This summer, Southwestern Seminary’s School of Church Music will provide two opportunities for youth to enrich their musical talents through on-campus, weeklong music camps. These camps will serve the seminary’s goal of preaching the Word and reaching the world because through them, young men and women will be trained to use their musical giftedness as a testimony unto the Lord throughout the uttermost regions of the world.

Leo Day, dean of the School of Church Music, says, “One of my goals here is to make sure that every student, upon graduation, has arrived at a place with their art and their giftedness that they can do those things as skillfully as they can so that it releases them to worship and to lead others in worship.” Citing the School of Church Music’s mantra, Day concludes, “We train all skillfully to perform masterfully so that we worship passionately.”

The first camp will take place June 6-10 and will offer specialized training for voice, piano, organ, guitar, composition and instrumental. These latter three categories are new this year, added by popular demand. As stated on the seminary website, this camp is “dedicated to the musical, spiritual and professional enrichment of each student by providing an environment filled with great music-making opportunities led by a professional Christian faculty.”

The camp is open to high school students, who will spend the week in daily private lessons with Southwestern faculty in their area of interest as well as classes in music theory and worship. Each afternoon, campers will also participate in a movement class, featuring, among other things, acting drills.

“Sometimes we’re so busy working on our craft that we never get a chance to work on the presentation of that; the other side of learning your music,” Day explains. “What do you look like when you are performing? What should you look like? How do you emote this type of song versus that type of song? How do you communicate with an audience? How do you not alienate an audience? It’s a great class.”

At the end of the camp, parents and friends are invited to attend a recital that highlights the skills campers have learned throughout the week. “We’re trying to inform every aspect of musical education,” Day says in regard to the comprehensiveness of the experience. “Boot camp for musicians … that’s music camp.”

The second camp takes place July 11-16, and its focus will be all-state worship choir. This camp is designed for youth (ages 12-19) from across the state of Texas to learn to sing skillfully unto the Lord in a choral setting. As the seminary’s website explains, “The music we sing has the power to shape our faith, and we want to help students cultivate their voices in a healthy way.”

Campers will receive daily classes in worship and music theory, and the repertoire of songs they will learn includes a wide variety of choral music, from spirituals and folk music to Gospel and contemporary styles. Like the other music camp, this camp will conclude with a final concert on Southwestern’s campus that parents can attend.

The cost per camper at each music camp is $250. Scholarships are available upon request (contact Fran De Wysockie at fdewysockie@swbts.edu). To learn more about these camps, including how to register, visit swbts.edu/musiccamp