Community Music Program

A cooperative effort between West Chester University and West Chester Area School District providing music lessons to students 10 or over. Interested parties may contact Dr. Henry Grabb, Program Coordinator via email ( If you are unable to communicate via email, please call Dr. Grabb's office at (610) 436-2224. If there is no answer, you may leave a message for him through the main music office number (610) 430-4177.


We are pleased to announce our 2024 WCU Summer Music Camps. All 2024 summer camp registrations will take place online – please visit each camp’s webpage (via the drop-down tabs below) for more specific registration details. We expect our online registration to open after the new year.

Please check out our summer camp options below!

WCU Elementary School and Middle School Summer Music Camps

Monday, June 24, 2024 – Friday, June 28, 2024; 9am to 12pm daily
Tentative Finale Concert: Friday, June 28, 2024; 12:30pm

For elementary students currently in grades 3, 4, and 5 and middle school students currently in grades 6, 7, and 8 (2023 - 2024 School Year)

The Elementary School Summer Music Camp and The Middle School Summer Music Camp offer large ensemble and small ensemble performance opportunities for band and orchestra students. Students will receive instruction from some of the region's finest educators and performers. Daily faculty recitals allow students to see professional musicians perform in an informative and engaging setting.

Learn More about the Elementary School Summer Music Camp.

Learn More about the Middle School Summer Music Camp.

Featured Camp video

WCU High School Summer Music Institute

Monday, July 8, 2024 – Saturday, July 13, 2024
Tentative Finale Concert: Saturday, July 13, 2024; 5:15pm

For students currently in grades 9 through 12 (2023 - 2024 School Year)

The High School Summer Music Institute is for students currently (2023-2024) in grades 9 through 12. Every student receives two 30-minute private lessons on their primary instrument or voice. Students will perform in a variety of ensembles, including wind ensemble, string orchestra, vocal ensemble, and various chamber ensembles. Students will also participate in music theory classes and sectional rehearsals/masterclasses. The Institute’s faculty consists primarily of WCU Wells School of Music professors, all of whom are active performing artists in the Philadelphia region.

Learn more about the High School Summer Music Institute.

High School Sumer Music Institute video

Summer Jazz Camp

Sunday, July 14, 2024 – Friday, July 19, 2024
Tentative Finale Concert: Friday, July 19, 2024; 1:00pm

For advanced middle school students and all high school students (2023 - 2024 School Year)

The Summer Jazz Camp is designed for advanced middle school and all high school students. Participants will explore jazz improvisation, arranging, orchestration, jazz history, and performance techniques. Visiting artists as well as the WCU faculty will perform and conduct masterclasses on various subjects. All participants will need to have a knowledge of scales, be able to read music, transpose, and be proficient on an instrument.

Learn more about the Summer Jazz Camp.

Summer Jazz Camp video

Summer Leadership and Marching Band Camp

July 22 – July 23, 2023 (Leadership Training) / July 24 – July 27, 2023 (Marching Band Camp)

Lead by nationally acclaimed experts (including: Tim Lautzenheiser, John Villella, Thom Hannum, Andrew Yozviak, and Heidi Sarver) the camp has tracks for drum major, color guard, percussion, twirling, and a leadership marching Band. This is an opportunity to experience a group dynamic where everyone is committed to excellence and a program where the staff will provide detailed instruction working with contemporary music and drill.

The Director and Staff sessions offered include: Rehearsal techniques, organization and administration, leadership, drill writing, conducting, literature, band pedagogy, and technology. Graduate and Act 48 credits are available.

For further information, visit


The West Chester University Wells School of Music offers two keyboard performing competitions to encourage and celebrate excellence in piano and organ performance.

Pre-Collegiate Piano Competition

The West Chester University Annual Pre-Collegiate Piano Competition, now it its 34th year, strives to provide students ages 9-18 with performing opportunities and raise the standard of excellence of young pianists. This is a national competition with no geographic restrictions. There are three age groups with up to five cash prizes awarded in each group. Information regarding repertoire requirements, competition guidelines, awards, and how to apply is found below.

This year's competition will take place on Saturday, April 13, 2024 in Swope Music Building on our beautiful West Chester University Campus. The Wells School of Music is grateful for the support of Jacobs Music as they continue to co-sponsor this event in 2024.

