Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I choose Cannon Music Camp?
A. When you attend our summer camp you will grow musically. You will meet other campers and faculty who will push you to discover yourself and your talents. While on campus you will experience the Hayes School of Music faculty and staff and the campus of Appalachian State University.

This is a great time to learn about your direction for college. You can talk to our faculty and staff and explore what you want in a college/university. Stop by our Dean's office and get assistance with the process of applying or visit our website for "Prospective Students". We also offer a program called "Student for a Day", this is for high school juniors and seniors who will visit our school and get immersed in our classes and programs.

The time at camp will consist of practicing, studying, fun and meeting 200 other campers who share your love of music. It is time to find out what direction you will take with your music. The most important thing to do for yourself is to PRACTICE, STUDY and PREPARE for your Ensemble Placement Audition and get ready for your three weeks of great musical advancement. You will come away with the skills to help you advance in your school's music program, state competition or prepare you for your college music program.

Another great tidbit, our counselors are not just the typical camp counselor, they are music educators and music students. They teach at local schools and colleges in North Carolina, they are graduate students and music majors at Appalachian State University. They assist the faculty based on their performance area. Each faculty member is assigned a counselor to assist with the daily practicing, ensembles, and Finale Performances. They will be your dorm counselor, your music counselor, and your mentor. Cannon Music is unique in that most of the counselors attended Cannon Music Camp as a camper, just like yourself.


Q. We are looking at several summer opportunities for our child. What sets Cannon Music Camp apart from the others?
A. Cannon Music Camp offers a comprehensive musical experience to the camper. They will experience large ensemble rehearsals and performances, chamber and small ensemble opportunities, one level of a four-level theory curriculum, master classes, and individual instruction. The three week period allows each camper to experience substantial learning and growth through diverse musical instruction and participation. There is time to achieve both short and long-range goals without the interruption of the process after five days. The clientele of Cannon Music Camp is more focused and accomplished than the clientele of the stereotypical "one-week" experience. The credentials of the teaching faculty and counseling staff are nationally recognized and acclaimed. In 2018 Cannon Music Camp celebrated its 50th year as the "Southeast's premier comprehensive summer musical experience!"

Q. What are your application requirements?
A. Cannon Music Camp seeks to accept those students who have a strong sense of character and citizenship, along with superlative scholastic and musical achievements. The camp does not wish to admit the student who is unable to act responsibly, follow directions, or accept constructive criticism. You will forward the "School Recommendation Form" to their school administration to request an evaluation of the student's disciplinary record and attendance, along with their judgment as to the capability to interact with 200+ other students.

All applicants must submit a referral from their music instructor. This recommendation should speak to the camper's ability to perform a repertoire at the level of Grade IV or higher. After this process, you will be notified of acceptance by e-mail to the parent/guardian & student.

All other required forms can be found here:


Q. If my child is applying to another summer event, and we won't know if they are accepted until after the Cannon scholarship offer expires, what should we do?
A. You should apply to secure your space and scholarship offer. If you must withdraw your application and it is getting close to the cancellation deadline of April 15th to receive your application deposit of $100 refunded, e-mail us and we can review what we can do to honor the refund.


Q. What exactly does the tuition pay for?
A. In simplest terms, the basic camp tuition covers:

  • Housing for 21 nights - 2 campers per room for a total of 2 campers per room with a community bathroom. They are supervised by professional counselors and placed in groups with one counselor to a group.
  • Daily exposure to a minimum of three professional music educators
  • One weekly lesson (for a total of 3)
  • One weekly master class (for a total of 3)
  • Infirmary privileges
  • Camp t-shirt
  • Camp Picnic and Awards Banquet Dinner
  • Optional; you may perform or just watch our own Camper Talent Show
  • Exposure to the Hayes School of Music professors, faculty and staff, at the campus of Appalachian State University.
  • 3 weeks with 200+ other students who love music!


