Music Festival

"As a parent of a young cellist, it was very gratifying to hear him praise your program. Your program offered each student great personal attention and intense training in an environment conducive to hard work. Being exposed to true professionals and talented peers, along with the chance to play larger and more challenging works, helped the young musicians progress exponentially. "Ang Lee, parent of summer student

Summer Music Festival

July 19 — August 1, 2020

The Summer at Sem Music Festival is a two-week program for young instrumentalists and vocalists working with expert faculty from around the country to hone their craft in the beautiful environment of Wyoming Seminary.

Students will perform in large ensembles right alongside the faculty, as well as small chamber music ensembles, and work on solo repertoire in private lessons. Summer camp courses such as "Mindfulness and Wellbeing for Musicians" and "Music Entrepreneurship" empower students to think about how music will fit into their lives in the long term.

Guest artists and conductors-in-residence lend their expertise as we pursue musical excellence in a warm and supportive environment.

Meet our Director

Dr. Jonathan Harvey

Dr. Jonathan Harvey is the Music Director for the Summer at Sem Music Festival. In addition to his work at Summer at Sem, Jonathan is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, MA, and Music Director of the Brattleboro Concert Choir in Brattleboro, VT.

As Music Director of the Summer at Sem Music Festival, Jonathan oversees all aspects of the festival's program design and management. Working closely with guest conductors and faculty, he coordinates the summer repertoire and daily schedules to ensure the best possible experience for the young artists of today.

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Instrumental Summer Camp Program

At a Glance

The Instrumental Performance summer camp program of the Summer at Sem Music Festival encompasses two large ensembles: Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra. The program is designed for dedicated players who are interested in honing their skills on professional-level repertoire.

In addition to solo work and chamber ensembles, students will play in either the Concert Band or the Symphony Orchestra right next to expert faculty on their instrument, under the direction of renowned conductors-in-residence. Seating rotates regularly in both ensembles, so that all students have the opportunity to be challenged and rise to the occasion.

During this program, guest conductors-in-residence will lead and mentor students in preparation for two Saturday evening large-ensemble concerts, and faculty will prepare students for frequent solo and chamber recital opportunities.

Daily Schedule

8:45-9:00 am | Community Meeting
9:00-9:50 am | Studio Masterclass & Group Lesson
10:00-11:20 am | Program activity
11:30 am-12:15 pm | Classes
12:15-1:00 pm | Lunch
1:00-1:50 pm | Festival Chorus
2:00-3:20 pm | Program activity
3:30-4:30 pm | Lessons and practice time
4:30-5:50 pm | Program activity
6:00 pm | Dinner
7:30 pm | Evening Activity (recitals/concerts)

Meet our Guest Artists

Cello - Udi Bar-David

Udi Bar-David, ARTolerance Founder and Artistic Director, Cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra

Udi  Bar-David is widely considered one of the most versatile cellists in the world, performing on international stages with both classical and ethnic musicians. Udi studied in Tel-Aviv, with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School, and Orchestral Conducting at Curtis Institute of Music.

Udi won the International Villa Lobos Competition in Brazil, and appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Jerusalem Symphony and Philly Pops. He was featured on the TODAY show, and was represented by Astral Artistic Services and the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity. He has served as principal cellist with many orchestras, and has been a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra since the late 1980s. 

As a chamber musician, Udi has collaborated with Christoph Eschenbach, Leon Fleisher, Jaime Laredo, Rudolph Buchbinder, Emanuel Ax and others. As Founder and Artistic Director of Intercultural Journeys, he produced numerous events world-wide. Udi has recently created Artolerance –  an important new effort to expand the crucial role music and the arts play in fostering understanding and tolerance.

