Class and Ensemble Descriptions

The Last Chance Music Camp is proud to offer diverse ensembles, master classes, and traditional courses to allow students to explore all that music brings to our lives. We are always striving to create new learning opportunities, but this list of classes and ensembles is designed to provide an overview of all that our program has to offer.

Small Group Instruction

Introductory Instrumental or Vocal Skills – Students are encouraged to learn new instruments or vocal skills at camp, and what better way to do so than in a beginner class!

  • Voice – Learn to use your voice in a choir or as a soloist
  • Orchestral Strings – Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass
  • Woodwinds – Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Oboe, or Bassoon
  • Brass – Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone, or Tuba
  • Percussion – Drums, Mallets, and Auxiliary instruments
  • Other Instruments – Piano, Guitar, Mandolin, or Ukulele (to name a few!)

Master Classes – Master classes offer students the opportunity to assess their skills and work toward improving overall technique. Students learn warm up techniques, strategies for improving practice, and gain an appreciation for the process of musical growth.

Academic Classes

Music Theory – Here we explore how music functions, on both the written and auditory levels. Students learn to take apart musical melody, harmony, rhythm, and meter and put them back together as they seek to understand what makes music appealing or distasteful. As with last year, we will be splitting apart beginners and more advanced music theorists into a Music Theory I and Music Theory II class.

Music History – If you have ever wondered how European music evolved from J.S. Bach to Bela Bartók, then this is the class for you! Students will study the way music changed over the years and will examine the connection between music, art, and broader historical cultures.

Composition – Writing music is challenging, but it is also an incredibly rewarding part of the musical experience. This class shows students the basics of writing good melody lines and harmony parts, along with how to notate their music using free technological tools.

World Music – Humanity is bound together by music, but different cultures engage with and experience music in different ways. This class explores musical traditions, both instrumental and vocal, from around the world. Students will learn theory that underpins music from other cultures, and they will listen to rich and varied music that defines people and places throughout our wonderful world.

Rotation – Last Chance Music Camp has so much to offer that we invite students to sample many different areas of musical interest. Classes will allow campers to stay engaged and curious as they work with a diverse group of music teachers who will provide creative and relevant musical support skills that will follow all musicians their ensemble work.


(* indicates ensembles that require prerequisite skills)

* Rock Band – You’ve seen School of Rock, now it’s time to live it! This class is for musicians who are ready to explore a world of rock, indie, and pop tunes. To really rock, we are limiting this year’s initial ensemble to rhythm instruments (percussion, guitar, bass, or piano) and vocalists. Come prepared with a song idea or two so we can dive right in on the first day.

Jazz Band – Try out a variety of musical styles from swing to funk with jazz ensemble. Learn rhythm reading skills, improvisation, and teamwork with a crew of teachers who love jazz and love to have fun with music!

Pep Band – Grab your horns, throw on your t-shirts, and head to the game! Pep band is all about having fun, while playing familiar and popular tunes that keep a crowd on their feet. Students will learn the fundamentals of this type of ensemble, in preparation for high school pep and marching band.

Full Orchestra, Band, or Choir – All students enrolled in the Orchestra, Band, or Choir programs will be automatically enrolled in their full ensemble. These groups strive to play a diverse array of music that can challenge experienced players while remaining accessible to beginners.

* Advanced Orchestra, Band, or Choir – These groups cover advanced topics in ensemble performance and expand upon previously learned skills.  The repertoire is more challenging than that of the full ensembles and demands students with higher levels of experience. The advanced ensembles play a wide variety of musical genres that strive to challenge students and create a greater musical understanding of more complex skills and themes. In addition to refining individual techniques, more emphasis is placed on advanced performance ensemble skills.

  • Advanced Orchestra – Open to orchestral string players with at least 3 years ensemble experience.
  • Advanced Band – Open to woodwind, brass, and percussion players with at least 2 years ensemble experience.
  • Advanced Choir – Open to singers with at least 2 years ensemble experience.

* Chamber Orchestra – Open to advanced students with at least 5 years playing experience. Chamber Orchestra students will explore a range of styles from Classical to contemporary while focusing on skills particular to small-group performance such as communication, conductor-less leadership, cuing, listening, balance, and blend.

* Vocal Technique – Choral musicians not interested in the Ukulele or Guitar Ensemble may sign up for a master class. This ensemble will help students refine their vocal tone, articulation, and will introduce them to new and varied literature. Each vocal technique ensemble will be paired with an introductory instrument class.

Musical Theater – New to Last Chance Music Camp is an anticipated ensemble exploring the exciting (and popular) world of musical theater. Students will learn how the combination of singing and acting shaped the course of music history, and they will explore literature from a variety of theatrical traditions.