Summer Music Workshops

Eighteenth Annual Summer Music Workshops

2015 Workshops will be held at the Community School in Sun Valley.

  •   Premier Program (advanced workshops):  August 1-8
  •   General SMW Program:  August 3-7

For more information, please contact the Sun Valley Summer Symphony Music Education Office at or (208) 578-5464 with questions.

Program History

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony (SVSS) annually hosts the Sun Valley Summer Music Workshops during the first week of its season for elementary, middle and high school students. Originally conceived as a program for Blaine County music students in 1998, the Workshops have grown from 35 students in its first year to an enrollment of over 200 students currently. Classes are taught by Sun Valley Summer Symphony and musicians and regional music instructors.

Core Courses

The Summer Music Workshops offer a variety of course options for students of all ability levels and most musical disciplines.  Students are placed in groups based on their age and ability based on the information provided in their applications.  Audition recordings are not required for admission to the general Summer Music Workshops Programs listed below, but students who feel a recording may assist in their placement in one of the upper level groups (i.e. SVYO, Chamber Singers, upper level piano groups) are encouraged to submit a recording. See Course Description page for more information including details regarding age levels and daily schedules for each course.

  • Prelude Strings:  Orchestra and Chamber Music for beginning string players.
  • Philharmonia: String Orchestra for intermediate-upper intermediate students.
  • Sun Valley Youth Orchestra (SVYO): String Orchestra for advanced level players.
  • Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Program: Instrument specific classes and mixed instrument ensembles for intermediate-advanced level players.
  • Piano Program: Four levels of piano instruction for beginning-advanced students.  Emphasis is on piano ensemble work. 
  • Concert Choir:  Vocal ensemble and classes for beginning-intermediate voice students.
  • Chamber Singers:  Vocal ensemble, master classes and vocal technique for upper intermediate-advanced students.

Elective Courses

The Summer Music Workshops offer a variety of electives and optional courses.  These courses are designed to give students an opportunity to expand their Workshops experience.  They are optional classes and with the exception of the Private Lesson option, they do not incur an additional fee.   There will be a minimum and a maximum enrollment for each class, so be sure to number them in your order of preference on the application form. See the Elective Courses page for more information.

Elective courses for 2015 include:

  • Private Lessons (30 or 60 minutes)
  • Chamber Music Experience
  • Improvisation
  • Composition
  • Conducting Workshop
  • Piano for non-piano majors
  • Viola for violin players
  • Careers in Music brown-bag lunch discussions  

Premier Program (Advanced Level Programs)

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony Summer Music Workshops Advanced Music Programs provide an opportunity for students in upper high school and college grades to participate in an intensive course of study in their chosen discipline.  See Advanced Level Program page for more detailed information.

Program dates: August 1-8, 2015

Space is limited in these programs and a specific application and audition recording are required.  Application forms and recording instructions are available on the website application page or by contacting the education office.

Boarding for advanced program students is available at the Community School Boarding Facility in Ketchum.  See the accommodations page for more information.

Advanced Chamber Music Program         

The Advanced Chamber Music Program provides an opportunity for students to participate in a course dedicated to the art of chamber music performance where they will be challenged to expand their knowledge and understanding of chamber music literature.  There will be a variety of performance opportunities.

Choral Scholars /Opera Workshop Program

The Choral Scholars/Opera Workshop Program is an intensive course of study for serious vocal students.  Students will participate in the SMW Chamber Singers where they will expand their leadership skills as section leaders and four students will be selected to form a quartet that will perform with the Chamber Orchestra.  In the Opera Workshop part of the program, Students will work to prepare a variety of opera scenes that they will perform on the final recital.


The Summer Music Workshops offer a variety of performing experiences for student musicians. The main performances featuring the largest number of students take place in the Sun Valley Pavilion on Friday, August 8 at 3:00 PM and 6:30 PM.  Small group and ensemble recitals, departmental recitals and the Soloist Recital all take place throughout the week of the Workshops.  Advanced Chamber Music and Opera Workshop concerts are offered on Saturday August 9 in the Sun Valley Opera House. More detailed information regarding class schedules and performances will be sent to enrolled students prior to the beginning of the Workshops.

We hope that you will consider applying for an opportunity to participate in a rewarding musical experience!


The fee for the entire Summer Music Workshop experience is $90 which includes a non-refundable $75 Registration fee and a $15 Polo Shirt fee. There are no tuition fees for the workshop classes. Each year we offer scholarships to a limited number of students. Please contact the office for scholarship information.

Concert attire consists of: Black pants or skirt of tasteful length (no mini-skirts), SMW polo shirt and black shoes.

The Registration Fee covers the entire week of classes and rehearsals and is payable upon notification of acceptance into the Workshops (late May). Meals are not included, but daily snacks are provided during breaks by generous local donors. Students who are involved in an afternoon rehearsal will be advised to bring a bag lunch.

Private lessons are offered at the Summer Music Workshops.These lessons are optional, students should request a private lesson on their registration form.  Fees should be paid at registration and not in advance as we may not be able to accommodate all requests for private lessons.


While we do not normally provide housing for SMW students, a very limited number of home stay housing situations may be available for qualified students. Please contact the office. For information regarding housing in the area please contact the SV/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce or visit their website.

Students in the Advanced Level Programs that run August 2-9 may request boarding at the Community School Residence Hall in Ketchum.  See Residence Hall information page for more information regarding boarding.