unique character through digital illustration. iPads will be provided for this class. (offered period 1)
  • Making Comics: This class introduces students to the creation of the modern comic. Class participants will learn the fundamentals of comic narrative illustration and will also produce their own unique comic story. (offered period 3 or 4)
  • Mask Making: Make a three-dimensional fantasy mask using found and artists’ materials. Learn how to design and create a larger-than-life mask or headdress that communicates a character. Students will experiment with various traditional and non-traditional materials in making a mask. (offered period 3 or 4)
  • Musical Theatre Workshop: Designed for serious vocalists interested in developing solo singing and acting skills. Choreography, acting and music will be learned during the week. Students are assigned parts in a condensed version of a Broadway show, to be performed Friday evening at the Theatre/Dance Recital. (two periods a day, includes both periods 3 and 4)
  • Scenic Painting: Students will learn theatrical scenic painting techniques that are employed to create images such as faux bricks, stone, wood, leaves, wallpaper and marble. (offered period 3)
  • Screenprinting Studio: Screenprinting is a design transfer tool used often for mass-producing images on paper, wood, and fabric. Come learn some easy screen-printing techniques by creating your own one-of-a-kind T-shirt. (offered period 3 or 4)
  • Stop Motion Animation: Learn how to merge many still pictures into a movie of moving pictures. Students will create their own short movie using everyday objects to tell a story. (offered period 3)
  • Theatre Troupe (A and B): Designed for all experience levels, this workshop focuses on the art of acting. Students will perform solo work and as an ensemble, developing their skills through a variety of theatre games. Enrollment is limited to 14 per session, so please sign up early. Students should sign up for choir. (Theatre Troupe A is offered period 1, and Theatre Troupe B is offered period 5)

Dance Class Offerings

  • Learn Your Body: Dance 1: Do you love to move? Do you want to know more about how your body moves? Learn to move with ease and creativity as you experience the art of movement! Students will perform a group movement score at the end of the session. (offered period 1)
  • Composing Dance: Dance 2: You know about music composers and how they create. Now, learn how to compose for dance. Come share your creative ideas for making dance. Only your imagination is required! Students will showcase their dance compositions at the end of the session. (offered period 5)