2021 Summer Camps

Many 2021 summer camps are moving online. Camp webpages will be updated as more information becomes available. Westminster College's main priority during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be the health, safety, and wellness of camp participants, student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and staff.

students performing in the concert hall at SummerSong camp

students posing for photo on stage in concert hall

Each year, the Florence J. Gillmor School of Music at Westminster College hosts the SummerSong Music Festival, a music camp for talented high school singers and pianists. Thanks to generous funding by the Florence J. Gillmor Foundation, 25 singers and 10 pianists are invited to stay on campus and receive a week-long immersion in the art of singing and piano performance.

High school juniors and seniors who participate in all lessons, classes, and activities of SummerSong will receive a Westminster College transcript for two college elective music credits, transferable to any college or university.

SummerSong Activities

SummerSong activities run every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Evening camp activities may include excursions to the nearby Sugar House Park, hiking in the Wasatch Mountains, s’mores, movie and karaoke nights, swimming and volleyball, and plenty of hangout time with students from across the country. The week’s musical studies culminate in two showcase recitals on Friday, featuring SummerSong singers, pianists, and choir.

The week’s activities include:

  • Two private lessons with Westminster music faculty
  • Daily master classes
  • Music workshops
  • A daily yoga class
  • Acting classes with Westminster theatre faculty
  • A daily choir and movement rehearsal
  • Evening activities including hiking, performances, games, and access to the Dolores Doré Eccles Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center
  • Faculty recitals
  • Student showcase concerts

Housing and Meals

All SummerSong participants experience residential life on Westminster’s picturesque college campus during the camp—staying in Westminster housing and dining in the Shaw Student Center. All participants will also have a camp counselor assigned to them 24/7 during the camp for their safety.

Housing and meals are included in the registration fee, and campus housing will provide sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, soap, and shampoo. Special housing scholarships are available for qualified students; indicate your interest on the application form to be considered for a scholarship.

You may check into your dorm room on Sunday, 3–6:00 p.m. You must check out of your dorm room before 10:00 a.m. on Saturday—many students leave after the Student Showcase Concert on Friday evening.

What to Pack

At the Student Showcase Concert, students will perform in their camp t-shirt and choice of bottoms and shoes. Pack comfortable clothes for hot summer weather and comfortable shoes that could work for hiking, going to the gym, neighborhood walking, or shopping. Include layers like a cardigan or sweatshirt for rooms with strong air conditioning. If you're interested in using the pool at the Health, Wellness, and Athletic Center, pack your swimsuit.

Camp Faculty

Everyone at the camp will have a chance to work with a variety of Westminster's faculty. However, if you have a specific private lesson teacher request, please email:

Piano Faculty

A fearless interpreter of large-scale piano works both modern and historical, Jason Hardink’s recent repertoire includes the complete Michael Hersch The Vanishing Pavilions, Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus, the Liszt Transcendental Etudes paired with the Boulez Notations, and Wolfgang Rihm’s numbered Klavierstücke, all of which he performs from memory.

His recent debut at Weill Recital Hall was lauded for its audacious programming and playing with "abandon and remarkable clarity" (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times). David Wright of New York Classical Review called the recital an “analogous musical event” to Alex Honnold’s free solo ascent of El Capitan, and Frank Daykin of New York Concert Review wrote "I want to emphasize how very impressive this recital was, and how un-routine the programming was."

Recent performances include his debut at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music as soloist in the North American premiere of Gerald Barry’s Piano Concerto with conductor Cristian Macelaru. Events during the 2018-19 season include Andrew Norman's piano concerto Suspend with Thierry Fischer and the Utah Symphony (September 2018), a solo recital at Carnegie Hall presented by Key Pianists (February 2019), and performances of Michael Hersch's stunning 2.5-hour solo piano cycle The Vanishing Pavilions at Oberlin Conservatory (November 2019) and Aperio, Music of the Americas (Houston, April 2019).

