School of Music

Summer Camp FAQs

January 28, 2018

Registration begins on Thursday, February 1 at 9 a.m. Before that time, you can go to the registration page, but the page will not go live until 9 a.m. on February 1, and continue until the camps start. Some sections fill early, and camp directors have much to plan, so please register early. 

Registration Page

Once your registration has been accepted, and you know there is a spot for your camper, please make a non-refundable deposit to confirm your spot. Please register only if you fully intend to attend. 

How much is the deposit this year? $100, non-refundable. 

How and when should the deposit be paid? March 1 if you register early, or within a week of acceptance if you register later. This will give you a chance to send a check if you prefer. While we are happy to accept credit cards, sending a check will save us the merchant fees. However, it's your choice.

When should the balance be paid? 30 days prior to the start of camp, along with the Medical and Consent Forms. You may lose your spot if these materials are not received on time.

Best wishes,


Scholarship Information - While the University does not offer scholarships for our summer camps, we are most grateful for the many middle and high school music booster clubs that do provide them. Supporting your local clubs throughout the year can help many students come to a variety of summer camps. Inquire with your local boosters to see what might be available for your camper. 

Also, from time to time we are notified of a scholarship opportunity that we are happy to post here.

The Sean O'Blenis Memorial Scholarship was created to assist two students from York or Cumberland Counties to attend summer camp at USM, one for Junior Music Academy and one for Music Academy. Applicants must already be accepted to camp, and then apply directly to the scholarship donor. Deadline for applications is March 31. Selections will be made by the donor by April 10. To apply, please request an application from the donor at:



What will we know about our particular camp before we come? 

Parent and Camper Letters for 2017. The 2018 letters will be similar to these.

2017 Southern Maine Theatre Academy Camper and Parent Letter

2017 Southern Maine Youth Band Day Camp Camper and Parent Letter

2017 Southern Maine Music Academy Camper and Parent Letters

2017 Southern Maine Choral Music Academy Camper and Parent Letters

2017 Southern Maine Junior Music Academy Camper and Parent Letter



Other Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions that may be helpful to you. If one parent has unanswered questions, then surely others do as well, so please feel free to send me questions that are not yet on this page. I hope you find this helpful, and that your camper has the best summer musical or theatrical experience ever.

Best wishes,
Lori Arsenault
Performing Arts Operations and Concert Manager
Summer Camp Coordinator
USM School of Music
(207) 780-5242


When sections are filling up, will I find out immediately if there is an opening?

No, the answer may not be immediate, especially in the first month when most of the registrations come in. If it were an immediate automated system and a section filled, you'd just get a computerized reply saying that there are no spaces available. We decided that summer camp is just too important, and registration needs to be done person by person, name by name. First, all registrations before yours are processed, and rosters are checked and double checked. Then, if a section is filled, before offering you the opportunity to be on a waiting list we try to figure out a way to get you in. Thank you for your patience during this process. 

What should I prepare for my audition?

Right after registration, participants in Music Academy and Junior Music Academy will perform an audition for seating assignments. Each camp has different requirements. Please go back to each camp's page for this information. 


Where do I check in on the first day of camp?

DIRECTIONS TO CHECK IN, CLICK HERE -->> - Each camp is a little different, but you'll find that information on this one page along with pictures of each campus area. 

Where can I send a care package to my camper?

Send to:
Camper's Name
c/o USM School of Music
USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps
37 College Avenue
Gorham, ME 04038.

What should my camper pack for camp?

That is different for each camp. We issue a camp letter for each camp prior to coming. There are samples of last year's parent letters at the top of this page that will give you an idea of what each camp requires. That's also where this year's letters will be posted. 

Should percussionists bring any instruments?

Yes, percussionists should bring drumsticks. The University provides everything else they will need for rehearsals and performance.

How many campers in each room?

Overnight campers will be housed in Upperclass Hall in 2018, where there are 2 campers per room, and 2 rooms per suite. Therefore, a maximum of four students are housed together, 2 to a room. Each suite has a bathroom and kitchen area with a refrigerator. Campers have an opportunity to request specific roommates. We make every attempt to fill each request, but it's not always possible.

Can the dining hall accommodate issues of food sensitivity?

Yes. On the first day of each overnight camp, campers are welcome to meet the kitchen staff before the first meal to find out how to navigate the food choices. In the case of severe food allergies, dining hall personnel are willing to meet you in advance to accommodate special dietary needs. Contact us to make early arrangements.

How are medications handled?

We have a head counselor who will be willing to carry out the parents' instructions regarding adminisrtation of medications, and you will have an opportunity at check-in to speak privately with the head counselor regarding any medical issues. We also rely on completed parental consent forms to let us know in advance of any particular health concerns. We do not have a nurse on staff. The University Police Department is our 911, and the nearest medical facility is just a few miles away. 

Can the campers bring an iPhone?

Yes, campers can bring iPhones, but they will be expected to use them appropriately. They can not use them during rehearsals, and should primarily use them for contact with family, and as alarm clocks and metronomes for practicing. They can be used in a limited way to stay in touch with friends, but campers should primarily be socializing with their new friends at camp. Any kind of inappropriate communication while at camp, such as cyberbullying, is cause for immediate dismissal.




