Music Composition Explorations

Composition students at summer camp


Part of Summer Music Intensive Week!

Musically advanced high school students will be challenged and inspired during this full-day instrumental composition intensive, directed by Mason School of Music professors and guest faculty. 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.

Distinguished American composers Dr. Frank Ticheli and Brian Balmages will join Mason Professor Mark Camphouse on Wednesday, June 19 for a special afternoon presentation for all students enrolled in Music Intensive Programs during the week of July 17-21. Students enrolled in the Composition Intensive programs will also meet as a small group with Dr. Ticheli, Mr. Balmages, and Professor Camphouse discussing the compositional process and creativity. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity!!


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:  June 17-21, 2019
Times:  9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (M-F)
Tuition:  $430 (optional room & board add $640 – see below)
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, Performing Arts Building


Register Now


Added Cost: $640

Whether you live near or far, students can add the “Summer Residential Option” and experience a week of campus life, with special evening activities included, while gaining new friendships with other like-minded artistic students. 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 (dinner is included on Sunday, and breakfast and lunch are included on Friday). Check in is Sunday, June 16th, and students will check out Friday morning and be ready to depart immediately after the conclusion of the program on Friday afternoon.  After registering for Music Composition Explorations (but before final checkout/ payment!), search for and add “Summer Residential Option” to your cart – or REGISTER HERE . IMPORTANT: No refunds can be given for the Summer Residential option after April 1, 2019.


An “Aftercare” option is available for this program from 4-6 pm for $90/week, located in Mason’s Performing Arts Building and staffed by the Academy’s Summer Staff. After registering for this program (but before final checkout/ payment!), search for “After Care”, choose the corresponding week, and add to your cart – or Register Here separately.


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


No Photo AvailableInstructor: J.P. Allgood, Mason School of Music Composition Master’s Candidate
Read about Mr. Allgood

J.P. Allgood was born and raised in Williamsburg, Virginia and his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Old Dominion University. During his time at ODU, J.P. studied composition with Dr. Andrey Kasparov and theory with Dr. Oksana Lutsyshyn. His accolades include an undergraduate research grant for the composition and performance of his Suite for String Quartet, as well as the Charles E. and Frieda O. Vogan Music Endowment Scholarship.  J.P. is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Composition at George Mason University, where he studies with Professor Mark Camphouse. He is also a Graduate Assistant in Music Theory under the supervision of Dr. Megan Lavengood. This past fall, his composition Songs of Kalbasi was chosen to be performed at the District New Music Coalition conference.


camphouse_headshot Director/ Guest Speaker:  Mark Camphouse, Mason School of Music Professor
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 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.




A special thanks to our program supporters:

GIA Logo





To register by phone or request a paper registration form, please call the Academy office at 703-993-9889.



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

See More Testimonials

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

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