Udi has toured the US, Europe, Palestine, Israel, Cuba and Asia,  with world-renowned artists, including Jie Bing Chen, Nawang Khechog, Hanna Khoury, Wu Man, Diane Monroe, R. Carlos Nakai, Mandy Patinkin, and Simon Shaheen. 

https://artolerance.org/about/

Erhu - Jiebing Chen

Jiebing Chen's incredible musicality and interpretive skills have resulted in overwhelming international acclaim as a solo interpreter of her instrument. Beyond that, with Chinese, American and European orchestras Chen was the first to bring the erhu into the symphonic concert hall, performing as a featured soloist. Her playing brought a new sound and excitement to classical music audiences. Perhaps most compelling are her achievements as a cross-cultural performer. Chen has virtually reinvented the erhu for the 21st century, performing in partnership with some of the most notable jazz and world music artists of our time. Her artistry has made her the most recorded erhu artist in the world with over 20 CD titles available internationally. In addition to her classical repertory Chen's work received a Grammy-nomination for Best World Music Album for her jazz improvisations with Bela Fleck and Vishwa Bhatt.

https://www.jiebingchen.com/biography/

Percussion - Hafez Kotain

Hafez Kotain is the Percussion Director at Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, Keystone State Boychoir and The Arab Percussion Ensemble at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a master percussionist fluent in both Arab and Latin rhythms–a fluency he honed in his native countries of Venezuela and Syria. In 2013 he received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, a prestigious award given to Philadelphia artists of exemplary talent. He began playing the doumbek at the age of seven years, made his first stage performance at nine years, winning the national percussion competitions in Syria for five consecutive years. Kotain first began his career as an educator, teaching a variety of percussion styles to dedicated students, musicians and music teachers. In 2010 and 2011, Kotain taught at the Arab Music Retreat led by the internationally acclaimed Arab music performer, Simon Shaheen. He has performed with Lebanese composer, singer, and oud master Marcel Khalife and Al Mayadine Ensemble in their latest US and Canada tour for “Fall of the Moon: An Homage to the Poet Mahmoud Darwish.” Kotain has also toured with singer George Wassouf in Canada and the US, and has performed with acclaimed artist Sting, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Artolerance, Arabesque Music Ensemble, composer Kareem Roustom and with actor and tenor Mandy Patinkin.

2020 Guest Artists: to be announced 

Meet our Conductors

Patricia Cornett — Concert Band


Patricia Cornett
is the Director of Bands at the Temple University Boyer College of Music & Dance where she conducts the Wind Symphony and teaches advanced conducting. Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was the Director of Bands at Cal State Fullerton where she conducted the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Winds, and taught courses in conducting and music education. She was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan, Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, and Bachelor of Music dual degree in music education and saxophone performance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Dr. Cornett taught at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont from 2007–2010 where she conducted three concert bands, jazz band, and taught courses in guitar and history of rock. She was also the director of instrumental music at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, Connecticut, from 2003–2005. She is published in the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, the CBDNA Journal, The Instrumentalist, and has presented sessions at The Midwest Clinic, national CBDNA conferences, and numerous state conferences. She is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, the Conductors Guild, the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

 

Catharine Sinon Bushman — Concert Band

Dr. Catharine Sinon Bushman is the Wind Ensemble Conductor and Assistant Professor of Music Education at St. Cloud State University. Her teaching responsibilities include Wind Ensemble, conducting and courses in music education. Dr. Bushman received a DMA in Wind Conducting at The University of Texas at Austin in 2012. She holds degrees in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University. Previously, Dr. Bushman served on the faculty of Winthrop University where she led the Symphonic Band, taught graduate and undergraduate courses in music education, and supervised student interns. Dr. Bushman was an Assistant Director of Bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia from 1998-2007. Her professional memberships include College Band Directors National Association, Womens Band Directors International, Minnesota Music Educators Association and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. She maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician for marching and concert bands. She has presented at the state and national level on teaching in disadvantaged communities, mentoring of women band directors, woodwind pedagogy and diversity in programming. In 2016, Dr. Bushman began conducting the St. Cloud Municipal Band, an all-adult concert band that performs locally and abroad.