How do we make payments?

Please make NO PAYMENTS until after March 1 - You may send a check, but it will not be processed until after March 1. A link will be provided here for online payments. Although cash and checks cost us less to process, we also welcome the convenience of credit cards. 

We can start accepting (depositing) money on March 1, and if you'd like to pay by check, you can send that in anytime, no need to wait. The online link will open up on March 1 for those who would like to pay with a credit card. For those already accepted into the camps, you can pay any amount, from the non-refundable $100 to the full amount of the camp, or any amount in between.  The non-refundable $100 deposit to hold your spot should be received within the first week of March, or within a week of receiving your acceptance confirmation.  If you send a check or bring cash, please include the student's name(s) and the name or abbreviation of the camp they are attending.  

  • SMTA - Southern Maine Theatre Academy, Sunday, June 18 to Friday, June 23, 2017
  • SMYBDC - Southern Maine Youth Band Day Camp, Monday, June 26 to Friday, June 30, 2017
  • SoMMA - Southern Maine Music Academy, Saturday, July 8 to Sunday, July 16, 2017
  • SMCMA - Southern Maine Choral Music Academy, Monday, July 17 to Saturday, July 22, 2017
  • SMJMA - Southern Maine Junior Music Academy, Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29, 2017

Make payable to "USM," and put your child's name and camp designation (SMTA, SMYBDC, SoMMA, SMCMA, or SMJMA)

Mailing address for checks and medical and consent forms:

Send to:
Lori Arsenault
USM School of Music
37 College Avenue
Gorham, ME 04038

When does final payment have to be made?
Final payment must be made at least thirty days prior to the start of camp. 

Download Blank 2018 Medical and Consent Forms here, complete, sign and send them back right away, preferably by regular mail, no later than 30 days prior to the start of camp, but sooner if you can. 

How do I answer question #5 (If an accommodation is needed, I will contact:_________)
This is a good question, and could be answered in different ways for each child. If something unexpected happens, would your child be more apt to ask for help from a teacher, a friend, me, you, a grandparent, a camp director? It could be anything. There is no right or wrong answer. Each child is different, and the main purpose of this question is that we understand the safe space for each particular child if he/she needs some kind of special assistance. That doesn't mean your child is stuck with that answer, but is just a way for us to help each child have the best experience possible while they are away at camp.

How and where do I send the forms?
Forms can be either mailed to the address on the form or faxed to 207-780-5527. Please include a cover sheet with a fax, attention to Lori Arsenault; it's a shared fax machine.

If there is any sensitive data on your form, you may prefer to mail it. Forms can also be scanned and emailed to, however, 1) the signatures must be real, handwritten signatures, and 2) it's preferred that the format be pdf, with all four pages contained in the same file. Again, if these forms contain sensitive data, you may prefer to mail it. We only use the original forms, and shred all but the consent signatures at the end of the camp season. 

Why can't I just bring the final payment and consent forms to check-in?
The reason that we must have your forms and payments in advance is first, so that I can prepare the camp directors and head counselors for who they will have in their sections, who has any special dietary or medical needs, AND who doesn't. When there are forms and payments still outstanding, we have to make many revisions to the rosters and staff books in order to keep track of your children. Some children get turned away because of spots taken by those who decided not to come. The amount of time that is spent by staff on collecting outstanding forms and payments is time better spent preparing for camp. There are many weeks of work that takes place before camp begins. In order for check-in to be smooth and pleasant, and to be assured that sections are all filled and campers and staff have what they need on the first day of camp, we absolutely must have your materials well in advance. Thank you for your kind cooperation. Please download the consent form and send it in soon.
Download Blank 2018 Medical and Consent Forms here, complete, sign and send them back right away, preferably by regular mail, no later than 30 days prior to the start of camp, but sooner if you can.

Do I have to make my deposit and other payments online? Online payments are meant to be a convenience for you, but we also welcome cash and check payments. However, they must be timely. Non-refundable $50 deposit must be made right away. Final payments must be made at least thirty days prior to the start of your camp, regardless of payment type. NEW THIS YEAR - Please do not make deposits until after March 1, 2016.

Why are deposits non-refundable?
The USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre camps are very popular. Some sections fill on the first day and potential campers are placed on a waiting list. But some of them don't stay there and make other plans. Those who respond quickly and take a space on the roster and then change their plans are having an effect on the planning of others. We must do all that we can to assure that those on the roster are fully intending to attend camp, and that no additional resources are spent on cancellations. Likewise, once a camper is at camp, the full registration fee will not be refunded. 

How can I give feedback?
We'd love to have feedback about your summer camp experience at USM. Send questions, comments, concerns and helpful suggestions to me, Lori Arsenault,, to the School of Music director, Alan Kaschub,, or to any of the camp directors. Their contact information will be in the camp letters. We're working very hard to give your children the best musical and theatrical experience possible, and your feedback will be very helpful and appreciated.

Return to the USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps home page.