Q. What exactly will my child be doing during the regular day?
A. Each weekday starts with classes beginning at 9 A.M. and ending between 4-5 P.M. Lunch is from 12 to 1 P.M. Each camper follows a daily schedule determined, in part, by the results of their placement audition and theory examination. Each camper can expect to participate in at least one major ensemble, attend a daily theory class, and participate in any number of elective secondary ensembles (jazz, vocal, instrumental). Additionally, their private lesson will be scheduled into their weekly routine. Special interest classes (Piano Class, Alexander Technique, Jazz Improvisation) are available and do have class size limitations. View typical camper schedules here. Saturday and Sundays will be filled with picnics, a talent show, practicing their instrument/voice, and relaxing on the campus of Appalachian State University. The theory exam is on the Saturday of arrival & placement auditions are on the first Sunday.


Q. Describe the ensemble placement audition.
A. Each camper plays and/or sings an audition on the second afternoon of the camp (Sunday). From this audition, placement in the major ensembles is established. Studio assignments with faculty are also made from the results of these auditions. The auditions are designed to be as informal as possible while still performing their evaluative function. Campers are asked to demonstrate, to the best of their ability, standard application of scales (instrumental); to be prepared to play or sing a solo or appropriate etude on their instrument or voice; and in some cases, sight-read. We recognize that some students may not audition as well as they perform. However, the faculty is extremely qualified in the ability to ascertain strengths and weaknesses, even with anxiety present in the audition. We know that many of our campers come from backgrounds where they may be the "first chair" or "principal" player. Unfortunately, as a result of a process such as this, not everyone can be that "first chair" player here. View more information on the specific audition requirements for each instrument, voice, or ensemble here.


Q. How free are the campers to move in and about the App State campus?
A. After classes, campers may relax on campus, enjoy our recreation facilities, or enjoy other outings supervised by our staff. Weekends are filled with practicing, a picnic, concert attendance, and recreational activities. Concerts featuring campers are on Sundays and the last three days of camp.


Q. What provisions are made for parents, relatives, and friends to visit a camper?
A. All parents, relatives, and friends are wholeheartedly invited to visit camp and App State. We ask that all campers continue to follow their schedule in its entirety during these visits. The camp simply asks for a "release of liability," in written form, from parent and/or guardian to be placed on file before the checkout of the camper. With each circumstance being different, the administration of Cannon Music Camp would need to be consulted on a case-by-case basis. Cannon Music Camp does not permit the visits of girlfriends or boyfriends if private vehicles are involved.  

Q. What are the evening activities?
A. Evening activities can range from movie nights, extra-musical activities (sectionals, combos, etc.), concerts and recitals, counselor-initiated activities (ultimate frisbee, volleyball, etc.). There is always something to do, and there's always a practice room available to help make them better musicians too!


Q. Are concerts open to the public?
A. Yes, all Cannon Music Camp concerts are free and open to the public. A concert schedule will be developed and publicized for campers, parents, and the Northwest North Carolina region. View our calendar of camp concerts.


Q. Your camp enrollment ranges in age from 13-18. What policies/procedures are established to encourage, monitor, and discipline the students during the three weeks at camp?
A. Cannon Music Camp has established an extensive screening process that precedes confirmation of registration and enrollment. A camper's credentials and character are thoroughly examined by reference and contact with appropriate school administration. Additionally, a handbook is published and documents all policies and procedures required by Cannon Music Camp, the School of Music, Appalachian State University, and the State of North Carolina. Compliance with the regulations is strictly and diligently monitored. Consequences of unacceptable behavior and infraction of guidelines are documented and acknowledged both by the parent or guardian and camper before the final confirmation of registration. The Camper Handbook will be available approximately one month before the start of camp and will also include information about camp life, packing suggestions, and other little details that will make camp go smoothly for everyone. View the online version of the Handbook.


Q. Can a camper study and perform on a secondary instrument or voice?
A. Yes. We offer secondary lessons on a "space-available" basis. After we have taken care of everyone's primary lesson needs, we can offer secondary lessons as our faculty have time in their schedules to give them. There is an additional fee for secondary lessons.


Q. Is there more specific information available about what is offered and expected of each instrument and for voices?
A. Yes, please view our instructions for each performance area.