college Vivace String Camp photo banner

(Director Steven Thomas giving a Lesson.)

Vivace String Camp is an eight-day camp experience rich in the art and joy of learning. VSC takes place on the beautiful campus of Houghton College, one hour from Buffalo and Rochester. The goals at VSC are to provide an inspiring musical environment, to foster the love of learning, and to stimulate creative and analytical thinking. Multiple divisions of string orchestra, piano ensemble and guitar ensemble provide an opportunity for musical and technical advancement at every level of proficiency. Chamber music, which uses just one person to a part, enriches the individual development of confidence and sound. Spending eight days immersed in this kind of extensive training is an opportunity for learning that is both empowering, enlightening and fun, an experience to be treasured for a lifetime.

The camp ends with chamber music recitals and a full “Command Performance” of all student large ensembles, performing for parents and friends.

Vivace STRING CAMP offers string, piano, and guitar students, ages 10–18 the opportunity to:
  • play in large and small ensembles
  • participate in technique and master classes
  • learn about alternative playing styles
  • learn how to practice better at home
  • perform for friends and family
  • attend concerts and workshops
  • show the other sides of you in the camp talent show
  • laugh, play sports, meet new people who share your interests and be with other musicians like you in a nurturing environment

Vivace String Camp faculty includes:
  • Directors: Martha Thomas, Steve Thomas, Sarah McIlhatten, Gavin Morgan,
    Miriam Sara Thomas
  • Conductors:Lisa Lantz
  • Violins: Martha Thomas, Steve Thomas, Lisa Lantz, Jim Ieda, Rachel Krautsack
  • Violas: Steve Thomas, Sam Marchan, Lisa Lantz
  • Cellos: Rintaro Wada, Ashly Martella
  • Bass: Bill Staebell, Jim Marone
  • Guitar: Chris Thomas
  • Piano: Ritsuko Wada
  • Registrar: Martha Thomas, M Sara Thomas
  • Photographer: Sarah K. McIlhatten, Tracy Ling
  • Artistic Advisors: David Kim, Ida Kavafian, Sally Thomas,
    Debra Moree, and Shar Products

Please click the 'Faculty' button on the left to view more about VSC faculty.

Vivace String camp faculty in rehearsal
(Conductor Steven Thomas and the Amati Orchestra.)


8:45–9:30 a.m. Orchestra and Yoga
9:35–10:10 a.m. Music Theory/Name that Tune
10:10–10:55a.m. Scale/Technique Sessions
11:00–11:40 p.m. Chamber Music
11:45–12:25p.m. OPTIONS: Guitar Ensemble, Piano Ensemble, Vivace Sings, Music Theory
12:30–1:10 p.m. LUNCH
1:15–1:55 p.m. Orchestra
2–2:55 p.m. Special Session
3–4 p.m. Chamber Music
4–5:45 p.m. Recreation
5:45-6:45 p.m. DINNER
6:45–7:25 p.m. Supervised Practice
7:30 p.m. Concert Hour
9–10 p.m. Dorm Time

Some comments from last year's campers:

"The concerts helped us get more classical music in our minds"
"I want to get better and it was fun"
"I love being with people who are inspired by music like I am"
"I really liked improving my playing"
"It was so much fun; can't wait til' next year"
"I love this camp"