Southern Maine Music Academy Final Concert, 2022, on the lawn at Corthell Hall, on the beautiful tree-lined campus of the University of Southern Maine.
Southern Maine Music Academy Final Concert, 2022, on the lawn at Corthell Hall, on the beautiful tree-lined campus of the University of Southern Maine.

Four outstanding camps at the Osher School of Music on the University of Southern Maine Gorham campus

Registration for 2024 summer camps will open on Thursday, February 1, 2024 and remains open right through the spring. Waiting lists are kept.

Before you register for a camp, a parent/guardian must create an account, then additional persons can be added to that account: alternate adults or campers. Parents/guardians should be doing the registration process, not campers.

Parents /guardians, please go to our Ultracamp camp management site where you can register one or more campers. Login if you already have an account, or create a new account in the primary parent/guardian’s name.

Login address:

Each family needs only one account, created by a parent/guardian, and with that account can register more than one camper, or register a camper for more than one camp. Families that have an account already will continue to use the current account. 

A $100 deposit will be required once your registration for theatre or primary musical instrument is confirmed. Registration stays open until the camp begins and waiting lists are kept and open, filled in order automatically, so if you miss registering on the first day, any other day will do! It’s best for all concerned to register early, but even late registrations can be considered. So, please register!

Scroll down on this page for additional information and answered questions that others have asked. Your questions may be answered there. Scroll down a little further for some scholarship opportunities for 2024.

For more information, contact:
Lori Arsenault

207-780-5142 (message line)
207-415-1979 (cell phone)

About the Camps

Sunday, June 23 to Friday, June 28, 2024 (tentative)
Camp Director, Wil Kilroy

2024 Camp Fee: $575

This six-day resident camp gives students a basic understanding of performance concepts and introduces them to the skills needed to create a stage production: voice, improvisation, dance, scene study, character development, and other acting techniques. Students engage in performance exercises that will not only enhance acting talent, but also assist in developing imagination, confidence, self-awareness, and communication skills. In addition to gaining theatre skills, team work and collaboration are emphasized in a final public performance. All participants will be housed in a supervised residence hall on the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus.

Register or Login Here Registration opens Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 at 9 a.m. and remains open until all spaces are filled. A waiting list will be kept. Register early.

Monday, June 24 to Friday, June 28, 2024
Camp Director, Melissa Shabo

2024 Camp Fee: $365

This five-day commuter camp offers young instrumentalists a chance to sharpen their musical reading ability, instrumental skills, and concert band performance. Camp will provide daily concert band experience, jazz, instrument sectionals, ensemble classes, guest presentations, non-musical recreational activities, and choral group experience. Applicants must have played their instruments for at least one school year.

Register or Login Here Registration opens Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 at 9 a.m. and remains open until all spaces are filled. A waiting list will be kept. Register early.

Saturday, July 6 to Saturday, July 13, 2024
Camp Director, Melissa Shabo; Concert Band, Will Kinne; Jazz Band, TBD

2024 Camp Fee: $775

This exciting, yet demanding, eight-day program gives high school musicians the opportunity for musical development through group and individualized instruction provided by qualified staff and professional musicians. All academy members will participate in concert band, instrument sectionals, and small ensembles. Students may also audition for jazz band. Academy members will enjoy free concerts performed by local musicians and daily recreational activities.

Register or Login Here Registration opens Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 at 9 a.m. and remains open until all spaces are filled. A waiting list will be kept. Register early.

Sunday, July 21 to Saturday, July 27, 2024
Camp Director, Melissa Shabo; Concert Band, Caitlin Ramsey

2024 Camp Fee: $700

This seven-day program gives middle school-age instrumental musicians the opportunity for musical growth and development. All academy members will participate in concert band, chorus, instrument sectionals, and small ensembles daily. Students may also audition for jazz band. Academy members will also enjoy free concerts performed by local professional musicians and daily recreational activities.

Register or Login Here Registration opens Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 at 9 a.m. and remains open until all spaces are filled. A waiting list will be kept. Register early.


Over the summer, one of my favorite things to do is go to band camp at USM. Ever since my first year, I’ve made friends who I can stay in contact with and have fun memories of, including two people I’d consider some of my best friends. 

I’ve gained a lot of new skills when playing, whether it be rhythm counting, new time signatures, or learning how to play notes I haven’t before. My instructors are super helpful, and I always come out of camp happier each year.

Lily S.

This family has participated in our summer camps every year since 2014. Lily is a high school senior and is returning for her third year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated December 28 for the 2024 Summer Season.

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

Summer Camp Coordinator
Osher School of Music at the University of Southern Maine
message line (207) 780-5142
cell / text (207) 415-1979 (preferred) 

That is different for each camp and it’s listed in each of the “Parent/Camper Letters.” They will be issued about a month before the start of camp for each of the camps, maybe earlier.

The overnight camps in 2024 will be housed in Upton Hastings Hall again this year, two campers to a room. This is the building across the drive from Corthell Hall on the way to the Dining Hall. Look for the form in your Ultracamp account if you’d like to request a roommate, but it’s optional. We do our best to make good matches. Please note, if you send me two roommate names without clarification, it can be like a puzzle, but if we do this early enough, puzzles can be fun. For sure, one of the best ways to get a particular roommate is to invite a friend! In any case, however, we will do our best to accommodate the roommate requests that we receive.

Each camp is a little different, but you’ll find that information in the parent letter for your camp.

Yes, for food sensitivity, 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, be prepared to provide medical documentation so our dining hall personnel can be prepared to meet your needs. Once received, dining hall personnel will be able to discuss your camper’s individual needs and discuss a plan. Parents may request a meeting with the campus dietician or have a tour of the dining hall in advance if there are any concerns. Please contact us early to make these arrangements.

