Piano Camp

Junior Piano Camp

June 16-22, 2019

Pianists will receive a daily individual lesson in a master class format, classes in piano literature, keyboard harmony and technique, and piano ensemble. In addition, students will have elective classes from which to choose (see descriptions under Junior or Senior camp headings). Piano Camp will culminate with a concluding performance celebrating each student’s accomplishments.

Do I have to submit an audition recording to participate in Piano Camp?

Students for Junior Piano Camp need only submit an application form and the tuition fee to sign up for camp. Senior camp students will need to submit an audition recording. Details will be forthcoming - check back in late January or early February.

If there is no audition recording required for Junior camp, how good should I be to make the most of my experience?

There is typically a variety of performance levels among students. For example, for Junior Camp, a student might want to be experienced enough to play music at least as difficult as Bach’s Anna Magdalena Notebook or from Schumann’s Album for the Young.

What do piano students do all day?

Students in the Piano Sessions divide their time each day between practice, masterclass-style lessons, chamber ensembles, and elective classes, as well as fun and relaxation during the lunch break and in the evenings. If you look at the sample daily schedule below, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what an average day is like.

How do the masterclass-style lessons work?

Students are divided into classes of 3-4 students which meet for one hour each day. The teacher gives a lesson for each student for 15-20 minutes of the lesson period while the other students in the class listen and participate in discussion. Everyone learns from listening to and commenting on the performances.

How much practice time will I have?

There are two hours scheduled for practice each day. You are welcome to practice during lunch and at other open times as well if you wish. Keep in mind that there may be times when other activities are scheduled for everyone in the evening and you may not be allowed to be in the music building without supervision.

What kind of pianos are available?

Nearly all of the pianos in the music facility are new Steinway or Mason and Hamlin grand pianos. There are also Steinway and Boston uprights. The piano in the Snider Recital Hall is a new Steinway concert grand.

What music should I have prepared to bring to camp?

You should be prepared with a variety of pieces at different stages of development. Usually, you should bring one or two pieces that are near performance level, one or two that are started, but not necessarily ready to perform in concert, and finally one or two pieces to start working on. This range of music should give you plenty to work on during your practice time.

Will I be performing?

Yes. The concert is Saturday afternoon (the last day of camp). You will perform the solo piece that you have worked on during camp and a piano duet (duets will be assigned the first day of camp)

What about other aspects of camp life? Evening activities? Dorm life?

Many other questions about the camp are answered on the camp FAQs page. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us by phone or email (see contact info on left side of page).

Advanced Senior Piano Camp

June 23-29, 2019

(For Senior High Pianists, age 14-18.*  Pianists aged 13 or younger - please register for Junior Camp.) Advanced Senior Piano Camp is an intensive, one-week program that runs simultaneously with SMAS Senior Camp.  It features masterclasses, performances, individual lessons, and duet chamber music for advanced pianists in senior high school.  At the conclusion of the week on Saturday, all students will perform in a studio recital/concert.

Eight outstanding pianists will be chosen based on auditions to attend the camp. Senior Division Winners of this year’s Sylvia M. Ghiglieri Piano Competition are automatically considered for placement into Advanced Senior Piano Camp and are thus exempt from sending an audition recording.  Ghiglieri winners must notify Dr. Sarah Chan, piano instructor of the Advanced Senior Piano Camp, of their intent to participate in the camp no later than May 1.  For other applicants, please note that space is limited, so please provide your application and audition recordings early.

Note to all applicants: 

  •  You must have the capacity to perform a piece at a high performance level and be ready within the five days of camp to perform at the end-of-week public recital/concert.
  • You must have the ability to sight-read music, learn notes quickly, and learn new a piece (duet) within four to five days for public performance.  For eligibility of sight-reading levels, please refer to this sample page of duet reading level which must be achieved within five days: 

Who’s eligible?

Any Pianist aged *14-18 (age at time of camp).

  • Pianists who are 13 will be considered, but may incur extra charges if they are a resident during the camp.

How to apply

  1. Upload an audition video to www.YouTube.com that fulfills the audition requirements (see instructions to follow).
  2. By May 1st, email the following under the subject heading, “SMAS-ASPC Audition: (insert Last Name, First Name)”, to Joe Mazzaferro at jmazzaferro@csustan.edu
  • Your name, age, and address
  • Your parent’s/parents’ name(s)
  • You or your parent’s telephone and email contact information
  • Your piano teacher’s name and email contact information
  • The weblink to your YouTube audition video, along with full titles/composer names of each piece and the timings at which each piece begins

Audition Video Instructions and Requirements

Create a YouTube video which shows yourself performing two pieces of contrasting style and periods.  You may submit, for example, one Classical piece and one Baroque piece, or one Baroque and Romantic piece, or one Classical piece and one Contemporary piece.  Do not submit two pieces from the same period (i.e., two pieces from the Classical period, or two pieces from the Baroque period, etc.).  Following are examples of solo pieces that would be suitable for your audition:


Bach: Prelude/Fugue from Well-Tempered Clavier, Sinfonia, Invention, Keyboard Suite (French Suite, English Suite, Partita), Italian Concerto Scarlatti, Soler: Sonata Handel: Keyboard suite


Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Clementi: movement of a sonata; fantasy; bagatelle; set of variations


Brahms: Intermezzo
Chopin: Nocturne, Prelude, Mazurka, Scherzo, Ballade, Waltz, Berceuse, EtudesSchumann: movements from character piece suites (Kinderszenen, Papillons, Abegg Variations)
Schubert: Impromptus, Moments Musicaux
Rachmaninoff: Preludes, Etudes, Moments Musicaux
Scriabin: Preludes


Debussy: Prelude; Arabesque, Suite Bergamesque; movement from Children’s Corner, Images, Estampes Prelude, Estampes
Ravel: Sonatine, Jeux d’Eaux
Bartok: Suite, Op. 14; works from Mikrokosmos Book V or VI
Prokofiev: movement from sonata
Schoenberg: Op. 11, Op. 19

If accepted - students should prepare and bring the following to camp:

  1. Two to three solo pieces: One piece should be fully learned, near-performance ready.  During the week of camp, Dr. Chan will help you refine your playing as well as work on details of the piece in order to bring your music to a high performance level by the fifth day of camp. The second piece should be something you would additionally like to work on; it need not be at a finished level upon entrance into camp. If time permits, a third piece of your choice may also be worked on at your piano lessons and masterclass.
  2. The ability to sight-read, learn notes, and perform a new piece within four-five days is required, as each pianist will be paired and assigned a duet to learn and perform. The level of reading ability for a duet will be similar to the following primo part (usually reading in two treble clefs) and secondo part (usually reading in two bass clefs) of a duet.  (Please be aware that the middle section of a duet usually entails a more difficult level of reading and playing ability).  Please refer to these links for sample levels of duet repertoire:

MozartSchubert Dvorak

Important 2019 Deadlines

By May 1st – All audition performances must be received
By May 5th  – Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status
By May 15th  – Accepted students must notify Joe Mazzaferro by email of their intent to attend camp as well as submit their printed application and payment to the cashier's office (address on application)