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SFCM Launches Its First-Ever Orchestra Fantasy Camp

An Immersive Weekend of Symphonic Music-Making for Adult Amateur Musicians in Partnership with Amateur Music Network and the San Francisco Symphony

November 19, 2019 by Tim Records

Orchestra Fantasy Camp at SFCM gives 100 adult amateur musicians an opportunity to participate in rehearsals and coaching sessions with Conductor Edwin Outwater and musician mentors from the San Francisco Symphony and SFCM’s faculty.

Orchestra Fantasy Camp takes place June 13 & 14, 2020, culminating in a concert performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade led by Edwin Outwater at SFCM’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall.

Orchestra Fantasy Camp


The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, in partnership with Amateur Musicians Network and the San Francisco Symphony, launches its first-ever Orchestra Fantasy Camp in 2020, a new immersive performance opportunity for adult amateur musicians. The Orchestra Fantasy Camp at SFCM—Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14, 2020—brings together 100 adult amateur musicians for an intensive weekend of symphonic music-making, culminating in a free public performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, led by Edwin Outwater, on Sunday, June 14, at 3:00 PM in Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at SFCM.

In addition to rehearsing with Mr. Outwater, the participants will work closely throughout the weekend with a team of coaches from the San Francisco Symphony and SFCM’s faculty, giving amateur musicians an opportunity to engage one-on-one and in small group settings with some of the country’s top professional classical musicians. The professional coaches will also perform alongside the amateur musicians during the Sunday concert.

“I can’t wait to coach the first Orchestra Fantasy Camp at SFCM,” said Jerome Simas, a faculty member at SFCM and bass clarinetist for the San Francisco Symphony who will be one of 13 Orchestra Fantasy Camp mentors next June. “It is really exciting to see the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Amateur Music Network come together to give amateur musicians this extraordinary opportunity. As an artist-coach, I am looking forward to bringing my experience as a music educator and passion as a performer to the Bay Area’s community of adult amateur musicians.”

The Orchestra Fantasy Camp is a new initiative of SFCM’s Continuing Education division, which provides lifelong learning experiences for adults seeking community, personal enrichment, and professional development in music. Michael Roest, Associate Dean and Executive Director of SFCM’s Continuing Education division, said, “Continuing Education at SFCM is expanding beyond the traditional classroom setting and offering larger, more immersive learning experiences for amateur musicians. Few opportunities exist out there for amateurs to come together.”

"Music-making inspires joy, creativity, and connection to each other and to the world we share,” said Mark Hanson, CEO of the San Francisco Symphony. “We are excited to partner with our colleagues at AMN and SFCM to offer more opportunities for Bay Area musicians to create and share their love for music."

Lolly Lewis, Founder and Director of Amateur Music Network said, “I’ve been dreaming about an Orchestra Fantasy Camp for years. A weekend retreat for concentrated symphonic music-making with other dedicated amateurs, and a chance to connect with San Francisco Symphony players and SFCM faculty is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I know the musicians won’t forget.”

How to Apply
Musicians 18 and over from all locations and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. All applicants must complete an online application and submit a four- to six-minute video demonstrating their current level of proficiency. The video should include a portion of one solo work (etude, sonata, concerto, etc.) and an excerpt from Scheherazade available here. There’s a non-refundable $25 fee to apply.

The deadline for applications is February 17, 2020. All musicians who are selected to participate will be invited to sign up online and pay the $500 registration fee. A limited number of financial aid awards are available, including special grants for SFUSD music teachers.

Orchestra Fantasy Camp Dates & Schedule
Saturday, June 13, 2020 from 9:00 AM-6:00 PM
Sunday, June 14, 2020 from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM

The camp schedule will include full orchestra rehearsals, small and large group sectionals with orchestra mentors, all leading up to a public performance with members of the San Francisco Symphony in the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall at SFCM.