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. The weekly schedule is set up to accommodate students who want to perform in both and instrumental ensemble (band or orchestra) and choir. All ensembles are open to all campers, but there will be chair-placement auditions after registration for instrumentalists involved in Orchestra and Band. Students should bring a prepared piece to play for the audition. 

Orchestra: At the Middle School Camp, this is a string-only ensemble. The full ensemble meets twice each day, with a third period devoted to sectional rehearsals.

Band: This is open to all who play wind and percussion instruments. The full ensemble meets twice each day.

Choir: A mixed-voice ensemble which meets twice each day.

Orchestra, Band, and Choir all perform on the final Grand Concert.


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. Many classes do have enrollment limits, so early registration is suggested.

Class Options:

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 – Process of Design: Students will learn about and experience the process of design, beginning with basic drawing, and branching out into other media. 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.

Brass Choir: An ensemble devoted to learning and performing music written or arranged for large brass ensemble. Membership is open by audition to all brass instruments. The ensemble will perform on Thursday night at the Variety Show.

Composition: Students learn the basic musical vocabulary of a composer and work to compose a piece of their choice during the week.

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.

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.

Elements of Music: This is a music theory class, in which students study some of the tools and techniques and terminology used in creating music. There is no composition required or expected.

Enjoyment of Music: This is a music appreciation-type class, in which students will get an overview of Western musical history and the ways in which it has developed and changed up to the present time. There is no performance element to this class.

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.

Girls Vocal Ensemble: This is a choir open to all interested females. There is no audition required for this ensemble, which will perform music written exclusively for the female voice. The group will perform on the Thursday night Variety Show.

Guitar Workshop: A class for students with some background in acoustic, classical guitar. Students will work on solo and ensemble music from traditional, classical guitar literature. Students are expected to provide their own acoustic guitar. The ensemble will perform Friday night.

Harp Workshop: A class for students with a good background in harp lesson and performance. Students are expected to provide their own lever or pedal harp.  Performance opportunities for solo and ensemble performance will be offered, depending on the number and proficiency levels of workshop members.

Jazz Bands: Interested students are encouraged to audition for these ensembles. Each will meet one period per day (Blue Band in Period 3; White Band in Period 4). The bands are intended to be identical in proficiency level, size and musical variety performed. All students auditioning, but not selected for the performing jazz groups, will automatically be enrolled in a jazz theory class during that period. In that way, every student wanting a jazz experience while at Camp will be able to have one.

Keyboard Workshop (A & B): This workshop is open only to pianists and organists with some lesson and performance experience. A list of study literature will be requested, and approval for workshop membership will be granted based on that list.  Students will play for each other in the class setting, and will also be required to take private lessons on either piano or organ. Students not familiar with the organ will have a chance to get acquainted with it during the course of the week. The two workshops are intended to be identical in proficiency level and material covered. The main difference is that Workshop A meets during Period 3; Workshop B meets during Period 4.

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.

Percussion Ensemble (A & B): 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. There are two ensembles: Ensemble A meets during Period 3; Ensemble B meets during Period 4.  There is no intentional difference between the two in terms of proficiency level or literature performed. Both ensembles will perform Friday evening.

Theatre 1 – Theatre Games: This theatre improvisation class opens the door to creativity and imagination in a fun and supportive environment, playfully developing the skills needed for performance.

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.