The Orchestra Program at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is designed to challenge string students of all proficiency levels. Students will be grouped by ability within one of three orchestras after submitting a placement video prior to the camp session. Our orchestra conducting staff selects a challenging repertoire for each level of ensemble, featuring works by traditional and contemporary composers including Grieg, Telemann, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi Schumann, Vaughan Williams, Dvorak, Elgar, Ireland, Bruch, DeFalla, and Mendelssohn.
Students receive five hours of intensive daily full rehearsals, sectionals, and technique classes. Students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of interest while at camp. Students also have the opportunity to attend Summer Arts Festival performances, as well as participate in recreation, camp activities, and attend arts-focused educational events in the evening.
The High School Orchestra Program (sessions 1 and 2) in Central Camp consists of four student orchestras: The Blue Lake Camerata, Masterworks Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and Concert Orchestra.
The Blue Lake Camerata, formerly known as the Advanced Chamber Orchestra, offers advanced string players in sessions 1 and 2 a professional orchestra experience. Camerata members rehearse daily with Blue Lake’s faculty and staff in the Summer Arts Festival Orchestra and perform significant works of standard repertoire on the Saturday evening Blue Lake Public Radio worldwide broadcast for the radio audience and an audience of 1,500 in Stewart Shell. The Camerata also performs its own recital on the final Sunday of the session. In addition to ensemble and sectional rehearsals, members’ educational day includes private lessons and assistance with their music from distinguished faculty, conductors, and guest artists. Daily individual practice time is built in the schedule.
The Masterworks Orchestra challenges advanced high school musicians with original, unedited, standard orchestral repertoire by studying and performing one major work during the 12-day session. The Session 1 Masterworks Orchestra will perform the Kalinnikov Symphony No. 1 in G minor. The Session 2 Masterworks Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a. Student strings are selected via video audition just prior to arrival at camp.
Session 1 Camerata, Dr. Alexander Jiménez, conductor
Grieg, Holberg Suite, Op. 40; Piazzolla/Williams; Libertango
Session 1 Festival Orchestra, Dr. Alexander Jiménez, conductor
Price, Ethiopia’s Shadow in America; Sibelius, Symphony No. 1
Session 2 Camerata, Dr. Rafael Jiménez, conductor
To be selected from the following: John Ireland, A Downland Suite; Safford, Folk Tunes Air and Fiddler’s Fury; Walton, Two Pieces from Henry V; Bernstein/Longfield, Danzon from Fancy Free
Session 2 Festival Orchestra, Dr. Rafael Jiménez, conductor
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5, E minor, Op. 64; Jihyun-Kim, A Tramp in the Assembly Line
Members of the Blue Lake Camerata are selected via video audition and notified in the Spring, with preferred placement auditions due by February 28th, and second round auditions due by March 28th. Students will be notified of placement within two weeks of their audition date. Significant scholarship aid toward camp tuition is available for those who qualify. To submit your audition, complete the scholarship application at Scholarships.
- Include 3 scales (at least three octaves), using a variety of bowings and articulations. Include at least 1 minor scale.
- Include 2 movements, accompanied or unaccompanied, from current repertoire that demonstrate at least two contrasting styles.
- Include the orchestral excerpts, found at Placements.
Strings who are enrolled as Orchestra majors in Sessions 1 or 2 are automatically considered for Masterworks placement once they have submitted their pre-arrival placement video prior to the camp session.
Student winds and percussion are selected via video audition and notified earlier in the Spring, with preferred placement auditions due by February 28th, and second round auditions due by March 28th. Significant scholarship aid toward camp tuition is available for winds/percussion who qualify. To submit your audition, complete the scholarship application at Scholarships.
Instrumentation for Session 1, Kalinnikov: 2 flute, 2 oboe, 2 clarinet, 2 bassoon, 4 horn, 2 trumpet, 3 trombone, tuba, timpani, harp
Instrumentation for Session 2, Tchaikovsky: 2 flute, 2 oboe, 2 clarinet, 2 bassoon, 4 horn, 2 trumpet, 3 trombone, tuba, timpani, auxiliary percussion, harp
- Include 4 scales (full range of instrument), using a variety of articulations. Include at least 1 minor scale, and the chromatic scale.
- Include 1 selection, accompanied or unaccompanied, from current repertoire that demonstrates at least two contrasting styles.
- Include 2 Orchestral Excerpts for your instrument. Consult your private instructor or teacher for assistance in locating appropriate excerpts. http://orchestraexcerpts.com/ is a useful resource.
- Percussionists: Audition recordings should include three major scales the full range of any mallet instrument, and a demonstration of proficiency on snare drum, timpani, and any mallet instrument through appropriate exercises, etudes, orchestral excerpts, or solo literature. Suitable excerpts can be found here: http://www.orchestralibrary.com/reftables/audrep.html
The High School Symphony and Concert Orchestras provide student members a range of challenging orchestral repertoire. Student strings are placed in these ensembles based upon a pre-arrival placement video. Student winds and percussion interested in orchestra must initially enroll in “Band” and are also selected based on their pre-arrival placement videos. Student winds and percussion ranking the highest in their sections may choose Orchestra or Band. Those choosing Orchestra will perform in two orchestra wind sections (symphony and concert) and will participate in sectionals, technique classes, and limited chamber music ensembles as scheduling permits.
The Intermediate Orchestra Program (sessions 3 and 4) in Central Camp consists of four student orchestras: Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, and two String Orchestras. Each of the Intermediate orchestras provide students with a range of challenging orchestral repertoire. While repertoire for concert and string orchestras will be announced on opening day of the session, the Session 3 Symphony Orchestra program will include movements from Holst’s First Suite in E-flat, Op. 28 No. 1, and Elgar’s Enigma Variations, Op. 36; the Session 4 Symphony Orchestra program will include Sibelius’ Andante Festivo, Rossini’s Italian Girl in Algiers Overture, and Daehn’s With Quiet Courage. Students are placed in ensembles based upon their pre-arrival placement video. Student winds/percussion ranking the highest in their sections may choose Orchestra or Band. These choosing Orchestra will perform in two orchestra wind sections (symphony and concert) and will participate in sectionals, technique classes, and limited chamber music ensembles as scheduling permits.
Blue Lake’s Junior Orchestra Program in Camp Bernstein offers a string orchestra program for younger students with less musical experience. For more details, see Junior Camp.
Blue Lake International
During the summer season, each orchestra student will have the opportunity to apply for the International Youth Symphony Orchestra, which will tour Europe during the following summer as part of Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program.
Orchestra Conductors 2022
Blue Lake Camerata – Dr. Alex Jimenez, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Masterworks Orchestra – John Riegel, Hilliard Darby High School, Hilliard, OH
Symphony Orchestra – Willie McAllister, retired, Farmington Hills, MI
Concert Orchestra – Jessica Fiedorowicz, South Haven Public Schools, South Haven, MI
Blue Lake Camerata – Dr. Raphael Jimenez, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, OH
Masterworks Orchestra – Bryan Kolk, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Symphony Orchestra – Keith Dodson, Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS
Concert Orchestra – Dr. Catalina Barraza, San Jose’ State University, San Jose’, California
Symphony Orchestra – James Roach, retired, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Portage, MI
Concert Orchestra – James Gross, Grosse Pointe South High School, Grosse Pointe Park, MI
Marek String Orchestra – Suren Petrosyan, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR
Symphony Orchestra – Pete Lograsso, Northbrook School District, Westchester, IL
Concert Orchestra – Dave Farquhar, Villa Park School District, Lombard, IL