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summer Camps

community Arts Academy


2023 Gene Marcus Piano Camp and Festival
June 11–16, 2023 | Residential $499, Commuter $399


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. See a list of the previous camp events.

The camp is open to intermediate through advanced pianists in grades 7–12 (as of spring 2023) 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.

Students standing on bridge
Student playing piano

2023 Camp Options

  • Full residential camp includes all camp activities plus five nights’ lodging (Sunday–Thursday nights), dinner Sunday–Thursday, and lunch Monday–Friday for $499. Please note: 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.  
  • Commuter camp includes all camp activities plus lunch Monday–Friday and dinner Sunday–Thursday for $399.

Register by Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Preview the application

Room and Board

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 breakfast, snacks, and two meals a day included in their fee. Dinner is served in student housing; lunch is 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 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 28. Earlier submissions receive priority consideration. Send YouTube or other links of your recordings to [email protected].

Note: Participants in the 2023 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.

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:

2023 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 
A typical day at the camp will be as follows: 

  • 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 Faculty and Guests

Kara Huber, Featured Artist


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.

Camp Faculty 

Susan Dorion

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.

Christine Freeman

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 Francoise Regnat. 

Dr, Joyanne Outland 

Joyanne Outland

Joyanne Outland received a Bachelor degree in piano from Baylor University, a Master degree in musicology from the University of Illinois in musicology and a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano from Ball State University. Her teachers include Kenneth Drake, Roger Keys, and Mitchell Andrews.

Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo

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. Recent performances have taken him to concert venues in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and a number of US states.

Dr. Jonathan Young 

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. 


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).


Gene Marcus

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.

Indiana Clarinet Experience
June 5-10, 2023 | $575 (Residential), $475 (Commuter)

Register now!

The Indiana Clarinet Experience (ICE) is a six-day overnight summer program for clarinetists in grades 7–12 to have a fun musical experience with a dedicated faculty of young, energetic professionals. The camp takes place in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Purdue University Fort Wayne School of Music in the Rhinehart Music Center where students spend the week on campus with fellow participants. Housing is provided in Purdue Fort Wayne's campus housing and students will be supervised at all times. Lunch and dinner are provided; campers will provide their own breakfast items that can be stored and served in their student apartment kitchens.

For more information, contact Kylie Stultz-Dessent at [email protected].

*This camp is eligible for FWCS GEARUP students (currently in grades 10-11th). To register for this camp as a GEARUP student, contact Breanna Mullins at [email protected].

Students at clarinet camp

This program has been made possible, in part, with support from ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players.

What to Expect at ICE 2023 

Improve at the clarinet.
There will be lots of information presented to help you excel at the clarinet, and plenty of time to practice so that you master all of these new concepts.

Meet new friends.
ICE attracts students from all over Indiana and beyond. Many friendships are formed throughout the week. Group activities outside of class time will encourage making new friendships that last. 

Play cool music.
No one wants to play cool music more than the faculty do. Many of them bring their own arrangements and compositions to spice up the repertoire for the small and large ensemble concerts. 

Play cool instruments.
This is your chance to learn more about the clarinet instrument family. You can play E-flat clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, and contra bass clarinet. The end of the camp includes a clarinet choir concert, where people will play all kinds of strange clarinets, big and small. 

Play cool music for other people.
Part of the camp experience includes performing a final concert at PFW School of Music. Playing music for ourselves is fun, but playing for other people is even more satisfying. 

Work with an energetic and passionate faculty.
Students will have the opportunity to work in a small setting with a dedicated faculty of professional clarinetists and teachers. Additionally, students will hear performances by innovative clarinetists in the professional field. 

A summer to remember.
It’s only a week, but the memories will last much longer. Many of our participants look forward to returning each summer to meet friends from around the state and beyond. 


Tentative Camp Schedule

 9–10 a.m. Group Warm Up and Fundamentals
10–11 a.m. Clarinet Grab-Bag: Special Activity
11 a.m.– noon Private Lessons/Individual Practice

Noon–1:30 p.m. Lunch Break and Outdoor Activity

1:30–2:30 p.m. Chamber Music Rehearsals
2:30–3:30 p.m. Large Group Masterclass
3:30–5 p.m. Clarinet Choir Rehearsal

6–7 p.m. Dinner

7–8:30 p.m. Group Activity

“I don’t think I really knew what to expect when I walked in the door on the first day, but I knew when I walked out on the first day that I couldn’t wait to come back the next. Everyone there—students and instructors—are so supportive. They just want you to thrive and to see you grow as a clarinet player. I can't wait to hopefully return this year!” – Brittany D.

