Lamont Summer Academy

Equipping pre-college musicians for success in the 21st century

Join us for an inspiring, innovative and fun 14-day intensive pre-college music experience in state-of-the-art facilities with outstanding artist faculty and musical peers from throughout the United States and abroad! 

DU Campus

Lamont Summer Academy 2021

June 20–July 3, 2021

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Features of Lamont Summer Academy

  • Private Lessons
  • Master Classes
  • Chamber Ensembles
  • Orchestra
  • Wind Ensemble
  • Choir
  • Flex Jazz Ensemble
  • Music Theatre
  • Steel Drum Ensemble
  • Recitals
  • Electronic Music
  • Conducting
  • Theory
  • Collaborative Piano
  • Alexander Technique
  • Diction for Singers
  • Composers' New Music Workshop
  • Soundpainting
  • Concerto/Aria Competition
  • Recreational Activities and more!

Applications accepted from Instrumentalists, Singers, Pianists and Composers, ages 14 through 18. (Some age exceptions based on level of musicianship).

2020 Tuition Options

  • Two-week residential student $2,000 (tuition, room & board, recreation)
  • Two-week residential student + secondary (minor) area of study $2,250 (tuition, room & board, recreation)
  • Two-week commuter $1,500 (tuition, lunch & dinner, recreation)
  • Two-week commuter + secondary (minor) area of study $1,750 (tuition, lunch & dinner, recreation)


Both merit- and need-based scholarships are available to students.

To be considered for scholarships, students must meet the scholarship consideration deadline, which has been extended to March 1, 2020.

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Summer Academy Details

  • Application Information

    The scholarship application is due February 15, 2020. (This deadline has been extended to March 1, 2020.)

    The regular application deadline is March 15, 2020.

    Please note: Students must qualify for merit in order to be considered for financial need.

    Application Process

    Required materials: 

    1. Student and parent/guardian basic contact information
    2. Student Musical Information (primary instrument, years of study, area of study, solo and chamber music studied in last 2 years, possible minor area of study)
    3. Private music teacher and school music director contact information and references
    4. Audition recordings or PDFs (see requirements below)
    5. Teacher letter of recommendation submitted via email to
    6. 1040 Individual Tax Income Return form (financial need-based scholarship applicants only) submitted via email to — please mark over your social security number in all instances
    7. $75 non-refundable application fee

    Apply Now


    Audition Recording Requirements

    All instrumental and vocal auditions must be recorded and uploaded to YouTube. There is a place for the YouTube links in the application.

    Composition applicants will email PDFs and midi files or recordings to

    Strings, Piano*, Flute, Oboe, Bassoon:

    • One movement of a concerto or sonata
    • An étude or showpiece
    • A movement by Bach or another Baroque composer

    *All piano repertoire is required to be memorized

    Brass, Clarinet:

    • One étude
    • Two contrasting solos of the applicant’s choice



    • Études or solos on three areas of percussion: Choose from snare drum, marimba, timpani, drum set, and world percussion.



    • One aria or art song in Italian
    • One aria or art song in English
    • One selection of the applicant’s choice



    • Three original compositions. Submit PDF files and midi files (or real recordings if available) by email to



    • An étude by one of the following composers: Sor, Carcassi, Aguado, Giuliani, Tárrega, Villa-Lobos, Brouwer
    • A piece by one of the following composers: Bach, De Visée, Weiss, Scarlatti
    • A piece of your choice



    • One concert étude of choice: Bach Grandjany/Naderman/Bochsa/Posse/Pizzoli/Larivière/Tournier/Godefroide, etc
    • Two contrasting pieces demonstrating the applicant's highest level of work.


    Submit application:

    1. Once materials are prepared, proceed to the Lamont Summer Academy Application.
    2. The letter of recommendation will be emailed to by the application deadline. The subject line should be  "Student Name Teacher Recommendation" for the recommendation.
    3. 1040 Individual Tax Income Return form (financial need-based scholarship applicants only) will be emailed to — please mark over your social security number in all instances. The subject line should be "Student Name Tax Form" for the 1040.
    4. The application fee can be submitted electronically or mailed to:
      Lamont Summer Academy
      University of Denver
      2344 E. Iliff Ave.
      Denver, CO 80208


    Apply Now

  • Curriculum

    Private Lessons/Coaching

    Each student receives four lessons in their major area of study with an acclaimed faculty member. Those who choose to enroll in a secondary study will receive three lessons or classes in their minor field. Students should bring at least three pieces of music in their major field to study: one thoroughly polished and ready to perform, one that can be prepared for performance and one that is new. A specific teacher may be requested, and every effort will be made to facilitate the request. Practice coaches are available upon request to assist students. All students are assigned practice rooms and a minimum of two practice sessions daily. All piano majors are assigned to practice rooms with Steinway grand pianos.

