Ensemble and Class Options

The following offerings reflect the 2014 options, but give an idea to the types of courses that will be offered in 2015.


All Campers are required to participate in at least one of the large ensembles, along with classes unless they are enrolled in either the Music Theatre Workshop or the Acting Company Workshop. The weekly schedule is set up to accommodate students who want to perform in both Band and Choir, or wind players who want to perform in both Band and 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 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: At the Senior High Camp, this is a full symphonic ensemble. The full ensemble meets twice each day (Periods 1 & 4), with a third period (Period 5) devoted to sectional rehearsals for string players only. The Orchestra gives a final performance on Saturday as part of the final Grand Concert.

Band: This is open to all who play wind and percussion instruments. The full ensemble meets twice each day, with a final performance on Saturday afternoon, as part of the final Grand Concert.

Choir: A mixed-voice ensemble which meets twice each day, and performs on Saturday as part of the final Grand Concert.


Workshops are classes which meet multiple periods each day.  Membership is limited in size, and auditions are required for admission to some of the workshops.

Theatre 1 – Acting Company: This week-long workshop offers a practical opportunity to develop acting skills by rehearsing a script for performance. Audition technique, voice and speech, physical exploration of character, tools for creating an ensemble and more will be incorporated into the process. Participation is by enrollment and is limited to sixteen. Students should also sign up for Choir. Sign up early!

Harp Workshop: Designed for players with harp experience, this workshop will include study of harp technique and literature, as well as harp ensemble performance. Open to both lever and pedal harps. Students must provide their own instruments. Private harp lessons at Camp are also required.

Keyboard Workshop: This workshop is open to experienced pianists and organists.  Students will concentrate on the instrument of their choice, but will have the opportunity to work on piano, organ and harpsichord. Class time (three periods per day) will be devoted to study of repertoire, technique, keyboard history and how to teach beginning students. Pianists will be selected through recorded musical auditions, which must be postmarked by May 20. Organists are not required to submit a recording. Workshop participants will perform Friday evening. Private piano or organ lessons at Camp are also required.

Music Theatre: 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 scenes, ranging from musical comedy to opera, to be performed at the Grand Concert on Saturday. Enrollment is limited. An audition recording is required (in any format) by May 20, which should include one song that best highlights the student’s capabilities. The song does not have to be from a musical.  Workshop participants may also participate in Chamber Choir (by audition) and/or the large choir.


Classes meet once each day, outside of the ensemble rehearsal times (except for Dance 1 and Dance 3). 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), and to list a second-choice class for each period in case their first-choice class has already been filled by earlier registrants. Many classes do have enrollment limits, so early registration is suggested.

Recognizing that there may be a variety of experience and ability among the students in each class, the Camp philosophy will be to try to individualize each class so that every student can be challenged, and move a step beyond whatever level they were at the beginning of the Camp week.

Art 1 – Mask Making – Using found and artists’ materials, make a three-dimensional fantasy mask.  Learn how to design and create a larger-than-life mask or headdress that communicates the emotion or mood of a character.  Students will experiment with various traditional and non-traditional materials in making a mask.   

Art 2 & 5 – 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. The class involves only one period per day, with identical sessions offered in the morning and afternoon.

Art 3 & 6– 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 creating your own one-of-kind t-shirt design.

Art 4 – Stop Motion Animation – Learn how to merge many still pictures into a movie of moving images.  Students will create their own short movie using everyday objects to tell a story.

Art 7 – Making a Movie: Students will create a 2-4 minute film, learning the whole process from writing to story-boarding to filming and editing.

Chamber Choir: A choir of approximately 24 voices, selected by audition after registration, which meets daily to learn literature more suited for a small ensemble. The ensemble will perform on Saturday at the Grand Concert. The audition process in intended to identify voices that match well, so there is nothing that should, or can, be prepared in advance.

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. This class is open to both beginning and experienced composers.

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.

Dance 1 – Dance as Show: Lights, Curtain, Applause: Explore the steps of Broadway stars, while discovering simple tricks to awe the audience. Learn from a choreographer the aesthetics of show business and perform an original dance in the final showcase. 

Dance 2 – Dance as Art: Explore the integration of body, mind, and soul:   Dancers will delve deep to create organic movement by engaging in questioning the relationship between music and dance, while unearthing what it might mean to be a movement artist. The class culminates in a final dance performance.

Dance 3 – Dance as Sport: Roll, Slide, Lift, Catch, Suspend, Jump: Dancers will investigate the physicality of dance by expanding their own movement vocabulary through energetic intention and collaborative exploration. Movement sequences emerge to form set choreography, as the dancers navigate the physical world in the final performance.

Theatre 1 – Scenic Painting Techniques: Students will learn scenic painting techniques that are employed to create images such as faux bricks, stone, wood, leaves, wallpaper and marble. 

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 also have the opportunity to create an electronic piece of their own. Compositions ready by the end of the week will be presented on Friday night.

Flute Choir:  An ensemble devoted to learning and performing music written and arranged for the various members of the flute family. There is a maximum size for the ensemble, so an audition is required for membership. The ensemble will perform Thursday night during the Variety Show.

Guitar Workshop:  A class for students with some background in acoustic, classical guitar. Students will work on classical technique, as well as solo and ensemble music from traditional, classical guitar literature. Students are expected to provide their own acoustic guitar. The workshop does meet two hours per day, filling both Periods 3 & 4. The ensemble will perform Friday night.

Improvisation:  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.

Intermediate Jazz Improvisation: A class geared to the more-experienced jazz performer, with emphasis on more-advanced theory and technique of improvisation.

Jazz Band: A performing ensemble, selected by audition right after registration, which works on a variety of jazz styles and techniques as it prepares for a performance on Saturday as part of the Grand Concert. The group rehearses each day, during Period 3.

Making a Movie: Students will create a 2-4 minute film, learning the whole process from writing to story-boarding to filming and editing.

Multimedia Computing: In this class a faculty member from the Luther College Computer Science Department will introduce students to computer programming with examples taken from computer graphics and image processing. Students will learn to write some simple programs in the Python programming language. The programs will include simple computer generated graphics, animation, and manipulation of pictures.

Music Theory: 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.

Musical Styles: A music appreciation-style class, in which campers will be exposed to the sounds, history and theory of the many musical styles which surround us every day.  There is no performance component for this class.

Percussion Ensemble: An ensemble devoted to learning and playing music written for large percussion ensembles. No percussion experience is necessary, although more complicated parts will be assigned to experienced players. The ensemble will perform Friday evening.

Vocal Performance: A valuable class for any/every singer at any level of proficiency and experience. Students will not learn how to perform specific literature. They will learn about their voices, with emphasis on how to use and care for them responsibly. This class is often repeated by returning campers, since their voices have often changed in the year between Camp sessions, and need new kinds of attention.

Woodwind Choir: A performance ensemble open to any and all woodwind instruments.  The ensemble will rehearse and perform music written or arranged exclusively for woodwind ensembles. The group will perform on Thursday evening at the Variety Show.