“ICE taught me more than I could have imagined in just one week. It also allowed me to bond with many new people over a common love of the clarinet. Every single aspect of it was great, and I would definitely participate again!” – Will Z.




Kylie Stultz-Dessent, Director

Kylie Stultz-Dessent

Kylie Stultz-Dessent is a versatile artist with a varied career as educator, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. She is currently serving as visiting instructor of clarinet and music theory at Purdue University Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Kylie has performed with numerous regional orchestras and is a member of The Novacane Quartet, an award winning clarinet quartet. She holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Kylie co-founded the Indiana Clarinet Experience (ICE) in 2014.

Erik Franklin, Director

Erik Franlkin

Clarinetist Erik Franklin has given hundreds of concerts in nearly all fifty states, performing concerts in venues from veterans’ homes to Carnegie Hall. A former member of the U.S. Army Field Band, Mr. Franklin balances his time teaching at Towson University, performing with his award-winning chamber groups, and directing the Indiana Clarinet Experience.  Mr. Franklin is a resident of Baltimore, MD, and holds degrees from Indiana University and Furman University. 

Chris Dessent, Instructor

Chris Dessent portrait.

Chris Dessent is a music educator, composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist. He is currently a Director of Bands at Fishers High School in Fishers, Indiana. A versatile composer and arranger, Chris has several newly published works of varying levels and styles. His primary instrument is the clarinet, and he thoroughly enjoys being a part of the Indiana Clarinet Experience as a staff member. 


The Art of Clay Camp | High School
June 19-23, 2023 | 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. | $299

Students bring ideas to life in this week long exploration of hand built and wheel thrown pottery. Small class-size allows more one on one instruction and time to experiment with low-fire clay and glazes. 

The Art of Clay Camp | Elementary (Grades 2-5)
July 17-21, 2023 | 9 a. m. - 3 p.m. | $299

Get out of the house and get dirty. Think and problem solve in three-dimensions creating masterpieces with clay. This small group setting allows for socializing and encourages kids to use sensory and fine-motor skills.

Register Now!


Meet The Art of Clay Camp instructor, Katherine Gaff. Born in Goshen, Indiana, Katherine Gaff graduated from Purdue University Fort Wayne with a BFA in sculpture. She collaborated with Doug Casebeer, Artistic Director Emeritus at Anderson Ranch, and Purdue Fort Wayne Associate Professor of Ceramics Seth Green, to build a gas kiln that sits on the arts campus at PFW. 

After graduation she worked her way into production pottery, sold her own pottery, and created a community ceramics studio. While producing mugs, she exhibited new work for her residency with Bread and Circus Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN.

Katherine is the Studio Manager at a new ceramics facility at The Community Learning Center in Kendallville, IN. While working, Katherine continues to exhibit her work locally and regionally, and sell pottery at craft fairs as well as online. 

Katherine is interested in the human condition. Her work focuses on the expression of emotional trauma through the examination of memories and portrayed in the form of figurative ceramic sculptures. She observes the aspects of her own female experience, contemplates familial tragedies, and grapples with mental illness. Each memory is portrayed in a gesture, wrapped in a smooth skin, and then broken apart to reveal the damage. This work has been shown locally and regionally in galleries such as the Garret Museum of Art, the Wunderkammer Gallery, and the Indianapolis Art Center during the Indiana Clay Conference.


Summer Dramagination for Grades K–3
Learn theatre basics on a real stage! Students will use their imagination to create, act out, and direct stories. Class will culminate in a live performance.
Monday, June 26–Friday, June 30 | 9:45–10:45 a.m. | $99

Register now!

Summer Youth Drama for Grades 4–8
Learn theatre essentials and how to work together with your fellow actors on a real stage. Class will culminate in a live performance.
Monday, June 26–Friday, June 30 | 10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. | $99

Register now!

Summer Theatre Masters for Grades 7–12
Gain confidence in your acting abilities and character and scene development. Master audition techniques and exercises using industry-standard practices.
Monday, June 19–Friday, June 23 | 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | $99

Register now!

One-on-One Audition Preparation
Theatre veteran Gloria Minnich will fine tune your techniques ensuring you get the part. 
Contact instructor for times and rates.



Music Technology Camp (Grades 8-12)
June 19-22, 2023 | 9 a.m.–Noon | $199

Register Now!

Learn about music production in this behind-the-scenes camp! Students will work with industry professionals, learn about careers in music and experiment with the latest recording software such as Pro Tools, Logic, and Ableton. Camps take place in PFW's facility on the campus of Sweetwater Sound.