    • Voice Students
      Voice majors participate in private lessons as well as voice class/seminar, voice diction, and musical theatre (see description below). The voice faculty has extensive knowledge and background in working with high school students to develop classical vocal production as well as a healthy pop/belt technique, preparing young voices for classical as well as musical theater singing. Vocalists are required to take secondary (minor) piano unless they have taken six years of private piano or guitar lessons.

    • Composition Students
      Composition majors explore various composition styles and the receive professional coaching in score preparation and rehearsing your own music in the composers workshop. In private lessons they work on original compositions to be performed by their colleagues at the summer academy. Composition majors participate in the Sound Painting and New Music Ensembles. Composition majors are required to take a secondary (minor) in either electronic music, conducting, or an instrument.

    • Piano Students
      Piano majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensemble, theory, piano class and both piano and chamber master classes. Piano class curriculum includes a variety of topics including piano literature, collaborative piano, injury prevention and piano pedagogy.

    • Guitar Students
      Classical guitar majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensemble, guitar class and master class. Chamber ensemble includes both guitar-only ensembles (such as duos, trios and quartets) and also collaborations with voice and other instruments for advanced students. The guitar class will focus on technique, sight-reading, and musicianship, but will also explore injury prevention, Alexander Technique, guitar literature and understanding different traditions of classical guitar playing.

    • String Students
      String majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensembles, orchestra, orchestra sectionals and string and chamber master classes. Lessons focus on musicianship and technique in solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire.

    • Wind, Brass, and Percussion Students
      Wind, brass, and percussion majors participate in private lessons as well as chamber ensemble, wind ensemble, orchestra, and wind, brass and wind techniques master classes.

    Secondary (Minor) Lessons

    For an additional fee, students may enroll in lessons on a secondary instrument, voice, composition, conducting, electronic music or Alexander Technique. Please note that a secondary study is required for voice and composition majors. Minor studies are encouraged for all students.

    Chamber Music

    Instrumental and vocal chamber groups rehearse daily, receive four or more coaching sessions, and may have the opportunity to perform in a master class. Participation in chamber music at this level is an exceptionally rewarding experience for the advancing musician. Students will receive their chamber assignments well in advance of the L.S.A., and are required to come fully prepared with their part thoroughly learned. Chamber groups will perform in the final recitals.


    All students participate in a theory class. A theory placement test will determine class level. All theory classes are geared towards preparing students for college theory.


    All students (except composition majors) will audition for the faculty at the beginning of week one. Instrumental auditions will be for seating placement in orchestra and wind ensemble. Pianists, vocalists and guitarists will audition as a preliminary hearing for the master classes and honors recital before lessons commence. (See Academy Guidebook for information regarding audition repertoire.)

    Master Classes & Honors Recital

    The selection of students for master classes and honors recitals is by recommendation of the private instructor or coach. Ensemble auditions will serve as a preliminary hearing for selection. Students who wish to be considered for one of these opportunities must inform their instructor during their first lesson, and demonstrate at that time that the piece they wish to perform has been sufficiently prepared. Memorization is required for piano, strings, and voice; memorization is preferred for woodwinds and brass.


    With their teacher's/coach's approval, students have the opportunity to participate in performance classes throughout the session and may be eligible to perform on the Honors Chamber Recital and/or Honors Solo Recital, held in the second week of summer academy. Performance in frequent informal classes is highly encouraged and a collaborative pianist is available for rehearsal. Final instrumental and vocal chamber music recitals, including small ensembles, take place on the second to last day of academy. The final concert, featuring the choir, wind ensemble and orchestra, takes place on the final day of academy so that families may attend. All performances are held in the beautiful facilities of the Robert & Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Lamont School of Music.

    Large Ensembles

    All major ensembles are featured on the final afternoon concert.

