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Camp 2024

Important Dates

Mandatory Student Pre-Session 
Philadelphia, PA

Thursday June 20th, 2024

Camp Session

Graves Mountain Farm - Syria, VA

Sunday June 23rd - Monday, July 1st

Denise Kinney


Denise Kinney is the founder and Director of Music and Mindfulness, a summer learning program for musically advanced high school students from underserved backgrounds. Most recently Denise stepped down from a 15-year tenure in not-for-profit leadership. In 2005 she succeeded her mother, Welthie Fitzgerald, the founder and Executive Director of Musicopia, an arts-focused, Philadelphia-based charity. Under her leadership, Musicopia grew to annually serve over 12,000 students from low-income backgrounds, offering over 2,000 outreach programs.  

Denise is also a Registered Nurse and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from Widener University and a Masters from Villanova University. She has worked as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator and a Surveyor of facilities for the Commission of Rehabilitation. Over the course of her career Denise has held several senior executive leadership roles in healthcare, including hospitals, acute rehabilitation and long term care. Denise is a passionate advocate for those who are the most vulnerable, especially children and animals. She has been a foster mom, is an avid equestrian and an amateur violinist.


Joseph Illick

2024 Conductor

We are honored to host Joseph Illick, the Composer in Residence and Musical Director Emeritus of the Fort Worth Opera, as our 2024 conductor. Over the past 50 years, Illick has held numerous prestigious conducting and leadership posts in opera and symphony. He is an active, internationally acclaimed pianist in solo and chamber music, and is an award-winning composer. 


For ten years, Illick served as the Executive and Artistic Director of Performance Santa Fe. His experience includes serving as the Artistic Director of Greater Miami Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Shreveport Opera, Voices of Change (Dallas), and Voices Intimae (Dallas). As a concert pianist, he won first prize in the Mid-Somerset Festival in Bath England and is active both as a piano soloist and in chamber music both in Europe and the United States. His compositional achievements include being  the recipient of the Van Someron Award for composition of a song cycle. Over the course of  his career he has composed numerous full length operas and symphonic works. 

He and his wife Gina are committed to educational outreach and mentoring the next generation of musicians. 


Rachel Segal

Chamber Music Director

Rachel Segal is a violinist, arranger, educator, mentor, and pet Mom. She has commissioned, premiered, and performed many works of contemporary composers, prioritizing works by women and composers from traditionally underrepresented communities. She has performed and recorded with some of the world’s leading pop, hip-hop, and rock artists, including Tony Bennett, Peter Gabriel, Steve Martin, and Devotchka. 

Ms. Segal received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan and her Master of Music degree from Yale School of Music. She spent twelve years as a tenured member of the Colorado Symphony and Concertmaster of the Central City Opera Orchestra and has served as Concertmaster of the Orchestra Sinfonica Portugesa in Lisbon, Portugal, and the South Bend Symphony, Principal Second violin of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 

Ms. Segal is the Founder and Executive Director of the Primavera Fund, Associate Director of the Young Musicians Debut Orchestra, first violinist of the Fairmount String Quartet, and performs frequently with Post Classical Ensemble, Baltimore Symphony, and other groups in the Philadelphia area.

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Tam Tran

Violin and Viola

Tam Tran is an active soloist, chamber musician, and a regular performer at the White House as a violinist and Assistant Principal violist of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Chamber Orchestra. Tam has performed chamber music with members of the Emerson String Quartet, Ani Kavafian, Colin Carr, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma. He performed on the "Axelrod" Antonio Stradivarius from the Smithsonian Collection in Washington, D.C. Tam has performed for the late Queen Elizabeth, performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Camp David, and has been featured on PBS, HBO, the Late Show with David Letterman, and on NPR's "Performance Today." Tam studied with Emanuel Vardi at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Richard Young of the Vermeer String Quartet at Northern Illinois University, and Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet at Stony Brook University. Tam enjoys learning different genres of World Music like French Gypsy Jazz, Brazilian Chôro, Argentinian Tangos, Italian Folk, Persian, Irish, Greek, and Klezmer music.

Eric Stephenson


An exceptionally versatile cellist, his style ranges from classical to jazz to rock and folk. He has performed with numerous orchestras like the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, TN and the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, CO. Eric is also a regular substitute for the Cleveland Orchestra. Eric earned his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees with Honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and was a recipient of the Ellis A. Feiman Award in Cello while a student of Stephen Geber. As a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, he served as Assistant Principal Cello of the Aspen Festival Orchestra from 1999-2004. Composing and recording is a huge part of his life.  In his spare time, he enjoys biking around Brooklyn and playing the tenor sax.

Kevin MacConnel

Double Bass and Bass Guitar

Bassist Kevin MacConnell’s impressive career has taken him from playing with orchestras on concert stages to Broadway shows, from numerous recording studios to the sets of television shows, from jazz festivals to great clubs. He has performed with such jazz legends as Mel Torme, Nancy Wilson, Billy Eckstine, Joe Williams and tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts and made national and international television appearances/performances. Highly respected on the jazz scene Kevin is also a cross genre musician in bluegrass, classical and popular music.

Doug Marshall

Bluegrass Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Dobro

Originally a classical clarinetist, Doug began playing Blue Grass in the 1980s and has not stopped since.  Now an esteemed Bluegrass multi-instrumentalist, Doug is renowned as a local musical celebrity. He teaches lessons in bluegrass guitar, banjo, fiddle, and dobro, and plays regularly with his band at regional events and music festivals.


Alejandra Santillanes


Alejandra Santillanes is a Mexican-American concert flutist based in Baltimore, MD. A passionate and dedicated educator, she maintains a private teaching studio, and is a Teaching Artist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's OrchKids Program. Highly driven to work with El Sistema model programs which provide equitable access to music education for young people, Ms.Santillanes has also been guest faculty Teaching Artist with Peabody Preparatory's Tuned-In Summer Program, and Musicians for the World Inc. As a collaborator and performer, she is a freelance orchestral musician and formerly served as principal flutist of Boston's CODA Ensemble, a chamber group dedicated to bringing under-performed and newly commissioned works alike to the spotlight. Ms. Santillanes is an alumni of the Virtual Flute Music Festival and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival in Quebec, where she has performed for flutists such as Emmanuel Pahud, James Walker, Helen Blackbum, and Sonora Slocum. She holds degrees from The Boston Conservatory (M.M.) and Florida Southern College (B.M.), and is forever indebted to her primary teachers and mentors, Sharon Sparrow, Elizabeth Rowe, Linda Toote, and Colleen Blagov.

Bill Williams


Bill Williams has served as principal trumpet and soloist with major orchestras and chamber ensembles internationally. He has served as principal trumpet with the San Francisco Symphony, is a frequent guest principal with orchestras including the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and serves as solo trumpet of the Menuhin Festival Orchestra in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Bill is a founding member of Youth Music Culture Guangdong (YMCG), where he collaborates with YMCG Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma, conductors Yu Long and Michael Stern, and Silk Road Ensemble musicians on a program of artistic, educational and cultural exchange.

Bill serves as a performance coach internationally at institutions including the Juilliard School, the University of Michigan and the Eastman School of Music and as the Dean of Fellows at the New World Symphony. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from the New School for Social Research.

Michael Peck


Mike Peck is a native resident of Utah, where at the age of 13 he began taking drum lessons with the talented local percussionist Jamie Jespersen who helped advance Mike from rock drumming into the the thrilling world of jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Mike continued his percussion studies with the renowned Jay Lawrence and then moved on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Music at Brigham Young University, where broader musical training prepared him for a variety of musical pursuits, most notably in the world of choral music. As a percussionist, Mike currently runs a jazz trio that performs for private events. He also regularly provides percussion for the Salt Lake Choral Artists, with whom he also performs as a chorister. As a conductor and arranger, Mike also founded the Kekchi Choir which performs choral music in the Kekchi language of Guatemala and Belize.

Jim Howe

Jazz Percussion

Jim is an avid jazz musician but is comfortable playing the drum set or percussion in any music genre. He began playing drums in Louisville, KY at age nine and started performing in local dance bands shortly thereafter. During high school and college, he studied jazz drumming with John Roy and percussion with James Rago of the Louisville Orchestra. After rising to the top of the Louisville music scene Jim moved to California to further his music career but ended up getting a PhD at UC-Berkeley and becoming a scientist. After a long career as a Professor at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Virginia, he returned to music full time, recently running his own music venue and recording his first CD as a band leader. One of Jim's strengths is his ability to listen to his fellow musicians and respond appropriately, making him particularly adept at improvisation. He has played in musical groups ranging from a B3 duo to a 17-piece big band, in orchestras, musicals, wedding bands, and is excellent at supporting vocalists. He has played with such jazz greats as the late Hod O'Brien, Royce Campbell, Vince Lewis, Stephanie Nakasian, Veronica Swift, Charles Owens, John D'Earth, and many outstanding Virginia musicians. 

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