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July 16 - 21
2018
Happy String Players
Home of Mountains & Strings Chamber Music Retreat
Chamber Music
There's nothing like music in the great outdoors.
Violinists & Violists Can Co-Exist
Outdoor Recreation
String Faculty
Founders
Free Outdoor Concerts
Frequently Asked Questions

Q - Is my son/daughter going to be musically challenged at this music camp?

A - Since our string quartet coaches and orchestra conductors are artists of the highest level, who attended the best music schools in the world, and who are regular performers on the concert stage, and/or educators of the best music programs in the nation, the answer is yes.  Students of the highest abilities have attended this camp and have found not only a musical challenge, but have gained inspiration, and lifelong friends and mentors in the process.

Q - Is this music camp for child prodigies only?

A - No, Although some of the students who have attended over the years have fit this description, most have not.  We seek developing violin, viola, cello, and bass players that are dedicated, diligent, hardworking, and that love music.  If a student is not an advanced player, but fits the adjectives listed above, we usually accept them, because we know that this music camp is exactly what they need to help them make years worth of progress in a short time.  We can usually match their level with other students close to their same age.

Q - How long do the excerpts need to be for the audition, and should I play two entire pieces of music?

A - They need only be excerpts of a few lines of music for each example.  If the recording quality is good, we can tell how advanced an applicant is in just a few seconds. We don't care if there's a mistake in the recording--we want to hear how you really play.  We seldom make fun of students' auditions at skit night.

Q - What is the moral atmosphere like at your music camp?

A - We expect as high or higher moral behavior at our music camp as any other music camp or music workshop in the world.  We explain it to the students, we expect it, and the students come through.  Over the years, we have succeeded in maintaining this high quality moral atmosphere, and we won't compromise in the future.  With plenty of leadership and an intense schedule, the occasion for straying from this pattern would be very unlikely.

Q - How should we make the audition recording?

A - With technology as it is these days, there are many ways in which a good recording can be made.  We hope you'll choose the easiest way for you.   Some easy ways to record yourself are: Computer/Web Cam, Microphone plugged into the computer, Camcorder, Camera that records video, Cell Phone Camera, IPhone, IPod, Android devices, and more.  We urge you not to use tape recorders, although we can still listen to them in our van.  We don't mind receiving CDs, DVDs, but we have no ways of watching  video tapes anymore, and we especially don't mind if you upload sound or video files to Youtube or some other video sharing website including your own family blog or website.  Email is always acceptable.  The sound files need not be video, but can be.  We also ask that you (not your teacher) play on the recording.

Q - What time will check-in be on Monday?

A - Usually between 1:00PM or 2:00PM at Harriman State Park.

Q - When and how will I receive my information packet?

A - When we feel like sending it to you (Just kidding, usually a week or so before it starts), and via email.  It will include important information about checking in and what to bring.

Q - How will I know if I've been accepted to Mountains & Strings?

A - Assume you have been accepted unless you receive news otherwise.  Remember, we want you to come and have the time of your life.  We may have an awesome music camp, but we're not snobby about it. You are the reason we do it.

Q - What time will the retreat be over on Saturday?

A - When the chamber music stops, the camp is over.  This usually happens at about 8:30PM, Saturday night.

Q - What do we do when it's over and we live far away?

A - Go camp overnight at a nearby campground or stay in a hotel or cabin in Island Park.  If these don't work, drive all night to get home.  Your excited teenager will keep you awake.

Q - My child is only 12 years old. Could he/she still attend this summer?

A - Although the focus of Mountains & Strings is chamber music, the social aspect is also very important.  If you feel your 12 year old is mature enough musically and emotionally to hang out with teenagers then by all means, let's get them signed up.

Q - Why does Mountains & Strings cost so much?

A - Actually, we dare you to compare the price of Mountains & Strings with the price (including room and board) with other youth music camps, chamber music programs, quartet camps, violin, viola, cello, bass workshops of similar length and magnitude.  You will not only find the our price is reasonable, but actually would be considered inexpensive.  We would love to make it cheaper, but because of the limited time and space we have in the most beautiful place in the world, we are forced to charge what we charge.

Q - What is your refund policy?

A - We don't give refunds.  If you decide not to come after having paid the tuition, then we put the money you paid into the Mountains & Strings Scholarship fund.

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