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Orchestra Camp

Join us for our 30th Year!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Encore Camp?

Encore is an overnight orchestra camp for students in grades 5-10 housed at Spivey Hall at Clayton State University. 2019 is our 30th summer! Around 200 students attend Encore Orchestra camp, and they are divided into three orchestras (students are grouped by ability level). Our staff members are the most well respected and experienced orchestra directors in Georgia and are all certified teachers. Also, Encore Choir Camp is held the same week and all social activities are shared, so if you have a friend in choir, bring them along!

Will my child be safe at camp?

Safety at camp is our number one priority. Students are closely accounted for and supervised at all times. Students are never allowed to walk anywhere alone, and the dormitory, dining hall, and rehearsal sites are secured buildings. No one outside of Encore Camp has access to our dormitory. All social activities are well supervised. The staff to camper ratio is approximately 1 to 10. The Clayton State gates close at midnight and campus security officers are on duty 24/7.

Where will my child stay?

We will be housed in Laker Hall. Students are assigned four to a room based on gender, roommate requests and age. Each room has four private bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a living area, and a kitchen (please see the floorplan). Boys and girls halls are separated. Students must bring their own linens (you will receive a “What to Bring” list). The dorms are locked 24 hours a day and only Encore and Clayton State staff have keys. Students will be given a key card to their assigned room. Staff will be living on the hall with students.

Who will my child's roommate be?

You are welcome to request a specific friend or friends on your registration form. If the requested roommate does not register for camp, your child will be assigned other roommates. Campers are matched with someone of the same gender, same age, and same instrument. Orchestra and choir students are welcome to room together.

What is the food like? What about vegetarians and food allergies?

We will eat our meals in the Lakeside Dining Hall. The food is all you care to eat, and there are several choices at each meal. The Clayton State Dining Hall staff is very accommodating for students with food allergies. Students are encouraged to eat a balanced diet at camp and stay away from too much soda and sugary snacks. The dorm rooms have a kitchen with a fridge so picky eaters or those with dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own food/snacks.

How much musical instruction will my child receive a day?

Students will have two orchestra rehearsals each day, and a master class or chamber music ensembles. Students generally play their instruments for several hours each day, but with enough breaks to avoid fatigue, and they have plenty of recreational time as well. In the evenings we have performances for the students to enjoy, and on the last night we have a dance.

What are the recreational activities?

Students can swim, play beach volleyball, go to the coffee shop or bookstore, play video games in the CSU Student Activities Center, hang out on their hall or rest during recreation time. In the evening, students will enjoy movie night, a staff recital, a student chamber music recital, and a dance on the final night. We will also have a pizza party and an ice cream social!

When is arrival and departure?

Registration is staggered by instrument on the first day of camp. Please see the camp documents (published in early June) for the exact time. Departure begins after your child’s performance on Saturday afternoon. Three orchestras will perform, starting at 2pm. Then you can go back to the dorm and collect your belongings and head home with your exhausted and happy musician!

What paperwork will need to be submitted?

About a month before camp, you will receive the medical form and camp guidelines, which will need to be signed and brought to camp registration. You will also want to print the directions and bring them to campus with you. On the medical form, please disclose ANY information that would help us to care for your child, including emotional needs or special education services.

What does my child need to bring to camp?

About a month before camp, you will receive a specific packing list. Your child will need their instrument and music stand, bed and bath linens, a swimsuit and towel, an umbrella, and a number of other items listed on the "what to bring" document. We have no problem with cell phones, snacks, iPods, etc. Your child may use their phone at any appropriate time to stay in contact with you (although don’t be surprised if they’re having too much fun to call!).

What about medicine?

The camp nurse will administer all medication. Students are not allowed to keep medication in their rooms at camp. All medication must be submitted at registration in a zip lock bag and must be in the original container- NO pill boxes, loose pills, unlabeled bottles, etc. Please NO large bottles as we have to carry the medicine all over campus and space is limited. Parents must send any supplies that may be needed during camp, including feminine products.

