Band and Orchestra Camp

June 14 – 19, 2020

Furman’s Band and Orchestra Camp is an intensive one-week experience designed to encourage 260 students, ages 12-18, to fuel their musical enthusiasm and boost their playing skills. Talented musicians from across the country come to Furman with expectations of taking their performance skills to the next level. Students are challenged in vigorous daily rehearsals, musicianship classes, and master classes. Students perform in one of four large ensembles (a full symphony orchestra, a string orchestra, and two concert bands) and may audition for a jazz ensemble, various chamber groups, or perform as a soloist on the Honors Solo Recital. The evening recitals and the Friday concert are open to the public. In addition to the ensemble rehearsals, the camp offers classes in basic musicianship, optional private lessons and daily recreational activities, all within the beautiful setting of the Furman University campus.

We strongly urge you to add private lessons to the camp experience. They are an ideal way to work one-on-one with an experienced musician on the fundamentals of playing, including tone production, technique, maintenance and musicianship. Content is personalized for the student’s playing level. Lessons are $35 per 30-minute session.

Band Camp

Three concert bands, one symphony orchestra winds/percussion section, one jazz ensemble, several chamber ensembles. Placement in the orchestra or jazz/chamber ensembles is for advanced students and based on the Sunday audition and their personal interest. Students rehearse with their designated ensembles twice a day.

String Camp

One string-only orchestra, one full symphony orchestra with winds/percussion sections, one string quartet, double bass for one jazz ensemble. Students audition Sunday and are seated in their primary orchestra. Placement in the jazz ensemble or string quartet is for advanced students and based on the Sunday audition and their personal interest. Students rehearse with their designated ensembles twice a day.

Eligibility Requirements

For concert band and orchestral string students age 12 – 18.
Acceptance is based on instrumentation balance of the ensembles, residence hall space, applicant’s grade level, ability level, date of application and prior attendance. Apply early, some sections close prior to the application deadline.

Middle school students:

  • Must have at least two years of study and ensemble experience on your concert band or orchestral string instrument prior to camp.
  • Suzuki Strings: Students should have a minimum of two years of instruction playing grade three repertoire in their school programs and youth orchestras or the equivalent of Suzuki Book 4 for violinist and Suzuki Book 3 for violists, cellists and basses.​
  • Must be age 12 on or before June 1.

High School Students:

  • Must have at least three years of study and ensemble experience on your concert band or orchestral string instrument.
  • Suzuki-trained strings: Violinists should be at Suzuki Book 6 level or higher. Viola, Cello, and Double Bass should be at Suzuki Book 5 level or higher.

Financial Registration

Registration opens February 1.

  • 2020 Resident Campers: $520
  • 2020 Commuters: $410
  • Private lessons: $35 per half hour
  • Linen Rental: $20 per set

Full payment, including lessons, is expected at time of registration. If you earned All-State/Regional honors ensemble placement or are the child of a Furman employee, you may be eligible for a discount.

Refund Policy

  • $100 non-refundable after April 1.
  • $200 non-refundable after May 1.
  • $300 non-refundable after May 15
  • May 15: Scholarship payments due to Furman, checks payable to Furman University and mailed to camp address below.
  • No refunds after June 1.

Scholarships & Discounts

Recipient of a Scholarship to camp this summer? Congratulations! Scholarship funds may be used for added private lessons, on-campus housing/meals (room and board) and rental linens. Lessons and linens can be added to an existing registration up until May 1. Register as usual, but at check-out, select the ‘Pay-by-Check’ option and mail us a $100 deposit to hold the student’s place in line. You may then use that receipt to support your request for scholarship funds and verify to the sponsor the total amount owed. Please contact Marcella in the Music Office if questions 864-294-2086.
Honors Ensemble Discounts: Reserved for students who were selected this school year to participate in their state’s highest ranking performing ensemble on the instrument they will play at camp. This is a discount, not a refundable scholarship. If eligible, select one of these options in the application’s discount area and it will be deducted from your total owed. Terminology varies state-to-state. If we have questions or if we can not verify the student’s placement, we will contact you to request official verification.

