Mono Lake Music and Ecology Camp

The Program

Mornings will be devoted to studying the ecology and natural history of the Mono Basin and the surrounding Sierra Nevada. Included in the week’s activities may be horseback riding, hiking in the Sierra, climbing into a volcano, a talk with a local archaeologist and swimming in a hot spring; we will discuss plant and animal adaptations to a desert climate, animal food habits and identification of local birds and animals.

In the afternoons, students will play their instruments in coached chamber groups, take private lessons, and have classes on improvisation, performance issues, and music listening. Nights will be occupied with star gazing, jam sessions, a presentation by Native American basket weaver Lucy Parker, and a nature slide show. At the end of the week, a concert will be held at the historic Mono Inn overlooking Mono Lake.

Musical Activities

Campers are asked to write their musical goals for the week which they work on during private lessons at Camp. Each day, 2-3:30 pm campers are assigned a chamber group in which to play. During practice, one of our music coaches works with the group.  Then follows an hour session on improvisation, music listening or dealing with performance anxiety.

Campers enjoy practicing in a calm environment, many times playing out on the porch surrounding 3 sides of the house.  After spending Monday and Tuesday playing through new music, Wed. is the day to decide which pieces each camper will start preparing for the Saturday performance. Each camper will perform 6 or more new pieces of music by the Saturday concert.

Music coaches live in the house with the campers who have plenty opportunity for music enrichment.  As a camper you are encouraged to ask all questions and have a very open conversation with the coaches.

Camp Location and Housing

Camp will be based at the Mono Basin home of Cole and Priscilla Hawkins (powered by solar energy). Sleeping arrangements will be bunk beds (separate rooms for girls and boys) with a shared bathroom. All bedding will be provided except towels and wash cloths. Campers will be expected to participate in daily maintenance of the camp. Home cooked meals, prepared by Linda Dore, will be provided using fresh fruits and vegetables, organically grown.

Who can attend the Camp?

This year we are accepting instrumentalists from 12-18 years of age who play at an intermediate or advanced level. Your instrument could be a bassoon, trombone, harp, cello or any other string, wind or brass or percussion

Our criteria include

  • Campers must be good sight readers
  • Campers must have good counting skills
  • Campers should have had at least 2 years of private lessons

Since the camp is limited to 8 campers we are asking that each applicant play an audition in person or by tape. Auditions should include sight reading, 3 minutes of a prepared solo, and 3 octaves of C or D Major scale. Applicants will be notified of acceptance within two weeks of the audition. The application fee will be returned if the applicant is not accepted.

Travel to the Camp

Arrangements for the trip to camp will be made after confirmation. Options are: carpooling, train, plane to Reno, or traveling with your family, who may wish to vacation in the area while you are attending camp. Possible accommodations will be suggested.

Campers should arrive between 3 and 5 pm on Sunday. Camp will end after the concert at 5pm Saturday. The house is on the south side of Hwy 167 about 9.5 miles east of Hwy 395 (north of Lee Vining, CA).

Cost is $600 which covers all meals and activities (except a $40 horseback riding fee.) Two scholarships are available, $300 from the Swift Fund and $150 from the Mono Lake Music and Ecology Camp, contact us for details and applications. Deadline for applications postmarked June 1, 2017. To receive an early-bird discount of $25 apply by May 1st.

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