My child has never played an “audition” before!

There are three levels of orchestras at Encore, so we need to assess your child’s skills in order to place them into the appropriate orchestra. The placement audition is a very low pressure, informal playing test. Students are asked to play one or two scales and then sight read a line. It takes our experienced staff very little time to appropriately place your child. We do our best to ensure that all students are challenged in their orchestra.

What are the orchestra “levels”?

There are three orchestras each summer at Encore, each with approximately 65 students. All conductors are accustomed to working with ensembles of this size (and larger). The highest level orchestra is called “Vivace” and performs level IV-V music. The Vivace Orchestra also performs one or two pieces with the Encore Choir Camp. “Presto” is the second ensemble and plays III-IV music. “Allegro” is the third orchestra and performs level I-II music. On the afternoon of the concert, Allegro performs first, then Presto, then Vivace with Choir.

How do I register and make payment?

Please see the tab on our website for this year’s camp. You may use the online registration form or mail a completed registration form to the address provided on the brochure.  Please make sure you write legibly, especially in the e-mail address field, as all communication will be sent electronically. Also, you will want to allow any e-mails from to be delivered to your inbox.

How much is tuition?

Tuition paid before June 1st is $550. On or after June 1st, tuition is $570. On or after July 1st, tuition is $585 (if we still have space left in camp). A $100 deposit is required at the time of registration.

Can I pay in small installments throughout the year?

We can accept no more than two payments (a deposit and a final payment) for our bookkeeping purposes.

Do you offer a day camp option?

We do not offer a day camp, because our activities go well into the evening hours. Encore Camp is for students who are comfortable staying away from home for a few nights. Also, we prefer to have our campers with us 100% of the time so that our staff is not overwhelmed by students coming and going.

Can my child leave camp for a few hours here or there for another activity (sport, church, family in town, online class, etc.)?

No, we prefer that you do not ask to take your child away from camp for any reason. Our staff works extremely hard during the week, and to add another duty for your child to come and go takes away what little free time they may have. We are extremely careful in student supervision, and students coming and going makes the overall camp supervision more difficult.

Am I allowed on campus during camp?

No, parents or other relatives/friends are not allowed to visit, but you may drop something off for your child at the dorm desk. Please make deliveries in a bag with your child's name and counselor clearly labeled.

Can my child use their cell phone at camp? Some camps don’t allow phones.

Yes, we have too many campers to prohibit cell phones. However, your child should only use their phone at appropriate times. Please help us keep your child from getting homesick by avoiding frequent cell phone communication with your child.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes, but they are given to outstanding campers to return the next year, and to orchestra directors to give to students of their choice as an award. We do not offer individual financial assistance.

What ages of children will attend Encore Orchestra camp?

Children of any age are welcome at camp, but they should feel comfortable staying away from home for several nights. The majority of our students are middle school and high school students. Due to varying playing abilities, your child may be placed in an orchestra with students of many different ages.

My child wants to learn a stringed instrument. Do you take beginners?

We do not start true beginners at camp. Students should have played at least one school year in an orchestra or private studio to come to Encore Camp.

Do I need to provide an instrument for my child at camp?

We do not provide any instruments at camp. Students who play a school owned instrument must make arrangements with the orchestra director to borrow the instrument for camp. Be sure to contact the school orchestra director well in advance of camp, because it may be difficult to arrange pickup in the summer months. Your child’s instrument should be in perfect working condition (all four strings, working bow, all necessary accessories such as shoulder pad, rock stop, etc.)

If you have a question that was not answered here, please e-mail us at

Encore Orchestra Camp
July 9-13, 2019
at Clayton State University

Now accepting registrations for 2019 Camp!

Tuition is due by June 1, 2019.
Encore Orchestra Camp is held in conjunction with Encore Choir Camp. Orchestra and Choir Camp members stay in the same dorms and enjoy all meals and social events together!

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