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Join us for a wonderful week of music making in beautiful Chautauqua, New York!

  • Attend Chautauqua Music Camps

  • Stay in YC²-chaperoned housing

  • Enjoy meals together in the houses and dining hall

  • Attend professional concerts in the evening

  • Perform in stunning venues

  • And enjoy free time in this Victorian-era village set on Chautauqua Lake

We had a wonderful week at Chautauqua 2019!

Stay tuned for plans for 2020.

For the past eight years, Youth Chamber Connection (YC²), has made it possible for young musicians to attend Chautauqua Music Camps as a residential camper. YC² provides chaperoned-housing; all meals; and additional programming, performances, and educational activities to turn Chautauqua’s day camp into a full week of music making in this very special lakeside community which encourages the arts and lifelong learning like none other.

If you are an experienced musician (intermediate to advanced level), completing grades 7–12 this year, we hope you will sign up for this very special week. Space is limited in our YC² residential housing, so we encourage you to register soon!

YC² is a Pittsburgh-based chamber music education program administrated by Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras (TRYPO) in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO). YC² at Chautauqua Music Camps is open to students from the Pittsburgh area, as well as from elsewhere around the country, provided housing space is available and the students meet eligibility requirements.

Chautauqua hosts three music camps this week:

  • Orchestra (& Chamber) Camp

    • Orchestra (& Chamber) Camp is the camp most of our residential campers attend. Orchestra camp includes chamber music lessons with your coach, additional chamber group rehearsal time, string orchestra rehearsals with master string educator Donna Davis, and mixed orchestra rehearsals with conductor Edward Leonard, Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh. Our chamber faculty include members of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, and other fantastic music educators from New York and Pennsylvania.

    • Orchestra campers perform on Sunday of our opening weekend, and again on Friday and Saturday at the end of our week together (see the schedule below). This camp is open to high-school and advanced middle-school string players finishing grades 7–12. Woodwind, brass, piano, harp, and percussion players are also welcome, provided there is sufficient enrollment to form suitable chamber ensembles.

  • Jazz Camp 

    • Jazz Camp is for saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and rhythm section students finishing grades 9–12. Students participate in daily rehearsals, small group sectionals, and special musical enrichment activities. Led by renowned Chautauqua-area jazz performer, John Cross, students will hone their jazz and improvisational skills through this great American musical style. The Jazz Band final performance is Friday, August 16 at 2:00pm in Fletcher Music Hall. Each year one or two of our residential campers attend this camp.

  • Middle School Band Camp

    • Middle School Band Camp is open to all woodwind, brass, and percussion students finishing grades 5 through 8. Students participate in full-band rehearsals, small group sectionals, and daily music enrichment classes/performances. Conductor Terry Bacon brings his high energy style to making each summer a great experience for young musicians. Students perform Friday afternoon in Bestor Plaza and their final concert in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall is Saturday, August 17 at 12:00pm.

Testimonial Video: We caught up with TRYPO-PYSO-YC² alum Devin Moore, now a student at the Manhattan School of Music, to find out why he attended this camp for five years!

  • Camp Schedule

    • This is the schedule for Orchestra campers – the schedule for Jazz and Band camp will vary slightly.

    • Saturday, August 10: check-in 11:00-11:30am – A busy day including orientation, afternoon and evening rehearsals, and attending an evening concert in the Amphitheater with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

    • Sunday, August 11: A full day of rehearsals, performances, and fun free time including: 10:45am Performance at the ecumenical worship service in the Amphitheater, and 8:00pm Performance of Faure’s Requiem at the Sacred Song Service.

    • Monday–Thursday, August 12-15: Each day includes a chamber group coaching, two orchestra rehearsals, chamber rehearsal time; afternoon free time; and evenings include attending concerts and/or group activities.

    • Friday, August 16: A full day of rehearsals and performances including: 9:00am performance in the Chautauqua Amphitheater,11:30am–12:30pm performances in Bestor Plaza for some chamber groups, and 3:30-5:00pm performances in McKnight Hall for most chamber groups. (Jazz camp’s final performance is Friday afternoon at 2:00pm. Jazz students may opt to checkout of camp Friday afternoon, IF arranged in advance with Mrs. Cunningham; or they can stay and attend recitals of their campmates.)

    • Saturday, August 17: Campers check out of their houses, store luggage and have breakfast at Bellinger Dining Hall, attend dress rehearsal, before their final performance at 10:00am in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall. Parent/Drivers please check out in person with Mrs. Cunningham before the start or immediately following the concert - there is no chaperone supervision available following the concert.

  • Residential versus Day Camper

    • This website is for students who attend Chautauqua Music Camps as a Residential Camper and stay in YC²-chaperoned housing. If you are interested in attending one of the Chautauqua Music Camps as a Day Camper, and stay in family-provided housing, please refer to Chautauqua Music Camps website for more information and to register as a Day Camper.

