Foster Camp Welcomes 623 Young Musicians to 79th Season

File photo of Foster Camp

More than 600 young musicians from nine states have descended on the Eastern Kentucky University campus this summer for the nation’s second oldest music camp.

Founded in the midst of the Great Depression, the Stephen Collins Foster Music Camps, now in their 79th season, offer numerous options throughout June for middle school and high school students. 

This summer, 623 students have registered, just shy of the record 632 last summer. Students can choose among band, strong, piano, vocal and world percussion camps.

The campers will also present a series of public concerts, all free of charge:

·         Friday, June 20 – String Chamber Music, 6:30 p.m., Brock Auditorium.

·         Saturday, June 21 – Piano Recital, 1 p.m., Pearl Buchanan Theatre, Keen Johnson Building; String Orchestra, 2:30 p.m., Brock Auditorium; World Percussion, 6:30 p.m., Brock Auditorium; and Band Concerts,7:30 p.m., Van Peursem Amphitheater, Ravine (Brock if rain).

·         Tuesday, June 24 – Solo/Honors Recital, 6 p.m., Gifford Theatre.

·         Wednesday, June 25—Like Instruments/Jazz Band, 6:30 p.m., Gifford Theatre.

·         Thursday, June 26 – Vocal Solo Recital, 6:30 p.m., Gifford Theatre.

·         Friday, June 27 – Grand Finale Concerts, EKU Center for the Arts, 6:30 p.m., Chorus; 7:15 p.m., Orchestra; 8 p.m., Hartwell Band; 8:30 p.m., Van Peursem Band; and Grand Finale (band/orchestra/vocal), 9 p.m.

Only the famous Interlochen Music Camp in Michigan has a longer history in the U.S. than EKU’s Foster Camp.

The EKU camp’s first director, in 1936, was Henri Schanbl, a former member of Kaiser Wilhelm’s personal band. Other directors through the years have been the camp’s founder, Joseph Van Peursem, 1940-63; Nick Koenigstein, 1964-67; Dr. Robert Hartwell, 1968-99; and Dr. Joe Allison, 2000-07, before current director Ben Walker took the reins in 2008.

For more information, visit or call the EKU Department of Music, 859-622-3266.

Published on June 16, 2014

Quick Links