 

Paul Hostetter — Orchestra


Paul Hostetter holds the Ethel Foley Distinguished Chair in Orchestral Activities for the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University; Artistic Director of the Music Under the Dome series; and the conductor and artistic advisor for the acclaimed Sequitur Ensemble.

He has held appointments as the Director of Orchestral Studies at the John J. Cali School of Music at Mont Clair State University, the music director of the Colonial Symphony and High Mountain Symphony, artistic director of Winter Sun Music Festival, music director of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Principal Conductor of the NY Concerti Sinfonietta, founder and artistic director of the Music Mondays Chamber Series in New York City, and the associate conductor for the Broadway production of Candide and assistant conductor for the Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm.

Jeri Lynne Johnson — Concert Band


Jeri Lynne Johnson is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, which she established in 2008 as a model for the 21st century orchestra. The hallmark of Black Pearl has been its total commitment to bringing a younger, more culturally-diverse audience to classical music and as the Music Director and creative force behind Black Pearl, Ms. Johnson conceives and designs all concert, outreach, and educational programming to reinforce this commitment. Through unique collaborations with some of the city's great institutions like the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation, and Opera Philadelphia, among others, that create classical music experiences that blue the lines between audience and performances, Black Pearl has garnered critical acclaim for its innovative audience engagement activities from the National Endowment for the Arts and is the only organization every to win three prestigious Knight Foundation Arts Challenge grants.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Ms. Johnson began conducting while completing a Master's Degree in music theory and history at the University of Chicago and in 1998 she won the Jorge Mester Conducting Scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival. Since then, her conducting teachers and mentors have included Sir Simon Rattle, Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, and John Harbison. In 2009, Ms. Johnson made history as the first African American woman to win an international conducting prize when she was awarded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship.

Ms. Johnson's conducting engagements have included orchestras around the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Chicago Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Symphony (UK), and the Weimar Staatskapelle (Germany). Her conducting repertoire is unusually broad and has led her to performances of premieres of leading classical composers as well as a ground-breaking collaboration at Carnegie Hall with rapper Jay-Z, singer-songwriter Alicia Keys, and hip hop band The Roots. 

A recipient of many civic, community, and artistic honors, including a 2011 Woman of Distinction from the Philadelphia Business Journal, 2010 British American Project Fellow, 2010 Philly 360 Creative Ambassador by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, Ms. Johnson has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers as well as television and radio shows, including 20/20 and "The Tavis Smiley Show" on NPR and she was heralded as one of today's leading young women conductors on the NBC Today Show alongside prominent women conductors Marin Alsop and Joann Falletta. 

2020 Conductors-in-Residence to be announced.

Meet our Faculty

Flute — Dennis Carter II

Dennis Carter II has a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from Wayne State University. He has toured the US with the NY Gilbert and Sullivan Players, The New Sigmund Romberg Orchestra and Carl Rosa Opera Company (UK). Currently Principal Flutist with the Dearborn Symphony, he also holds that position with the Fisher/Masonic Theater Orchestra of Detroit, Warren Symphony and Orchestra Canton. A busy freelancer, he has performed with the all of the area orchestras including Detroit Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony and most recently the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra.

Oboe — Brendon Bushman

Brendon Bushman is a freelance musician and teacher in the Twin Cities area. He is currently principal oboist of the Saint Cloud Symphony Orchestra, adjunct oboe instructor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and maintains a private student in St. Cloud. In addition to the SCSO, Brendon can be heard with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Twin Cities Fringe Opera/Journey North Opera, Minnesota Dance Theatre, and accompanying Twin Cities choral groups including VocaleEssence and the South Metro Chorale. He is a former member of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (SC), Union Symphony Orchestra (NC), Round Rock Symphony (TX), and Capitol City Opera (GA), and has performed with regional orchestra throughout the southeastern US and Texas. In 2004, he served as principal oboist on the southeastern tour of "The Pirates of Penzance" with the NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players.