*These camps are eligible for FWCS GEARUP students (currently in grades 10-11th). To register for this camp as a GEARUP student, contact Breanna Mullins at [email protected].


Interested in STEM summer camps?
Head to Purdue Fort Wayne's College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science's Summer Explorations!


28th Annual Summer String Camp
June 26–30, 2023 | 9 a.m.–2 p.m. | $299
Rhinehart Music Center

Register now!

Run by Fort Wayne Philharmonic musician Marcy Trentacosti, this camp features string orchestra, chamber ensembles and group classes for violin, viola, cello, and bass. Students are coached by Philharmonic musicians and must have a minimum of two years of string instruction to take part in this camp. Learn new music in a week of string orchestra, group classes and chamber music playing. There will be a recital on the last day of camp.

*Bring a sack lunch and drink to class each day.

Twinklers Class
June 26–30, 2023 | 9 a.m.–12 p.m.| $99

If your child has just begun playing violin within the last 6-12 months, come and join us for our Twinkle class. This class is designed to offer a week of group class instruction for beginning students. The focus will be on bow hold, violin hold, left hand flexibility, and rhythm and movement in a group setting.

Register now!

Meet the Director | Marcella Trentacosti


Marcy Trentacosti is the director for the CAA Summer String Camp and has been a full-time section violinist in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic since 1976. Marcy also is the conductor of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Youth Concert Orchestra. She graduated from Indiana University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Music Education and in August 2008 received her MM in violin performance from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio. Marcy participated in the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome, Italy; Chicago Civic Orchestra; Bach, Beethoven, Breckenridge Music Festival and was concertmaster of the Marion Philharmonic. She taught orchestra at Snider High School, Woodside Middle School, Canterbury School and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Marcy maintains a private teaching studio and teaches for the Purdue University Fort Wayne Community Arts Academy.

If you have questions, please contact Marcy at 260-432-3218

*This camp is eligible for FWCS GEARUP students (currently in grades 10-11th). To register for this camp as a GEARUP student, contact Breanna Mullins at [email protected].

Virtual Reality Camp | Middle School
July 10–14, 2023 | 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. | $225

Register now!

Virtual Reality Camp | High School
July 24-28, 2023 | 9 a.m.–4 p.m. | $225

Register now!

Create your own virtual worlds, full of interactive objects that will teach you how a virtual world looks and reacts.

Experience life-like interactive animated holograms, and modify their aspects to create a virtual world. See 3D holograms using headsets, and manipulate interactive holographic screens. 

Through this intensive week, you will understand how these emerging technologies are shaping the way we create, educate, and learn. This summer camp is a unique experience that will teach you how to implement new ways of visualization and interaction. More importantly, you will create your own worlds and those will be populated with funny characters and avatars. You will be provided computer access to software and hardware to create, play, learn, and have fun.

The day will start with the creation of models from 9 a.m. to noon, and after lunch, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., we will experience immersive interactions through Virtual Reality Devices. 

Replicate this experience at home as well using free software. Flash drive is provided to save the information and content. 
Bring your own lunch Monday–Thursday. 
Friday a pizza lunch will be provided.

CAA - Virtual Reality Camp


About the Director


Andres Montenegro is an associate professor of art and design. His work develops immersive environments using real time 3D animations while integrating physical computing in installations based on interactive responses and multichannel projections.  He has an extensive experience with software and hardware oriented toward the generation of different styles of rendered images using painting as the main source of research.

His teaching experience covers a span of more than 25 years. First teaching in the public education system in Chile from 1987 to 1995, he has been assistant professor at University of Playa Ancha, from 1996 to 2003, developing creative 3D animation, multimedia and experimental web projects through special interfaces. He also has taught at the University of Wisconsin--Whitewater as an assistant professor of multimedia, 3D modeling and animation from 2007 to 2009. In 2008, he taught Interactive installations, 3D modeling, and animation for artists and designers at Einar Granum School in Oslo, Norway. He has taught advanced media in Visual Communication at Madison Area College of Madison, Wisconsin in 2010. His current work is centered in developing new ways of narrative using 3D imagery, including hybridized digital pieces regarding the immersion as the main attitude of commitment with the art piece.

*This camp is eligible for FWCS GEARUP students (currently in grades 10-11th). To register for this camp as a GEARUP student, contact Breanna Mullins at [email protected].


Interested in STEM summer camps?
Head to Purdue Fort Wayne's College of Engineering, Technology and Computer Science's Summer Explorations!