    • Choir: All students participate in an hour of choir daily. Through singing, students refine musical skills such as sight-reading and phrasing, and are exposed to repertoire of many styles.
    • Orchestra: Instrumental majors participate in orchestra and perform works for both full and string orchestra. Seating is determined by audition on the first full day of the session. Composition and piano students who are skilled at playing an orchestral instrument may audition to participate as well.
    • Wind Ensemble: Woodwind, brass, and percussion majors participate in wind ensemble, focusing specifically on instrumental techniques and repertoire for wind ensemble.


    Other Ensembles & Classes

    • Vocal Chamber: Voice students (majors and minors) participate and perform in small ensembles where they will prepare short scenes from an operetta or musical.
    • Voice Class: Voice students participate in daily voice class, focusing on healthy singing techniques, vocal production, diction, dramatic movement/presentation and vocal repertoire.
    • Piano Class: Pianists participate in daily piano classes, which provide an informal atmosphere for performance and include instruction in collaborative piano, piano literature, healthy playing, practice techniques and memorization, among other topics.
    • Guitar Class: Guitar students will focus on technique, sight-reading, and musicianship, as well as explore injury prevention, Alexander Technique, guitar literature and understanding different traditions of classical guitar playing.
    • Sound Painting Ensemble: Soundpainting is a hand gesture based composition language. Offered as an optional class to all students, Soundpainting has become one of the most entertaining and fun performances of the academy. Students learn the gestures and then are put in charge of the group for an often theatrical performance on the New Music Concert.
    • Steel Drum Ensemble: Offered as an optional class to all, students have the opportunity to explore new musical horizons as they learn to play and perform on the steel drums.
    • Flex Jazz Ensemble: Offered as an optional class to students with at least one year of jazz ensemble or improvisatory experience, the flex jazz ensemble is open to all instrumentation.
    • New Music Ensembles: Required for composition majors and offered as an optional class for all instruments and voice, these ensembles will rehearse and perform brand new works by our very own composers.
    • Stretching & Yoga Class: Offered as an optional class for all students, this class focuses on exercises to maintain a healthy, injury-free musician, both mentally and physically.
    • Alexander Technique: Alexander Technique teaches how to prevent and recover from injury, alleviate the effects of nervousness in performance, increase breath capacity, prevent tension, and improve technique, ease and sound in playing.
    • Electronic Music: In this class, students will learn audio clip triggering, drum programming, and MIDI basics to create digital music using Ableton, one of the most powerful and popular music software applications today. Thanks to Ableton for their support of the Lamont Summer Academy. We are very excited to announce that all students enrolling in the Electronic Music minor will receive a complimentary copy of Ableton Live 10 Intro. 
    • Conducting: For students wanting to build their current conducting skills or to explore the option of including conducting as a component of their musical career, we offer a minor study in instrumental conducting. During the three sessions, students will learn basic movements and strategies to achieve the beginnings of an elegant and artistic approach to instrumental conducting. Philosophies and challenges for the modern conductor will be discussed as well as an introduction to rehearsal planning and score study. Previous conducting experience is helpful, but not required.
    • Professional Development—Making Audition Recordings: In these three sessions student will learn to record high-quality audio and video using a specialized microphone and their phones! They will then learn to add title screens, make small edits and render them for web applications.
  • Designated Scholarships

    The Lamont Summer Academy is pleased to announce significant scholarship support in 2020.

    Alongside merit-based and need-based assistance (students must qualify for merit to qualify for need-based assistance), we are offering the following Designated Scholarships. If you are applying for one of these Designated Scholarships, please indicate which one in the "Designated Scholarships" field on the application.

    • MTNA Competition Winner Scholarship
    • DYAO Conductor’s Choice Scholarship
    • Schmitt Music Competition Winner Scholarship (piano only)
    • Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Conductor's Choice Scholarship
    • PPMTA/CYSA Concerto Competition Winners
    • Lone Tree Symphony Douglas County Student Merit Scholarship 
    • Denver School of the Arts Conductor's Choice Scholarship – Enrique Lasansky
    • Denver School of the Arts Guitar Instructor's Choice Scholarship – Rich Serriani
    • Legacy High School Conductor’s Choice Scholarships
    • Phoenix Youth Symphony Concerto Competition Winner Scholarship
    • Santa Fe Youth Symphony Merit Scholarship
    • New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Conductors Choice Vocalist Scholarship
    • New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Conductors Choice Instrumentalist Scholarship
    • Playground Ensemble Composition Scholarship
    • El Sistema Colorado Scholarship
    • Lamont Summer Academy Violin Prize
    • Lamont Summer Academy Low Strings Prize (viola, cello, bass)
    • Lamont Summer Academy Voice Prize
    • Lamont Summer Academy Woodwind Prize
    • Lamont Summer Academy Brass Prize
    • Lamont Summer Academy Percussion Prize
    • Lamont Summer Academy Piano Prize


