Summer at the Conservatory is Hot Hot Hot!

The Conservatory heats up in the summertime! Our Academy’s summer programs provide exciting workshops for middle school and high school students, as well as in-depth training for aspiring professionals and established-career performing artists.

In addition to the Conservatory’s traditional summer offerings, this year we offer something new, the UMKC Percussion Workshop. The Conservatory’s Nick Petrella, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Percussion and Director of Education for Sabian Ltd., talks about the thrilling new workshop.

What makes it especially exciting?

This is the first time for the percussion workshop, and we’re excited to have middle and high school percussionists on campus to learn from UMKC faculty and guest teachers —AND perform a finale concert so their families can hear how much we’ve accomplished in only two-and-a-half days!

What will percussionists learn at the workshop?

Proper playing techniques on a variety of percussion instruments and how to become sensitive musicians by participating in rehearsals, and nine different clinics throughout the workshop. Everything they learn can be put into practice when they return to their bands and orchestras next school year.

What kind of music will participants perform?

In the clinics, different excerpts and styles will be addressed, but percussion ensemble repertoire will be performed on the finale concert.

If there were one thing that you wanted to let young people know about attending this type of workshop, what would it be?

If they are interested in percussion and want to learn a lot in a relaxed and fun setting, they should join us!

UMKC Percussion Workshop (May 31 – June 2, 2017) provides students in high school (Grades 9 – 12) and middle school (Grades 6 – 8) the opportunity to hone their technical skills and improve their musicianship by working with UMKC Percussion faculty and guest artists. Teachers will present a variety of master classes and conduct rehearsals in preparation for the finale percussion ensemble concert to showcase the repertoire learned in the workshop. If you’re a percussionist who wants to grow as a musician —and have fun doing it — register today!

Advanced Choral Conducting Workshop (June 1 – 3, 2017) is a workshop focusing on conducting technique for the choral conductor. Current high school and university faculty as well as graduate students in conducting are welcome to apply. Conducting spots are limited to 12 participants.

Kansas City Saxophone Workshop (June 11 – 15, 2017) gives high school students (Grades 9 – 12) the opportunity to study with renowned saxophone performers and instructors. Workshop sessions are designed to help students discover and realize their full artistic potential while building technique, studying solo classical literature, and learning the fundamentals of jazz style and improvisation. Students will also perform in saxophone quartets and large saxophone ensembles coached by the distinguished faculty. Whether you’re looking to make All-State Band, prepare for college auditions, or are just trying to improve, this workshop is for you!

Composition Workshop (June 18 – 23, 2017) Composers will broaden their horizons and hone their craft in this mix of classes and small group sessions with UMKC composition faculty. This exciting, week-long experience helps young composers find their creative voices while improving their musical skills and joining the community of composers and new music lovers. Participants in our standard track will have their compositions critiqued and discussed with distinguished faculty, allowing each composer to grow artistically while creating new music. Focal areas on composition pedagogy, compositional improvisation, and electronic music are also available for more experienced composers.

Kansas City Conducting Symposium (June 18 – 23, 2017) is an inspirational program for instrumental conductors (orchestral and wind ensemble) wanting to improve at the art and skill of conducting. In its 10-year history, college and university faculty, conductors in the schools, as well as graduate students and upper-division undergraduates studying conducting have attended.

UMKC Jazz Camp (June 25 – 29, 2017) Steeped in the rich jazz history of Kansas City, the UMKC Jazz Camp brings world-renowned performers and jazz educators to Kansas City to work with talented young instrumentalists ages 12 and up. Jazz Camp co-directors Bobby Watson and Dan Thomas and distinguished clinicians provide insight and inspiration to student combos in a welcoming environment. Participants form lasting friendships as they delve deep into jazz in intensive combo rehearsals and coaching sessions. Daily master classes with Jazz Camp faculty, theory and improvisation classes, and frequent faculty performances provide a well-rounded experience that touches on all aspects of jazz performance and history. Jazz Camp participants improve technical and improvisational skills, and aural acuity while studying the standards of the past and new, innovative literature. All instruments are welcome. The UMKC Jazz Camp concludes with a public performance by the student combos.

UMKC Double Reed Institute (June 27 – July 1, 2017) The UMKC Double Reed Institute provides high school students (Grades 9 – 12) the opportunity to work with UMKC double reed faculty, play chamber music, learn the craft of reed-making, and perform. Double reed (oboe and bassoon) students will benefit from learning to play music in a variety of settings including master classes, lessons and chamber music. All students will also have the opportunity to learn to make their own reeds in dedicated reed making classes.

Glenda Brown Choreography Project (July 16 – 28, 2017) offers choreographers and dancers a phenomenal opportunity to explore and develop both technique and artistry.


For more information about the UMKC Conservatory: conservatory.umkc.edu. For more information about summer workshops: conservatory.umkc.edu/festivals.

–Jessica Riggins

Photos courtesy UMKC Conservatory

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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