Music Composition Explorations

Composition students at summer camp

Part of Summer Music Intensive Week


Musically-advanced high school students – be challenged and inspired during this full-day instrumental composition intensive led  by internationally-recognized/ award-winning Mason School of Music professor, composer-conductor Mark Camphouse. Students will share creative ideas, hone their skills, and participate in performances and discussions of original works, plus they will enhance their knowledge of music history and theory through daily structured listening sessions.


IMPORTANT: In order to best evaluate a student’s preparedness for this program, all registrants must send one letter of recommendation and a sample of one musical composition to:   Mark Camphouse,


Ages:  13 – 18 years
Dates:  July 31 – Aug 4, 2017
Times:  9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
Tuition:  $425 (optional room & board add $640 – see below)
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, Performing Arts Building


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Aftercare is available until 6:00 pm for $90/week for commuter students.
Add it to your cart after registering for this program but before checkout.

Beginner level composition students should enroll in our Intro to Music Composition workshop, July 17-21, 2017!


Students have the option to stay in on-campus housing and experience a week of campus life, with special evening activities included, while gaining new friendships with other like-minded artistic students. Added cost = $640
Learn More & Register

Whether you live near or far, here’s your chance to experience university life at Mason! Students ages 13-18 can enjoy on-campus housing accommodations and meals, along with special evening activities. Students are fully supervised all week, with both male and female RA’s in housing. Rooms are double occupancy (linens and wi-fi included), and 3 meals a day are provided. Check in is Sunday, July 30th between 3:00 – 5:00 pm, and students will check out Friday morning and be ready to depart immediately after the conclusion of the program in the afternoon. Dinner is included on check-in day (Sunday), and breakfast and lunch are included on the last day (Friday).

To register, you MUST add both the instructional camp AND the Summer Residential program to your cart during checkout.

Register Now

IMPORTANT: No refunds can be given for the Summer Residential option after April 1, 2017.


camphouse_headshot Director/ Instructor:  Mark Camphouse
Email questions to
Read about Mr. Camphouse

A product of the rich cultural life of Chicago, composer-conductor Mark Camphouse was born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1954. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Northwestern University where he studied conducting with John P. Paynter, composition with Alan Stout, and trumpet with the late Vincent Cichowicz. A scholarship from the prestigious Civic Orchestra of Chicago (Training Orchestra of the Chicago Symphony) enabled Camphouse to study trumpet privately for two years with legendary Chicago Symphony Principal Trumpet Emeritus, Adolph Herseth.

Camphouse began composing at an early age, with the Colorado Philharmonic premiering his First Symphony when he was 17. His 25 published works for wind band (Alfred, Kjos, Southern, and TRN Music Companies) have received widespread critical acclaim and are performed widely in the US and abroad. Many may be heard on the Albany, Citadel and Summit labels. His compositions have been performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall-Chicago, Royal Albert Hall-London, and conferences of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, Music Educators National Conference, American Bandmasters Association, and Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Principal commissions include those by the John P. Paynter Foundation, William D. Revelli Foundation, Bands of America, Inc., The United States Army Band, The United States Marine Band, Northshore Concert Band, and some of America’s finest college, high school, and community bands.

Mr. Camphouse has served as a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician in 42 states, Canada and Europe. He was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1999 and has served as coordinator of the National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project since 2000. He conceived and edited the unique four-volume book series for GIA Publications, Composers on Composing for Band. He was featured in a nationally broadcast interview on NPR’s “Weekend America,” focusing on his composition entitled A Movement for Rosa honoring late Civil Rights Heroine Rosa Parks, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her single act of courage sparking the modern Civil Rights movement.

Camphouse is Professor and Associate Director of the School of Music at George Mason University where he conducts the wind symphony and teaches courses in conducting and composition. Other principal artistic, administrative, and educational positions he has held include serving as Music Director and Conductor of the New Mexico Music Festival at Taos Symphony Orchestra (1977-1982), Music Division Head of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts (1985-1989), Acting Dean of Music of New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida during the 1998-99 academic year, and Director of Bands at Radford University in Virginia from 1984-2006.

He won the 15th Annual National Band Association Composition Competition in 1991, received the 1991 Radford University Dedmon Award for Professorial Excellence (Radford’s highest faculty honor), and attained regional finalist status in the prestigious White House Fellowship Competition in 1992. Virginia Governor Mark Warner presented Professor Camphouse with a 2002 Outstanding Faculty Award, sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. This award is the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities for demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and public service.


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