    • NOTE: Day campers are welcome to participate in the additional opening weekend and evening programming, provided for residential campers. Contact if you are interested.

  • About Chautauqua Institution

    • Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 750-acre community on beautiful Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State (a three hour drive from Pittsburgh), where approximately 7,500 people are in residence on any day during their nine-week summer season. Home to the world-class Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua is a community which celebrates, encourages, and studies the arts, religion, education, and recreation and treats them as integral to all of life. With a world-renowned lecture series, symphony, opera, theater, dance, visual arts, summer camps, and music schools, Chautauqua produces a mix of programming that can be found nowhere else.

  • Eligibility

    • Grade: Campers must be completing 7th-12th grade during the 2018-19 school year, in order to stay in YC² housing.

    • Musicianship Level: This camp is designed for intermediate and advanced-level musicians. If you are interested in attending, first complete the registration form, then email a 1-2 minute video which demonstrates your current playing level to as soon as possible, and we’ll be in touch via email.

    • Affiliation: All interested, eligible students are welcome to attend - membership in one of our school-year music education programs is not required.

  • 2019 Tuition

    • $800 (before March 1), $850 (by June 1), $900 (after June 1)

    • Tuition includes:

    • Chautauqua Music Camps Registration Fee

    • 7-nights lodging in shared accommodations, chaperoned by YC² staff

    • Breakfast self-serve in houses (parents donate pantry items for breakfast and snack time)

    • Lunch and Dinner in Bellinger Dining Hall on the Chautauqua Music School campus (menu features daily hot entrees including gluten-free and vegan options, fruit and salad bar, deli sandwich counter, and pizza bar)

    • Full-week Chautauqua Institution Gate Pass which provides free admission to nightly concerts and programming

    • Opening weekend and evening educational and enrichment activities.

    • In past years we offered a “member” and “non-member” rate, based on program affiliation. This year we are extending the former “member” rate to all students who attend, regardless of their affiliation.

  • Registration Deadline

    • Due to limited housing, registration is open as long as there is still space available in our houses.

    • Space is confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis after campers complete their registration and submit a video to demonstrate their musicianship level.

    • Some years, YC² housing has filled by March 1, other years one or more spots have remained open into early summer.

    • Early registration is recommended to ensure a spot.

  • Paying for Camp

    • First tuition payment of $150 will be due upon receipt of email confirmation from to indicate your acceptance. Please do not mail payment until you have received confirmation. Payment instructions and the remaining tuition payment schedule will be provided in your confirmation email. Be sure to add to your contacts so our emails do not get filed as Spam.

    • In most cases, tuition is non-refundable, as housing commitments and chamber ensemble groupings are made based on student registration. Class of 2019 seniors unsure of their fall schedule may register for camp and cancel by May 1, if your college move-in date conflicts with YC² camp dates; and you would be eligible for a refund less $50. (Note, in the past, some seniors have gone straight from Chautauqua to college!)

    • Members requesting tuition assistance may indicate this after receiving confirmation. To hold your spot while scholarship requests are in process, you will be asked to send a $50 payment. We are committed to keeping tuition costs as low as possible without diminishing the quality or depth of programming, and ensuring no deserving young musician be denied participation based on financial means. Scholarship requests have no impact on acceptance. 

If you have additional questions contact:

Laurie Cunningham, YC² Manager - 412-391-0185

Announcing an Open Call for Student Compositions for Chautauqua 2019! 

  • Deadline: April 1, 2019

    • Each year, our Chautauqua campers present a world premiere or two. To be selected, a winning piece must be appealing to young musicians as well as to an audience which includes listeners of all ages. The performance setting is an ecumenical worship service. 

  • Difficulty Level

    • Intermediate to Advanced in skills required, and accessible enough that student musicians can prepare it in the time allowed at camp for group rehearsals.

  • Instrumentation

    • Primary orchestration should be for string orchestra (Minimum: violin I and II, viola, cello, and bass — Maximum: violin I, II; viola I and II; cello I and II; bass); plus optional piano and/or organ. If possible, composer will be asked to also provide parts for specific winds, brass, and/or percussion, once we confirm which instruments we’ll have at camp, and depending on the performance schedule.

  • Choir Optional

    • Piece may include SATB parts for choral accompaniment (60-110 voices), solo voices optional.

  • Award 

    • If your piece is selected, you are welcome to conduct a rehearsal in Chautauqua, NY, and you'll receive the joy of hearing your own music played by young musicians. Gate tickets for you and your immediate family will be provided to Chautauqua for the day of the performance. No financial remuneration. 

  • Contact