If you have questions about disability access or need to request disability accommodations (e.g. sign language interpreters, materials in electronic format, etc.), please contact the Disability Service Center, 207-780-4706, or by email,, TTY 207-780-4395. Requests should be made as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for the accommodation process.

We have a head counselor who will be willing to carry out the parents’ instructions regarding administration of medications, and you will have an opportunity at check-in to speak privately with the head counselor regarding any medical issues. We mainly 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.

In Ultracamp, Theatre Academy will be confirmed automatically if there is an opening. If Theatre Academy is filled, you must sign up for the waiting list in order to be considered for the next open position.

For the music camps, Ultracamp will confirm your registration immediately, but you must still sign up for an available instrument to be fully confirmed. Ultracamp is not able to handle that distinction. And if any instrument is already marked “waiting list only,” you must sign up for that waiting list in order to be considered for any positions in that instrument that may open up later. Please do not sign up for a different instrument, but send an email with any questions or difficulties you are having.

Important, do not make any payments if you are on a waiting list. You will automatically be placed into a position if a spot opens up, and an email will be sent to you indicating your new balance due.

Right after registration, participants in Music Academy and Junior Music Academy will perform an audition for seating assignments and best experience, but not for acceptance into the program. Each camp has different requirements that we will send you soon after you register.

There are no auditions for Theatre Academy.

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

Send to:
Camper’s Name (add SMTA, SMYBDC, SoMMA or SMJMA)
c/o Osher School of Music
USM Summer Youth Music and Theatre Camps
37 College Avenue
Gorham, ME 04038.

No, no, no! These are due 30-60 days prior to the start of camp. 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 have special dietary or medical needs, AND who doesn’t. When there are forms and payments still outstanding, we cannot be certain of who is committee to coming, then we have to make many revisions to the rosters and staff books in order to keep track of your children.

Also, when sections fill, 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 all your materials well in advance. Thank you for your kind cooperation. All forms and consents this year are conveniently available to you in Ultracamp. Thank you for completing these tasks in a timely manner!

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 face-to-face at camp. Any kind of inappropriate communication while at camp, such as cyberbullying, is cause for immediate dismissal.

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, and for most instruments, we may not be able to fill that spot if you cancel, yet we have already incurred expenses. 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. We will have to pay our expenses whether your camper stays or not.

We’d love to have feedback about your registration and summer camp experience at the Osher School of Music. Send questions, comments, concerns, and helpful suggestions to me, Lori Arsenault,, or to the School of Music director, Alan Kaschub,, or to any of the camp directors. Their contact information will be in the parent 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.

Best wishes,
(207) 415-1979

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 booster clubs throughout the year can help many more students come to a variety of summer camps. Inquire with your local boosters to see what might be available for your camper. Thank you for supporting your local school’s music and arts boosters clubs as they have already helped many students attend summer camps.

Also, check out the following scholarship opportunities.

Scholarship Information

The Laureen Swanson Music for Youth Fund awards scholarships to youth up to age 22 to achieve their musical dreams. 

Youth who live in the following towns are eligible to apply.

Brunswick, Topsham, Harpswell, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Bath, West Bath, Phippsburg, Freeport, Durham, and Pownal.

Find applications on our website

Applications are reviewed on the last Thursday of each month.

Camp scholarships are available to both 4-H & non-4-H youth. If you would like to apply for financial assistance to a summer camp (either a 4-H camp or non-4-H camp) you must return the application by Friday, April 5th, 2024!

Please email applications to You may also mail applications or drop off at UMaine Cooperative Extension, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth, Maine 04105.

If you need extra paper copies of the campership application mailed to you, contact the office at 207.781.6099 or via e-mail Campership amounts depend on the cost of the camp to which you are applying, but can range from $50 to $150. Scholarships are sponsored by the Cumberland County Leaders Association, Barbara & Bob Tibbetts Campership Fund, Tractor Supply Company Paper Clover sales, and the Extension Homemakers.

The Maine 4-H Foundation has camp scholarships ranging from $100-$200 available for 4-H members to any one week of 4-H camp. Call the camps to ask for a scholarship. Scholarships are based on need and first come, first serve.

Camperships are only valid for the year in which they are earned. Earning the campership and then letting us know you cannot use it (before we pay for it) will not impact your chances of receiving any of our camperships in the future.

Campership Application 2024 (Word) | (PDF)

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call 207.781.6099 or email

The Quincy (Massachusetts) Band Boosters is accepting first come, first serve applications for a $300 scholarship for any QPS band/music student, incoming grades 8 – 12, for either Southern Maine Music Academy or Southern Maine Junior Music Academy. Find the information and application here: 2022 4-H

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 should already be accepted to camp. To apply, please request an application from the donor at:

  1. Be between 11 and 15 years old, as of April 30, 2022.
  2. Be a full-time Maine resident.
  3. Submit a completed application form (and all supporting documents) by April 30, 2022.
  4. Show a financial need for the scholarship; total family income may not exceed $100,000.

Have submitted an application to attend the camp and notified them that you are applying for a campership through our program.

Payment is made directly to the camp by the Maine Community Foundation once campers have been chosen by the selection committee and all paperwork has been submitted.

The Uncle Al Fund was founded in memory of a Sugarloaf area musician.  A scholarship from this fund could be awarded to one of our campers if they reside in Somerset or Franklin county in Maine. The Uncle Al Fund and Scholarship is an endowed, component fund of the Maine Community Foundation. More information and the application for a scholarship award can  be found at: