Music Composition Explorations

Composition students at summer camp

Part of Summer Music Intensive Week!



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Musically advanced high school students possessing evidence of creative ability will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired during this full-day composition intensive class. Led by award-winning composer-conductor Mark Camphouse, students will share creative ideas, hone their skills, and participate in performances and discussions of their original works. Additionally, they will enhance their knowledge of music history and theory through daily structured listening sessions.

Beginner-level composition students should enroll in our Intro to Music Composition workshop for ages 13-18!

IMPORTANT: All registrants must send one letter of recommendation and a sample of one musical composition to Professor Mark Camphouse,

Questions from parents and/or students about this class are welcomed by Professor Camphouse.


Ages:  13 – 18
Dates:  June 14 – 18, 2021
Times:  9:00 am – 4:00 pm (M-F)
Tuition:  $445
Location: In-Person: Mason Fairfax Campus, deLaski Performing Arts Building
————-  Online: Zoom (Synchronous and concurrent session with in-person participants)
*After Care not available for Summer 2021


Sample Schedule May Include

Lecture and Discussions
Special Topics and Presentations
Individual and Small Group Check-ins with Professor Camphouse
Group Wrap-up and Review


Special Topics

——Music Intensives Instructors Faculty Recital
——Army Field Band Brass Quintet
——Yoga for the Performing Artist with Kathy Mulcahy
——Conducting Clinic with Mark Camphouse and Lucas Kremer
——Final Sharing Concert






In-Person Option Registration closed.

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Online Option Registration closed.

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Director/ Guest Speaker:  Mark Camphouse
Mason School of Music Professor
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 received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Northwestern University where he studied composition with the late Alan Stout, conducting with John P. Paynter, and trumpet with Vincent Cichowicz. A scholarship from the Civic Orchestra of Chicago enabled Camphouse to study trumpet privately for two years with legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet, Adolph Herseth.

Camphouse began composing at an early age, with the Colorado Philharmonic premiering his First Symphony when he was 17. His 30 published works for wind band have received widespread critical acclaim and are performed frequently in the US and abroad in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Symphony Center-Chicago, Royal Albert Hall-London, and conferences of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, American Bandmasters Association, and the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. Principal commissions include those by the William D. Revelli Foundation, The US Army Band, The US Marine Band, Northshore Concert Band, Tara Winds, and Fairfax Symphony Orchestra. Recent guest conducting engagements include those with the Houston Symphony Brass Ensemble, United States Air Force Band, NAfME All-National Honor Concert Band, and Banda de Conciertos de San Jose (Costa Rica).

Mr. Camphouse has served as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician in 43 states, Canada, Europe, and China. He was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1999 and has served as founding coordinator of the National Band Association Young Composer Mentor Project since 2000. He conceived and edited the unique 4-volume book series for GIA Publications, Composers on Composing for Band. His 5th book with GIA Publications (Whatsoever Things … The Life and Teachings of John P. Paynter) was published in 2014.

The 2017-2018 academic year marks his 40th year of full-time teaching in higher education. In 2006, Professor Camphouse joined the faculty of George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia) where he serves as Director of Concert Bands, conductor of the wind symphony, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in composition, conducting, orchestration, and analysis. Other principal artistic, teaching, and administrative positions have included serving as Music Director and Conductor of the New Mexico Music Festival at Taos Symphony Orchestra, Associate Director and Music Division Head of the Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts, Acting Dean of Music of New World School for the Arts in Miami, and Interim Director of the George Mason University School of Music.

Professor Camphouse attained regional finalist status in the prestigious White House Fellowship Competition in 1993. In 2002, he received an Outstanding Faculty Award sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, the Commonwealth’s highest honor for faculty at Virginia’s colleges and universities for demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and public service. In 2011, Camphouse received the Kappa Kappa Psi Distinguished Service to Music Award in recognition of and appreciation for valuable contributions to the growth and development of the modern college/university band in the field of composition. In 2015, Camphouse received the Outstanding Contributor to Music Award from Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity. Mark Camphouse has been married to Elizabeth Ann Curtis (Executive Director of the Mason Community Arts Academy) since 1982. They have twin daughters, Beth and Briton.





“I loved doing the creative compositions!” – Music Composition Explorations 2020 Participant

See More Testimonials

“I loved working with Professor Camphouse!” – Music Composition Explorations 2017 Participant

“My favorite part was the teacher and the other students.” – Music Composition Explorations 2017 Participant

“I really enjoyed the actual composition class every morning – discussions were great!” – Music Composition Explorations 2017 Participant




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