A dedicated chamber musician, Brendon can be heard with the SCSO woodwind quintet as a part of the "Classics for Kids" outreach program which reaches over 1,400 students each year, and throughout the Twin Cities with The Northstar Winds, the Antithesis Project, and Trio Vientos. From 2005-2008, he was a core member of the Atlanta Chamber Winds, including performing on the 2009 Albany Records CD & digital release "Music From Paris."

Mr. Bushman studied oboe performance and graphic design at Indian University, Bloomington, holds a BM in Oboe Performance from The University of Texas at Austin, and finished his MM at The University of Minnesota this spring. His primary teachers include John Snow, Rebecca Henderson, Nicholas Daniel, Theodore Baskin, Anne Leek, and Yvonne Powers Peterson. 

Brendon lives in St. Cloud with his wife, Catharine, daughters Emmaline and Zadie, and their dog Kona. When he's not making reeds, Brendon enjoys exploring gravel and forest roads across Minnesota on his bike, hiking and camping with his kids, and good coffee.

Clarinet — Dr. Lisa Raschiatore

Dr. Lisa Raschiatore is a freelance musician and teacher in the Southeastern Michigan area. She currently serves as Principal Clarinetist with the Michigan Philharmonic and Bass Clarinetist with the West Michigan and Traverse Symphony Orchestras. She has appeared as a substitute musician with the Grand Rapids, Michigan Opera Theatre, Windsor, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras on clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, and basset horn. She has also toured the country with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players as principal clarinetist, and this fall will appear in the pit of a nationally touring Broadway show at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit.

Saxophone — Jared Ziegler

Jared Ziegler currently teaches ay Heyer Elementary School in Waukesha, WI. He holds a Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a Masters in Saxophone Performance from Northwestern University where he studied with Frederick L. Hemke. Jared has appeared with groups such as the Kenosha Symphony, Madison Symphony, and the Minnesota Opera. In addition to teaching at Creative Arts, Jared teachers at the Summer Music Clinic at the University of Wisconsin.

Bassoon — Dr. Jefferson Campbell

With a focus on music that appeals to all audiences, Jefferson has commissioned and premiered over 20 new works for the bassoon in recent years. His New York City debut recital at Symphony Space in January of 2012 was titled “21st Century Bassoon: music that’s fun to play" and featured music composed since 2003. His collaborations with composers Jess Hendricks, Justin Rubin and marimbist/composer Gene Koshinski have resulted in a series of popular new pieces featuring the bassoon in a variety of settings including bassoon alone, with piano, with electronic playback and with various combinations of percussion. The recently popular funk bassoon duet “Get It!" by Koshisnki was the result of a commission from Campbell in 2007.

French Horn — Dr. Kristen Sienkiewicz

Dr. Kristen Sienkiewicz is Assistant Professor of Horn at Austin Peay State University. She is in demand as a freelance and studio horn player in Nashville and the broader region. This season she can be heard playing with orchestras from Alabama to Indiana, and as co-principal horn in Middle Tennessee’s Gateway Chamber Orchestra. Prior to moving to Tennessee she was an active chamber and orchestral horn player in Boston and throughout New England.

Trumpet — Jamie Orfanella

Bio and headshot coming soon!

Trombone — Dr. Justin Waller

Dr. Justin Waller is an active musician and teacher in the Greater New York City region, where he has performed and recorded with such groups as the American Brass Quintet, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the Long Island Symphonic Choral Association, and several others. Recent solo performances include a guest recital at the Summer Trombone Workshop, hosted at the Manhattan School of Music, and a performance of the Concertino for trombone and string orchestra by Lars-Erik Larsson, with the SCCC College Orchestra.

Tuba — Dr. Matthew Hightower

Hightower

Dr. Matt Hightower is Assistant Professor of Tuba/Euphonium at the University of Kentucky. He is the tubist with the University of Kentucky Faculty Brass Quintet. His performance experience covers a wide range of chamber, orchestral, and solo music that spans three continents and nine countries. He is a prizewinner of international solo competitions and has presented masterclasses to tuba/euphonium students around the world. Dr. Hightower also is an award-winning composer and has written commissioned works for many music conferences. He holds music degrees from Murray State University, Indiana University, and the University of Texas-Austin.

