Students Train Alongside Seasoned Professionals at West Chester U.’s Performing Arts Camps

West Chester University is gearing up to welcome youth from around the region this summer for music and theatre performing arts camps that train, entertain and build lifelong skills. Information and registration for all summer camps can be found at

Music and theatre camps are designed for ages 8 and up and leveled to serve beginners, as well as those who wish to pursue music or theatre programs at the collegiate level. All camps are staffed by expert West Chester University faculty, many of whom are active performing artists in the Philadelphia region, and who count Grammy Awards and Barrymore Awards among their credits.PA Theatre Institute at WCU Young Company

Camps rehearse and perform in West Chester’s state-of-the-art facilities. Music programs are in the Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street, while theatre programs take place in the E.O. Bull Center for the Arts at 2 E. Rosedale Avenue.

Dean of West Chester’s Wells School of Music, Chris Hanning, says, “We program summer camps as a service to our community. Students and parents looking for summer programs and activities for their children are getting a very high level of training at a relatively low cost. It also benefits West Chester to bring students and their families onto our campus, and to showcase our first-rate faculty and facilities.”

For Elementary and Middle School aged musicians, the Summer Music Camp at the Wells School of Music runs June 24 – 28 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Grouped by age, students participate in large and small ensembles including concert band, string orchestra, chorus, flute, clarinet, saxophone, brass and percussion. Daily faculty recitals allow students to see professional musicians perform in an informative and engaging setting. A culminating concert featuring all ensembles ends the week on June 28 at 12:30 p.m.  Cost: $220

For older musicians, the High School Summer Institute runs July 8 – 13th with a culminating concert on Saturday, June 13 at 5:15 p.m. Now in its 58th year, the Summer Music Institute provides full-day (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.) instruction and performance in a variety of large and small ensembles including wind, string orchestra, chorus, flute, clarinet, saxophone, double reed, brass, percussion and vocal. Students receive two 30-minute private lessons, one studio masterclass on their primary instrument or voice, participate in music theory/ear training, and take college and audition prep classes. A resident option that includes room & board is available, as well as a commuter option. Evening recreational activities (movie night, scavenger hunt and pizza party) are planned. Cost: $615 commuter/$705 Resident (includes room and board)

Like the High School Summer Institute, the Summer Jazz Camp is designed for advanced middle school and high school students and provides instruction and performance opportunities in the jazz genre. Dates are July 14 – 19, 2019. Participants explore the pedagogy of jazz improvisation, arranging, orchestration, jazz history and performance techniques. Visiting artists and WCU faculty perform and conduct masterclasses. A resident option that includes room & board is available, as well as a commuter option. Evening recreational activities are planned. Cost: $615 commuter/$705 Resident (includes room and board)

If your child loves the stage and all things theatrical, the PA Theatre Institute at West Chester University provides theatre and college prep training in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

The Young Company camp for ages 8 – 14 offers two two-week sessions (July 8 – 19 and July 22 – August 2, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) In the mornings, students take classes in acting, improvisation, movement, voice, dance and theatrical design. The afternoons are devoted to creating and performing a culminating showcase performance. For class clowns, drama stars and shy beginners alike, instructors for the Young Company will have   students laughing, playing games and making friends in no time. Cost: $550 for two weeks

For the older, more seasoned thespian, the Pre-College Intensive is a two-week summer training program for motivated high school students who have an interest in the study of theatre arts at the collegiate level. In this immersive program, students live on campus, hone skills in acting, voice, dance, movement and improvisation, and rehearse for a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed on West Chester’s academic quad, on Saturday, June 29th.  Students also take college and audition prep classes.  Cost: $1,500 (includes room and board for two weeks. Due to the evening rehearsal schedule, no commuter option is available.)

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