The Penn Band Summer Music Camp is a week-long instrumental music program held on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Currently in its 13th year, the camp exposes high school instrumentalists to music and mirth on our historic college campus. We perform a diverse repertoire of music, ranging from jazz and traditional band repertory to popular songs that are on everybody’s playlists right now! Campers live in a Penn dormitory, experience life on an Ivy League college campus, interact with the students, staff, and alumni of the University of Pennsylvania Band, explore their Philadelphia surroundings, and learn valuable leadership and group-building skills. Most importantly, they learn and play music together at various venues on and around the Penn campus.
The Penn Band Summer Music camp is different from other programs across the country. Campers enjoy their music in a relaxed, fun-filled environment. At the Penn Band Summer Music Camp, there are no long hours marching “eight-to-five” in the hot, summer sun or stress about chair seating. Our daily routine is an eclectic mix of rehearsal, performance, group activities, staff-run discussions, sectional break-out sessions, tours, and much more.
Our program features interesting and fun activities, developed over many years by our longstanding staff. Past campers have enjoyed conducting clinics, music arranging activities, discussions on the physics of music, “make your own music video” projects, music instruction and Skype discussions with professional jazz musicians, and talks on music and leadership from experts ranging from famous conductors to guest clinicians.
When rehearsals are over, the real fun begins. High-school musicians are, after all, high school students, and most are excited/nervous about the rapidly approaching start of their own college experience. Campers at the Penn Band Summer Music Camp get a realistic taste of college life in a safe and supervised environment. We take full advantage of the Penn campus – campers live in the dormitories, eat in campus dining halls and popular student hangouts, and explore the wide variety of available campus facilities. Past activities have included movie night in the dorms, game night in the Platt Performing Arts Center, "Scramble Band" Simulation (and some ultimate frisbee) on historic Franklin Field, tours of the University’s famous Museum of Archeology & Anthropology, 3-D printing of mouthpieces and small wind instruments at Penn’s Education Commons.
The University of Pennsylvania is located in the great city of Philadelphia, which affords the Penn Band Summer Music Camp the opportunity to explore the city and surrounding area. Each year, the campers take a walking tour of the city, including visits to the Philadelphia Art Museum (and its famous “Rocky” steps), the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and more! Past excursions have included the Franklin Institute, Fairmount Park, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the National Constitution Center, and the Navy Battleship U.S.S. New Jersey. Campers have a chance to get out of the band room and into the rich culture and history that Philadelphia has to offer.
The Penn Band Summer Music Camp culminates in a camp-end concert on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, typically attended by family, friends, and members of the Penn community. We also put on a children’s concert earlier in the week on-campus. But the highlight of 2016 promises to be our last performance of the week, when the Philadelphia Phillies take on the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on July 16th, and the Penn Band Summer Music Camp Band takes the field to perform the National Anthem! Family and friends are invited to join us for tailgating before the game and for the game itself.
The Penn Band Summer Music Camp is one of the best because it gathers together people with common talents and interests – music and performance – places them into a relaxed and friendly learning environment to accomplish a series of goals together. Over the past 13 years, we have seen many campers return to camp for multiple summers and our honor band series, and many who make lasting friendships in just one week.
In addition to the musical, cultural and educational opportunities provided by the Penn Band Summer Music Camp, there is also the opportunity to give back to our local community. Partnering with Musicopia (www.musicopia.net), Penn Band students, alumni, and friends come together each year to provide several of these students the opportunity to experience all that the Penn Band Summer Music Camp has to offer. Whether you plan to join us for camp or not, we encourage you to go to the link at the top of the page and help us achieve this worthy goal.