    • Your Youth Symphony Conductor's Choice Scholarship (if your youth symphony conductor is offering this opportunity, they will have announced it at rehearsal. If you are a student or conductor whose youth symphony does not yet offer this and you are interested, contact
  • Concerto/Aria Competition Rules & Pre-Approval Information (Due April 15, 2020)

    Competition Rules:

    1. Participants must be enrolled in the Lamont School of Music Summer Academy and have paid their non-refundable deposit of $500.
    2. One concerto movement or aria only. Memorization required.
    3. Concerto movement must meet the following criteria:
      –Length of movement no longer than 12 minutes
      –Orchestration must be for either string orchestra or Classical orchestra instrumentation. (Classical orchestra instrumentation: strings, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets and timpani)
      –Orchestra parts must be available for purchase. Pieces for which the orchestra parts are only available for rent are not eligible.
      **NOTE: exceptions in length and instrumentation will be considered on a case-by-case basis
    4. All repertoire must be submitted for pre-approval by April 15, 2020. Submit repertoire for pre-approval via the link below
    5. Once pre-approved, submit your $35 application fee through the LSA Concerto Competition Payment Page or on the ‘Forms and Payments’ section below.

    Click the links below to be taken to the appropriate forms:

    Complete Concerto/Aria Competition Pre-Approval Form

    Complete Concerto/Aria Competition Application

    Award: The winner will be the featured soloist with the Academy Orchestra on Friday, July 3, 2020, in Gates Concert Hall, University of Denver, Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Forms & Payments
  • Faculty & Staff


    Conrad Kehn, director

    Gina Bliss, assistant director


    Brass Composition

    Al Hood, trumpet

    Paul Naslund, trombone

    Rachael Hutchings

    John Rot

    Conducting Percussion

    Joe Martin

    Rachel Hargroder, percussion

    Tom Miller, steel pan

    Michael Van Wirt, percussion

    Piano Strings

    Stephanie Cheng

    Beth Nielsen

    Chris Thompson

    Suzanne Torkelson

    Benjamin DeKock, bass

    Jeri Jorgensen, violin

    Kitty Knight, cello

    Margaret Miller, viola

    Richard Slavich, cello

    Linda Wang, violin

    Allegra Wermuth, violin 

    Matt Zalkind, cello

    Voice Woodwinds

    Sara Bardill

    Cathy Kasch

    Roger Holland, choir

    Matthew Plenk

    Greg Brown, bassoon

    Cathy Peterson, flute

    Jeremy Reynolds, clarinet

    Ian Wisekal, oboe

  • Guest Artists

    Megan Ihnen, Soprano

    Rescheduled to 2021

    Megan Ihnen is a “new music force of nature.” Whether it's in concert halls, bars, churches, art galleries, outdoor gardens, rooftops, or more, her performances thrive on elaborate sound worlds and fully-developed dramatic interpretations. Passionate about performing contemporary chamber music and opera, Megan has worked with individuals and ensembles around the globe including: International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, Rhymes With Opera, and Synchromy. She is deeply committed to the belief that new music should be accessible in cities and towns of all sizes. She recently performed on Detroit New Music “Strange Beautiful Music Marathon”, Omaha Under the Radar Festival, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Series, and others. Megan has been recognized for using "a phenomenal spectrum of vocal colors portraying her profound command and understanding of the voice." Learn more at Megan Ihnen's website.

Lamont Summer Academy choir

Mission Statement

The Lamont Summer Academy is committed to providing an inspirational, innovative, and fun musical experience for serious pre-college musicians, and promoting musical excellence, rich program diversity and lifelong friendships under the guidance of outstanding artist-teachers.




Excellence at Lamont Summer Academy

Musical Excellence

Programs at Lamont Summer Academy

Rich Program Diversity

Friendships at Lamont Summer Academy

Lifelong Friendships

Lamont summer academy

Application Deadlines

February 15, 2020 for scholarship consideration

March 15, 2020 for regular consideration

Apply Now

Learn more about the Lamont School of Music: