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Community Arts academy

gene marcus piano camp

Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo
founder and director

June 9-14, 2024 | Register now!

The Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Festival aims to inspire young pianists to reach their potential in piano study and performance and to strive for artistic excellence. Students are immersed in the art of playing the piano through workshops, masterclasses, and other group sessions as well as daily individual lessons, guided practice, and ensemble playing, with the goal of promoting excitement about the process of music making throughout the year. Daily evening activities include performances by guest artists and faculty in addition to a final student recital for all participants. 

The camp is open to intermediate through advanced pianists in grades 8–12 (as of spring 2024) who are interested in improving their playing and performance. It includes both a residential and a commuter option; applications from students residing anywhere in the US or abroad are accepted.

All camp activities take place at the Purdue Fort Wayne Music Center, on the campus of Purdue University Fort Wayne. The attractive music building is home to the PFW School of Music and provides an ideal learning environment, including excellent rehearsal spaces, studios, and performance halls.

Recitals and masterclasses are held in Rhinehart Recital Hall, an acoustically superb performance venue. Ample practice facilities are available, including a number of rooms equipped with grand pianos.

Gene Marcus piano camp & festival

Camp options

Our camp can accommodate your needs.

  • Full residential camp: Includes all camp activities, five nights’ lodging (Sunday–Thursday nights), dinner Sunday–Thursday, and lunch Monday–Friday. 
  • Commuter camp: Includes all camp activities, lunch Monday–Friday and dinner Sunday–Thursday. 

Piano camp students who choose the residential option will stay in Purdue University Fort Wayne campus housing during the camp week. They will be housed together under the supervision of a resident assistant at a ratio of no more than 10 students to one resident advisor. Resident assistant staff members are front-line personnel who serve as resource persons, facilitators and advisors for activities within the community. They are responsible for maintaining community standards and safety, performing administrative tasks, and developing a sense of community.

Purdue Fort Wayne student housing offers furnished suites that include sleeping, living and kitchen facilities. Upon registration, students will be sent a checklist of items to bring for the camp week. Residential campers will be sharing an apartment suite. This means that each student will have their own bedroom, but will be sharing a bathroom with another student.  

All piano camp students will have a light breakfast, snacks, and two meals a day included in their fee. Meals are served in the Purdue Fort Wayne Music Center or the campus dining hall. 

Piano camp students will be supervised at all times. The resident advisor will provide supervision from dinner time through breakfast and will make sure all students are present at the end of the camp day. The camp director and faculty/staff will supervise students throughout the camp day and at any evening activities that take place.

Merit-based Scholarships

Merit-based camp scholarships are available, covering 10% to 50% of tuition costs. Scholarships are competitive and determined by audition. To apply, submit a completed registration form along with video recordings of two or more contrasting works (recorded within the past six months), with at least one being memorized, no later than Friday, April 26. Earlier submissions receive priority consideration. Send YouTube or other links of your recordings to [email protected].    

Note: Participants in the 2024 Gene Marcus Piano Competition who wish to be considered for a camp scholarship do not need to send a recording but should send a completed application.

Need-based Scholarships

We also have a small number of need-based scholarships available. If you are interested in a need-based scholarship, please contact CAA director Molly Papier at 260-481-6059 or [email protected]. Download the Scholarship Guidelines and Request Forms here:

CAA Scholarship Guidelines and Application


Register by Friday, May 24, 2024. 

2024 Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Festival Schedule   

  • 3–5 p.m. | Check in at Purdue Fort Wayne Student Housing (for residential campers only)
  • 5:30–7:30 p.m. | Welcome and opening performance by camp faculty, followed by orientation and dinner​

Daily Schedule, Monday–Thursday 

  • 8–9 a.m. | Practice rooms available
  • 9–11 a.m. | Masterclasses and interactive group sessions, individual lessons and guided practice (Note: Tuesday guest artist masterclass until 12 noon)
  • 11 a.m.–noon | Individual lessons and guided practice (except Tuesday)
  • Noon–1 p.m. | Lunch
  • 1:15–3:15 p.m. | Individual lessons, keyboard musicianship classes, ensemble and guided practice
  • 3:15 p.m. | Break
  • 3:30–5 p.m. | Special sessions in piano-related topics (may include performance preparation, practice techniques, historical keyboard instruments and performance practice, etc.)
  • 5–7:30 p.m. | Dinner and free time
  • 7:30 p.m. | Recitals 


  • 8 a.m.–3:30 p.m. | Schedule as above
  • 3:30 p.m. | Nature walk (weather permitting), snack and recital preparation
  • 5:30 p.m. | Final student recital

2023 Featured artist

Kara Huber

Grammy nominated Canadian-American pianist and conductor Kara Huber is quickly establishing herself as a celebrated member of the new class of concert pianists. Hailed as “absolutely dazzling…in a word, flawless” (New York Concert Review) in her Carnegie Hall debut, Ms. Huber combines the polish and warmth of an old-school soloist with the charisma and flair of the new generation of piano virtuosi.

Ms. Huber has performed across North America, Europe, and Australia, including lauded solo appearances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Piano Virtuoso Series at the Canadian Opera Company, the Rising Stars Piano Series in Southampton, New York and Steinway Series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. An in-demand recitalist, Ms. Huber seeks to excite and delight diverse audiences through her creative and engaging programming.

On the orchestral stage, Ms. Huber’s past seasons include appearances with the Louisville Orchestra, Oakville Symphony, Scarborough Philharmonic, and York Symphony Orchestra. She has worked under the baton of Charles Dutoit, Gerard Schwarz, Teddy Abrams, Denis Mastromonaco and Michael Roháč, in addition to a performance conducting and performing with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra.

Ms. Huber has received numerous prizes and awards for her performances, including the Audience Favorite Award in the Cincinnati World Piano Competition. She received training from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Awadagin Pratt and The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music with John Perry and Leon Fleisher. Dr. Huber recently completed a DMA in piano and conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, taught at the University of Louisville School of Music, and is currently instructor of piano at the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Susan Dorion
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Camp faculty

Susan Dorion

Susan Dorion has lived in Fort Wayne for 22 years. Mrs. Dorion received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Michigan State University and her Master of Music in piano performance from New England Conservatory of Music.

Camp faculty

Christine Freeman

​Christine Freeman has been a music teacher and accompanist in the Los Angeles and Fort Wayne areas for over 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from California State University at Northridge (CSUN) where she studied with artist in residence Jakob Gimpel and Françoise Regnat, and her Master of Music in piano performance from Butler University, where she studied with Panayis Lyras.

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Hamilton Tescarollo
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Camp faculty

Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo

Since his debut with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), pianist Hamilton Tescarollo has performed as both soloist and collaborative artist in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. Dr. Tescarollo serves as Professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at Purdue Fort Wayne and as Instructor of Piano at Interlochen Arts Camp. He is the founding director of both the Gene Marcus Piano Competition and the Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Festival.

Camp faculty

Dr. Jonathan Young

​Jonathan Young is an active pianist, composer, teacher, conductor, and accompanist. He recently earned a doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance at the University of Kansas, studying with Dr. Steven Spooner. Career highlights include working as coach/accompanist at Opera in the Ozarks in Summer 2018, attending the Bel Canto Summer Academy in Germany as a collaborative pianist in 2016, and performing solo piano at Haydn’s Esterhazy Palace in Austria through the Classical Music Festival in 2013.

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Gene Marcus


The Gene Marcus Piano Camp is funded in part by the Gene Marcus Endowment, which was created specifically for that purpose. The camp also is sponsored by the Purdue Fort Wayne School of Music and relies on additional contributions to make it possible. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please call at (260) 481-6059 or [email protected]. Opportunities include establishing a scholarship or contributing to the general operating budget of the camp. All donations are tax deductible and will be recognized in the camp brochure (unless specified otherwise by the donor).

Wilda "Gene" Marcus (1927–2005) was a lifelong piano teacher and enthusiastic supporter of all the arts. She held several degrees, including Bachelor of Music in Piano with Honors from Indiana University, Bloomington, 1950; and a Masters of Music in Piano with Distinction, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1951. She was a public school music teacher and later was associate faculty of piano at IPFW from 1968 to 1986. She taught privately and hundreds of piano students of all ages, accompanied many soloists, and was pianist in numerous ensembles throughout her 60-year career. Her extensive involvement at the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre included rehearsal pianist and music director for numerous musicals. She was a former member of Morning Musical Society and patron of Fort Wayne Civic Theater. She was president of Northeast Indiana Music Teachers Association, a member of Sigma Alpha Iota (Music Honorary Society), and Patron of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She was given the 1994 Teacher of the Year Award by the Indiana Music Teachers Association.