Piano — Tsukasa Waltich

A native of Japan, Tsukasa Waltich received her Bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University and Master’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton. During her time in school, she studied piano with Thomas Hrynkiw, Ann Liva, and Walter Ponce. She has performed numerous solo recitals, chamber music, and piano concertos, including Mendelssohn’s piano concerto, Saint-Saëns’ second piano concerto, and Beethoven’s first and fourth piano concertos. She has worked with the Wilkes Community Conservatory, the Arcadia Chorale, the Lyric Consort, the Encore Music Camp, the Performing Arts Institute, the Catholic Choral Society, and other organizations throughout the United States.

Percussion — Dr. Gene Koshinski

Percussion artist, composer, and educator Dr. Gene Koshinski (b. 1980), Professor of Percussion at the University of Minnesota Duluth, has delighted audiences worldwide with his dynamic performances and creative programming. Well-known for his extraordinary versatility as a solo, chamber, symphonic, jazz, pop, and world music artist, he has performed in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Slovenia, the UK, Canada, and throughout the United States.  He has recorded for the Naxos, Innova, Centaur, MSR Classics, and Equilibrium record labels and his performances have also been heard on the CBS, PBS, and ESPN television networks as well as NPR.  He is sponsored by Pearl/Adams Instruments, Sabian Cymbals, Remo Drumheads, and Innovative Percussion and his method book, solo albums, and over 35 published compositions are distributed internationally. 

Violin — Dr. Lisa Burrell

Dr. Lisa Burrell is on the music faculty of Lone Star College in Houston, Texas. She is a violinist, violist, string clinician, and a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner. Having given over 200 clinics in the United States and abroad, Dr. Burrell is a regular clinician in the Houston public schools, college and university music programs, and teacher in-services. Her work emphasizes pedagogy that promotes healthy playing through movement-based learning. She has recently presented at the Symposium on Feldenkrais in the Performing Arts (2016) in London, UK, the International Arts in Society Conference (2017) in Paris, France, and the ISME World Music Education Conference (2018) in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she received of one of 10 World Conference Awards.

Her writing detailing her work with students and professionals on injury prevention and rehabilitation will be featured in two upcoming books on the Feldenkrais Method published through Oxford University Press (2019) and Handspring Press (2020), London, UK.

Violin — Dr. Chris Ferrara

Brooklyn-based violinist, Dr Christopher Ferrara, has gained international recognition as an acclaimed chamber musician and prominent educator throughout the United States and Europe. Redefining what it means to be a classical musician in the 21st century, Ferrara has incorporated his enthusiasm for chamber music and all-things-tech to draw an entirely new demographic to the concert hall.  From live video broadcast to intimate 360 camera footage of performances, Ferrara is committed to reimagining ways to connect audiences to live chamber music performances.

As a performer, Ferrara has shared the stage with many of today’s leading artists including former and current members of the Ensō, Jack, Daedalus, Brentano, Cooperstown, and Emerson String Quartets.  He is a regular invitee to chamber music series across the country and most recently joined the New York Classic Forum as one of their principal artists.

Fusing his proclivity for tech, video games, and chamber music, Ferrara spent several years touring as principal violinist and AV engineer of the Triforce Quartet – an ensemble that specializes and performs video game music covers.   During his tenure, the quartet gained international acclaim, recorded two full albums, and paved the way in fostering many relationships in the industry, including guest appearances with Video Games Live, Capcom Live, and performances at many notable videogame conventions such as PAX and MAGFest.