  • $100 All-State Gold Discount – Student earned placement in your state’s top honors ensemble on the instrument they will play at camp. In SC, the ensembles are called All-State Band, All-State Orchestra, All-State Jazz Ensemble.  ‘Alternates’ are not eligible for this discount.
  • $ 50 Region Silver Discount – Student earned placement in your state’s regional honors ensemble on the instrument they will play at camp.  In SC, it is Region Band.  ‘Alternates’ are not eligible for this discount. County-level ensembles are not eligible for this discount.
  • FU Employee Discount ($100) – Student’s parent/guardian must be current employee of Furman University. Contact the music camp office for more information. (call 864-294-2118)​

Ensemble Placement

On Sunday, the first day of camp, you have 5 minutes to show off your skills. We try to make it as low-stress as possible, but, it is an audition that results in a ranking. Prepare a two-minute solo excerpt or etude. No scales. Know the common key signatures appropriate for your grade level. You will be asked to sight-read a brief excerpt. Since the ensembles spend the first two days at camp sight-reading music, this is an important part of your placement decision. If a student arrives late to camp and misses the placement audition, the student will be assigned to an ensemble by the faculty and seated at the back of their instrument section.


– Bring your own sticks in a stick bag labeled with your name. (Sticks to bring: concert snare, bells/xylophone, marimba, timpani. Also needed for timpani: a pitch-pipe or (phone)tuner app.)  Your audition takes a bit longer since you may be asked to sight-read on mallets, snare, and timpani (tuning). If you only know how to play one or two of those, no problem – that is why you come to music camp! Audition on the percussion areas in which you have experience. If you never played timpani, you do not have to audition on timpani, but you will have an opportunity to play them during the week, especially if you take private lessons. Interested in playing in the jazz ensemble? Come prepared to play a sample of various styles (swing, Latin, funk) on drum set. We supply the kit. Email Dr. Carmenates if questions:

Jazz Ensemble

: Optional. If you play saxophone, trumpet, trombone, double bass, or drum set, you are eligible for consideration based on your Sunday audition. Participation is in addition to your main band/orchestra assignment. Let the audition judge know you are interested. If you play piano or guitar, you will need to play a separate audition for Dr. Olson on Sunday. If you play jazz guitar, you will need to bring your own instrument and patch cord. We provide the amp. Email Dr. Olson if questions:

Theory Test

– No stress. Really.  This is to place you in a musicianship class that best matches your skills and interests.

Additional Information

Campus housing

Boarders will be in the nearby Lakeside Dorms. Two students per room, shared bathroom. Students may opt to rent linens or bring their own (XLong single beds). Boarding students may request a specific roommate, though both students must request each other in order to be placed together. Yes, we have a form for that!  But – later in the process – not during initial registration.


Meals are served in our main dining hall. The DH features a variety of diet options, including a salad bar, four serving lines, a wood-fire pizza oven and a dessert bar. All meals (Sunday dinner through Friday lunch) are included in the boarding student fee. Commuters eat lunch and dinner with the boarding students – those meals are included in your camp fee.

Students who drive to camp will be provided with a parking permit. Commuters may park in the free lot next to the music building. Boarding students are not permitted to leave campus or use their cars during the camp week.


Yes! The Directors, counselors, faculty and adult staff supervise all activities. A husband/wife team of experienced music educators (Furman grads, of course) serve as our Dean of Students. They reside on campus and supervise all aspects of camp life. If an issue of concern arises, they or one of the Camp Directors will contact you. Campus accessibility is detailed based on time of day. Music camp students are not permitted beyond designated campus areas. Curfews are specified daily and strictly enforced. Behavioral guidelines will be detailed and sent to parents in advance of camp. Security is provided by the Furman University Police Department and local law enforcement.

Schedule: First and Last Day


  • 11am – 12:30pm, Registration Check-In for Boarders.
    McAlister Auditorium. Pick up packet. Move in. Eat lunch off-campus.
  • 1:10pm, Commuter Check-In   McAlister Auditorium foyer.
  • 1:30pm, Welcome Meeting for parents, students, faculty, staff (McAlister Auditorium). Parents depart after meeting.
  • 2-9:30pm, Placement auditions and theory test, dinner, rehearsals, meetings.
  • 9:30pm, commuter pick-up


  • Housing Check-out before 11:00 am.  Students will be assigned a window of time during which they move out of campus housing. Time is based on their ensemble’s dress rehearsal schedule.
  • Lunch 11:30am – 1pm depending on student’s ensemble rehearsal schedule. Family welcome; pay at the dining hall entry.
  • Closing concert begins at 1 pm: FREE! Family and friends welcome! McAlister Auditorium.

Contact Us

  • Music Office 864-294-2086
  • Sue Samuels, PhD., Camp Co-Director – Band Division
  • Christopher Hutton, D.M., Camp Co-Director – Orchestra / String Division
  • Marcella Frese, Furman Music Programs Coordinator, 864.294.2118,