A Recital & Awards Presentation will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2024 from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm in the Ware Family Recital Hall. The recital will include performances by the first, second, and third place winner in each group and must be attended by all Honorable Mention winners. Absences in either category will result in cancellation of the award.

Preceding the Recital will be a Masterclass in Ware Family Recital Hall from 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm. The Masterclass will be conducted by our esteemed Wells School of Music Associate Professor of Piano, Dr. Carl Cramner. Both Masterclass and Winner's Recital are open to the public.

Wells School of Music - West Chester University Co-Sponsored By Jacobs Music Since 1900 - 'Offering the finest painos in every price range'

2024 Pre-Collegiate Piano Competition

Repertoire Requirements

  1. Two pieces from the standard solo literature (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th or 21st Century)
  2. The two pieces must be from different periods and contrasting in style. A single movement from a sonata or a suite is acceptable.
  3. Beginner level pieces, arrangements of pop songs and piano duets, and simplified arrangements of classical compositions will NOT be acceptable
  4. Transcriptions composed by known classical composers from the four periods listed above are acceptable.
  5. Pieces requiring anything to be put inside the piano or on the strings are not acceptable.
  6. In the 16 -18 age group, a third piece may be added to meet the minimum 20 minute playing time. A third piece must follow the guidelines in 1 - 5 above.
Age 16-18 13-15 9-12
Time Requirement Minimum 20 Minutes
Maximum 30 Minutes
Maximum 17 minutes Maximum 12 minutes

Students are advised that the judges may stop anyone who exceeds the maximum playing time, and may stop any student whose skill level is sufficiently demonstrated before the conclusion of a piece.

Competition time assignments will be sent to all applicants the week of March 25, 2024.

Competition Guidelines

  • A $100 non-refundable entry fee is required
  • Music must be performed from memory
  • 1st Prize Winners from the previous years may compete only in the next older age group.
  • Previous entrants may reapply, but not with the same pieces
  • No audition recordings required
  • Applicants must supply one publisher’s copy of each of their pieces for the judges
  • No photocopies allowed for the judges
  • Applicants must be within the given age ranges as of April 13, 2024, and may not be in college


16-18 Years Old
  • 1st Place - $2,000
  • 2nd Place - $700
  • 3rd Place - $300
  • Honorable Mention - $100
13-15 Years Old
  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place - $350
  • 3rd Place - $200
  • Honorable Mention - $75
9-12 Years Old
  • 1st Place - $500
  • 2nd Place - $250
  • 3rd Place - $150
  • Honorable Mention - $50

*Up to two Honorable Mention Awards in each age group will be given at the discretion of the judges

How to Apply

Register online and pay with a credit card (Registration closes on March 4, 2024 at midnight).

For additional information regarding registration or competition guidelines, please contact Joan Stalford, Administrative Assistant for the Departments of Ensembles & Conducting, Instrumental Music, and Vocal & Keyboard Music, at | 610-436-2921

International Organ Competition

The International Organ Competition is open to organists ages 15-25, awards 4 cash prizes in two ages groups, takes place annually in mid-May, and draws applicants from Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States.

Learn More about the International Organ Competition

For further information, email Anita Greenlee.


The WCU High School Honors Percussion Ensemble (HSHPE) is a select ensemble comprised of some of the Greater Philadelphia region’s finest high school percussionists. Auditions will be held January 8, 2023, and rehearsals take place on Sundays (2pm-3:30pm) from January 15 – April 16, 2023. The HSHPE performs on the WCU Percussion Ensemble’s spring concert on April 18, 2023 and additional performance opportunities (e.g., the Percussive Arts Society Pennsylvania Day of Percussion) will be considered. Dr. Ralph Sorrentino serves as the HSHPE’s artistic director, and Professor Brent Behrenshausen conducts the ensemble.

Application (must be received by January 6, 2023)

For further information, email Ralph Sorrentino.

Percussion Ensemble


If you graduated from one of the programs in the School of Music at WCU, we would love to hear what you are doing! Use our online form to update your alumni information.


For our alumni the camaraderie and standing ovations live on in the Alumni Criterions Jazz Ensemble and the Alumni Marching Band. We are proud to be associated with their strong tradition of outstanding musicianship. We appreciate their ties and support - and look forward to their next performance!

To join, connect with, or attend a performance of the Alumni Marching Band, please visit the WCU Alumni Bands website.

To join, connect with, or learn more about the Alumni Criterions Jazz Ensemble, please visit the WCU Criterions Reunion Facebook group.