Ferrara continues to spearhead the development of the chamber music medium having accepted a position as a violinist of the Boston-based, Videri String Quartet.  Ferrara’s ethos aligns perfectly with the quartet’s mission in reinventing how modern audiences experience chamber music by equally mixing classical music and video game music together in a truly unique and inclusive program format.  Along with performing with the Videri String Quartet, Ferrara is a frequent recording artist with the Materia Collective, SoundTrec Boston, and Brainwave Productions labels and has been featured in video games such as Final Fantasy XV and the Mages of Mystralia.  He also works as an intern for Skillman Music Studios in Brooklyn, NY.

Despite his busy performance schedule, Ferrara is a passionate and devoted pedagogue dedicated to developing young talents.  He maintains various teaching positions and is regularly invited to teach at summer festivals across the country including East Carolina University’s Summer Chamber Music Institute, Wyoming Seminary’s Summer at Sem Creative Arts Program, and 4Strings Music Festival, among others.  His teaching style is one that melds the traditions of his past teachers and mentors, Hagai Shaham, Soovin Kim, Philip Setzer, and Ara Gregorian, with a modern approach in attaining a student’s full potential and individuality.

Ferrara holds a Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University. He received his Master of Music and Doctorate in Musical Arts degrees from Stony Brook University under the tutelage of renowned violinist, Hagai Shaham and members of the Emerson String Quartet.

Ferrara is on faculty at the Great Neck Conservatory, Bard College’s Pre-College Division, and cultivates a large studio as Professor of Violin and Viola at the Long Island Conservatory of Music in New York.  Most recently, he accepted the position as Director of the School of Music at Long Island Conservatory. He currently performs on a contemporary violin made in 2006 by Daniel Salini.

Viola — Shane Barker

Violist Shane Barker enjoys a varied career as educator, chamber musician, recitalist and orchestral violist. He is a founding member of the Philadelphia Harp Trio and Phoenix Chamber Players, and has collaborated with harpist Maryanne Meyer,  harpsichordist Lewis Baratz, flutist Pamela Taylor, and pianists Rob Keiser, Barbara Browne, Carol-Ann Aicher and Ekaterina Popova. In an effort to expand the viola repertoire, Shane has premiered works by Jeremy Gill, Andrea Clearfield, Paul Hayden, Andrew Litts and many others. Especially passionate about community outreach, Shane has implemented residencies at the Lyons VA Hospital, Southampton Estates, the Third Street Alliance for Women and Children, and the Nurture Nature Center where he was Artistic Director of the Music of the Elements series. Barker holds degrees from Temple University and North Carolina School of the Arts where he served as teaching assistant to current Juilliard faculty member Sheila Browne, and studied with Evelyn Jacobs-Luise, Karen Ritscher, Helen Kwalwasser and Joseph dePasquale. Shane is an alumnus of Summer at Sem, and is excited to serve as a faculty member this summer. 

 

Cello — Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida

Christiane Appenheimer-Vaida completed her musical studies at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Frankfurt, Germany, under the tutelage of Professor Susanne Mueller-Hornbach and has undertaken additional studies with Gerhard Mantel, Siegfried Palm, Hubert Buchberger, Ulrich Voss, Menachem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio), and Edna Golandsky. Before moving to Northeastern Pennsylvania, she taught at Justus-Liebig- University, Giessen, and headed the string department for the Buseck Music School while performing regularly both as soloist and chamber musician throughout Germany. Ms. Appenheimer-Vaida is the artistic director of an annual chamber music festival at Wyoming Seminary.

Double Bass — Kevin Huhn

Kevin Huhn is an active teacher and performer living in Connecticut. He currently serves as both assistant principal bass of the Connecticut Virtuosi Orchestra and the Norwalk Symphony. He toured Europe as a member of the 2018 Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, performing in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, Paris Philharmonie, and Berlin Philharmonie. Kevin has served as principal bass for the Music at Penn’s Woods orchestra festival since 2014.  He has also performed with the Vermont Mozart Festival and the Next Festival for Emerging Artists. Kevin maintains a private studio as well as teaching at the Loomis Chafee and Ethel Walker schools. Recently married, Kevin enjoys spending his time off with his wife Mary and their cat Mitzy.

