Camp Description

DUSS Summer Camp on pause at this time

We have decided to take a pause on running the DUSS Summer Camp for the time being. This is to ensure that our year-long program has the attention and preparation it needs to run smoothly, and that our staff and teachers have a much needed break in between semesters. We will update our website and let the music education community know if and when Summer Camp resumes.

Summer Camp 2022 information

July 25 - 30th
9am - 3pm (Monday through Saturday)

Concert @3-5pm on Saturday

Welcome to the DUSS Summer Camp!

For students ages 7-18, our camp offers 6 full days of large ensembles, chamber music groups, music theory, outdoor activities, elective classes, and a final concert. Our camp takes place on the campus of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham. Camp is staffed by Duke University String School faculty who are assisted by our advanced high school students, called "Teen Volunteers".

Students attend rehearsals, classes, and activities within two larger ensemble groups:

High School students at the Youth Symphony level are welcome as "Teen Volunteers."

We also love having new students audition to participate! Read about New Camper Auditions for details.

Music will be handed out on the first day of camp and also will be available online at least one week before camp. Each student should also prepare one solo piece to play in a masterclass or during ensembles during the week.

Parents are asked to walk their students into the main parish hall at St. Stephen's where we will gather and finish each day. Parents also must come to the building to pick up their campers at the end of the day. You may drop off your child as early as 8:30am for camp, but no earlier as there may not be a supervising adult present.

The teachers have no office space at St. Stephen’s, and they will leave soon after 3:00, so please pick up your children on time! We offer additional supervision from 3-5pm each day.

On the final day of camp, Saturday, we will have dress rehearsals, special activities, including a theory bee and a pizza party. Our Camp Concert will take place at 3:00 pm in St. Stephen’s Sanctuary. Campers will wear their camp t-shirt for the concert.

Early Registration ends May 15th. After May 15th, we raise the fee to our regular registration rate (+$20).

Payments: You will receive a payment link on May 15th for early registrations.

Please note: Students are assigned to ensembles based on ability level, not age.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the audition requirements?

A: Students currently in a DUSS ensemble do not need to audition.

Students not currently participating in DUSS ensembles: please send a video recording by uploading to your Google Drive and share it with, or upload your video to YouTube on the private setting and share the link with The video should include a scale and a solo piece which best demonstrates your ability. (High quality cell phone videos are fine). Please refer to the audition requirements for our ensembles. Deadline: May 15, 2022. Early submissions are welcome and encouraged for fast feedback!

  • Violin and Cello Choirs: For more information about auditioning for this level level, please see the descriptions of the Violin Choir I, II and III and Cello Choir choir on our ensembles page. Violin students must have at least 2 years of experience and have completed at least 1 year of Violin Choir 1, or the equivalent.
  • Summer Chamber Orchestra: For more information about auditioning for this level, please see the description of the Intermediate String Orchestra and Concert String Orchestra.

Q: Are scholarships available if our family can't afford the camp?

A: Yes, we will have limited financial aid assistance. Let us know if you are interested in being a parent volunteer for a partial scholarship.

Q: Are vaccines required to attend camp? What about masks?

A: Vaccination is currently strongly recommended. We will follow Duke's guidelines for Minors Programming with regards to masking and any vaccination requirements in July. Policies are subject to change at any time. If any student tests positive for Covid-19 within one week of camp, the student should not attend camp and a full refund will be issued.

Q: We can't come to the whole camp, but want to come for part of it. Is this possible?

A: Unfortunately, no. All students will be placed in "chamber music groups," and if one student isn't participating for part of the camp, that leaves the rest of the group in the lurch. Exceptions may be made for students who need to miss 1 day for special purposes. Please note: This is a camp that runs Monday through Saturday.

Q: What are “Teen Volunteers”?

A: We typically have 7-10 dedicated high school-aged students who are members of the Youth Symphony and who help by playing in ensembles, with snack setup/cleanup, with outdoor games, and with other general needs. These volunteers also have some chamber music performance opportunities and they do not pay any fee for camp. Teen Volunteers can also use camp involvement for community service hours. Talk to your teacher to see if you are a good candidate to be a Teen Volunteer this summer. We love our Teen Volunteers!