Vocal Summer Camp Program

At a Glance

The Vocal Performance program of the Summer at Sem Music Festival is designed for dedicated vocalists who want to explore the many facets involved in developing the singer’s art, in the Concert Choir, as well as solo work and chamber ensembles. 

Vocal students who seek to expand their skills and repertoire for either professional or personal aspirations will benefit from this opportunity to study with master faculty within the field.

Intensive rehearsal and class time are devoted to in-depth development of technical and expressive abilities, including posture, breathing, resonance, diction, style, phrasing, and textual communication.

During this program, guest conductors-in-residence will lead and mentor students in preparation for two Saturday evening large-ensemble concerts, and faculty will prepare students for frequent solo and chamber recital opportunities.

Daily Schedule

8:45-9:00 am | Community Meeting
9:00-9:50 am | Studio Masterclass & Group Lesson
10:00-11:20 am | Program activity 
11:30 am-12:15 pm | Classes
12:15-1:00 pm | Lunch
1:00-1:50 pm | Festival Chorus
2:00-3:20 pm | Program activity
3:30-4:30 pm | Lessons and practice time
4:30-5:50 pm | Program activity
6:00 pm | Dinner
7:30 pm | Evening Activity (recitals/concerts)

Meet our Guest Artists

Julie Bishop - Voice

Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop, performer, educator, and academic, is at home performing opera, operetta, musical theater, and recital. A chorister with Opera Philadelphia, she has appeared with Opera Libera, Intermezzo Opera, Delaware Valley Opera Company, The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Chester County, and the Philadelphia Gilbert and Sullivan Union, and is a core member of the GRAMMY-winning choir The Crossing. She serves on the faculty of the Boyer College of Music and Dance in Voice and Opera and is a teaching artist with Opera Philadelphia. She holds degrees in voice performance from Susquehanna University and Temple University.

2020 Guest Artists: to be announced.

Meet our Conductors

Christopher Jackson – Choir

Dr. Christopher Jackson is the Director of Choral Activities and Head of Voice at Muhlenberg College since 2017. Professor Jackson works frequently as a guest conductor for Honor Choir Festivals on the east coast, and has led masterclasses and workshops on conducting and Baroque music at the San Juan Conservatory of Music. He has taught courses in Music History, Vocal Methods and Pedagogy, Conducting, and He is also the co-founder of professional ensemble Bricolage, which debuted with performances of David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning composition, The Little Match Girl Passion, in conjunction with various Collegiate and High School Art Departments and to raise funds for Women’s and Children’s shelters.

Arianne Abela – Choir

Abela

Arianne Abela, Director of Choral Activities at Amherst College, recently served on conducting faculty at Wayne State University and is founder of the Detroit Women's Chorus and Detroit Justice Choir. She directed Detroit's historic Fort Street Chorale, co-founded The House of Clouds, guest-conducted opera productions with various Michigan-based opera companies and serves as music director for Vancouver-based opera company, Re:Naissance. In 2012, Abela was a featured conductor on NBC's Today Show and was a semi-finalist in Season 8 of America's Got Talent. She holds degrees from Smith College, Yale University and University of Michigan.

2020 Conductors-in-Residence: to be announced.

Meet our Faculty

Soprano — Molly Allen

Molly Allen holds a bachelor of music and a master of music degree in vocal performance from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America. She currently resides in the Washington D.C. area where she teaches at Harmonic Music Studios. When she is not teaching, Allen is pursuing a career in opera. She has performed the role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Gilda in Rigoletto, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Julie Jordan in Carousel, Miss Silverpeal in Der Schauspieldirektor, Jou Jou in The Merry Widow, Cupidon in Bel Cantanti Opera Company’s production of Orphee aux Enfers, and Nella, in the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival’s production of Gianni Schicchiand.

Alto — Rebecca Henry

With her “beautiful mezzo timbre,” Rebecca Henry is capturing the attention of audiences throughout North America. Most recently heard as an Apprentice Artist with Ash Lawn Opera, Ms. Henry is distinguishing herself as a communicative and engaging performer. During her recent tenure with Ash Lawn Opera, Ms. Henry portrayed a playful yet otherworldly Dritter Knabe in Daniel Rigazzi’s interpretation of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Lauded for her convincing portrayals in trouser roles, Rebecca has appeared as Tirinto in Handel’s Imeneo, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, both with Opera McGill as and Prince Orlofsky with the Janiec Opera Company in their production of Die Fledermaus.

Tenor — Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt is the Director of Choirs at Scarsdale High School, Scarsdale, New York, where he conducts three curricular ensembles. In addition, Mr. Schmidt serves as the organist and choir director at St. John Lutheran Church in Mamaroneck, New York. Prior to his appointment at Scarsdale High School, he was the interim director of the University of Illinois Men's Glee Club. In addition, Mr. Schmidt served on the voice faculty at Eastern Illinois University from 2017 to 2018. From 2009 until 2016, Mr. Schmidt taught at Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, New Jersey. In addition to his time as a music educator, Mr. Schmidt served as the Minister of Music at St. Paul Lutheran Church in East Windsor, New Jersey from 2004 to 2016. Mr. Schmidt has presented interest sessions on choral music and choral music education for the College Music Society, New Jersey American Choral Directors Association, served as chair of the New Jersey All-State Choir auditions, and has served on multiple conference committees for the American Choral Directors Association — Eastern Division. As a singer, Mr. Schmidt had the opportunity to sing principal operatic roles with the Westminster Opera Theater and in the opera chorus of the Spoleto Festival USA. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, he has had the privilege of performing with the New York Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mr. Schmidt was a frequent soloist with the Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, and the Illinois Bach Academy. He is currently a DMA Candidate in choral music at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Baritone — Grant Mech

Grant Mech

Grant Mech has appeared in numerous operatic productions, including Alcina (Melisso) with Cantanti Project, La Clemenza di Tito (Publio) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Bartolo) with dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, the titles role in Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi with Delaware Valley Opera, Turandot (Mandarin) with New Rochelle Opera, La Serva Padrona (Uberto) and The Pirates of Penzance (Police Sergeant) with Boheme Opera NJ, and La Cambiale di matrimonio (Tobias Mill) with Garden State Opera. He has appeared in concerts and recitals, singing works such as Brahms’ Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Schubert’s Schwanengesang.


2020 Tuition

Day students: $975.00
Residential students: $2,600.00

 

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Audition Information

Instrumental and Vocal Auditions

Requirements:

  • Please submit a video no more than five minutes that includes excerpts of two movements, works, or etudes in contrasting styles, either accompanied or unaccompanied. 
  • In addition to an audition, instrumental and vocal applicants must also submit a completed online application.

Guidelines:

  • Use the best available visual and audio devices possible. Film as if at a live audition.
  • At the beginning of your audition:
    • State your name, age, and place of residence (US state or country if international)
    • State your instrument and the name/composer of the piece you will be performing
  • At the conclusion of your audition:
    • State "I have reached the end of my audition" and repeat your full name.
  • Naming your Audition: 
    • [Instrument] Audition: Full Name, Date
    • French Horn Audition: Taylor Smith, 01/02/2019

Submitting your Audition:

  • Videos can be submitted as a direct URL or an unlisted Youtube video to: summeratsem@wyomingseminary.org.
  • Information on creating an unlisted YouTube video, as well as audition information for all of our programs, can be found here.

Our Location

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Contact Us

Contact Us

Gayle Sekel
Director of Summer
Programs
570-270-2167
Nick Fritz
Associate Director
of Summer Programs
570-270-2161
Katie Michaels
Admission Associate 
for Creative Arts
570-270-2188

Mailing Address:
Wyoming Seminary—Summer at Sem
201 North Sprague Avenue
Kingston, PA 18704-3593 U.S.A.

Fax: 570-270-2198