Much sought after as a chamber musician, Mr. Hardink has collaborated in recital with violinists Augustin Hadelich, Nicola Benedetti, and Phillip Setzer. His performances with violinist Augustin Hadelich were recently featured on Performance Today. He has appeared on chamber music series all over the U.S., including Music in Context, fEARnoMUSIC, Music on the Hill, Aperio Music of the Americas, Montana Chamber Music Society, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Hardink has performed solo works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Brahms on period instruments, and he has toured Norway with violinist Tor Johan Bøen performing the Grieg Sonatas for Violin and Piano on an 1853 Blüthner. He has performed concerti with conductors Donald Runnicles, Carlos Kalmar, and Brett Mitchell and regularly appears at the Grand Teton Music Festival every summer.

Recording projects include a recent performance of Saint-Saens’ Le carnaval des animaux with the Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer, and pianist Kimi Kawashima, to be released as a live recording on the Hyperion label. Upcoming recordings releases include Jason Eckardt’s pulse-echo with the JACK Quartet.

As Artistic Director of the NOVA Chamber Music Series for 9 seasons, Mr. Hardink’s programming vision regularly juxtaposed the standard works of the canon with music by living composers. His work with NOVA earned Hardink a 2016 Salt Lake City Mayor’s Artist Award.

A native of Rhode Island and a graduate of both Oberlin Conservatory and the Shepherd School of Music, his former teachers include Robert Boberg and Sanford Margolis. Hardink holds a DMA from Rice University, where he studied with Brian Connelly; his Doctoral thesis “Messiaen and Plainchant” explores the varying levels of influence that Gregorian chant exerted on the music of Olivier Messiaen.

Pianist Kimi Kawashima enjoys a committed career as a teacher, performer, and arts administrator. She was born and raised in Bowling Green, Ohio and made her concerto debut with the Toledo Symphony at the age of 14.  Ms. Kawashima has performed in such notable chamber music series such as the Grand Teton Music Festival, Music in Context, Musiqa, Aperio, Intermezzo and NOVA, and has performed orchestral keyboard with the Utah Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. She has curated and performed in critically acclaimed programs featured on KUHF’s Front Row radio program, Houston’s Zilkha Hall, and the Rothko Chapel. A recipient of the Dean’s Talent Award Scholarship at Oberlin Conservatory, Ms. Kawashima received a 2008 Presser Foundation Award to study various keyboard instruments in France (piano), the Netherlands (fortepiano), and at the University of Michigan (harpsichord). Kimi completed her DMA in piano performance at Rice University, as a student of Brian Connelly. She was selected to perform at the Terrace Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C as part of the Conservatory Project. She was the winner of the Shepherd School Concerto Competition, performing the Concerto for Piano and Strings by Alfred Schnittke with the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra and conductor James Gaffigan.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Kawashima will perform this season with violinist Will Hagen, and members of the Utah Symphony for NOVA Chamber Music Series. Ms. Kawashima served as performer and curator for the Aperio Chamber Music Series where she organized the concert "Intersections: A Musical Perspective of Cy Twombly" at the Menil Collection, performing John Cage’s seminal Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano. She has been featured with members of the Utah Symphony and conductor Keith Lockhart and baritone Timothy Jones in performances of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King and has commissioned composers Erin Watson and Thomas Osborne. As a performer in the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble, she has performed for composers Tristan Murail, Frederic Rzewski and Chen Yi, among others.

In December 2017, Kimi performed with the Utah Symphony and Principal Keyboard Jason Hardink, for performances and a forthcoming Hyperion recording of Saint-Saens beloved Carnival of the Animals, with Maestro Thierry Fischer. Kimi is currently Assistant Director of Music and Piano faculty at Westminster College, where she teaches piano, an interdisciplinary Honors College seminar called Welcome to Thinking and oversees the music department's scholarships and piano activities.

Kerri Green received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Brigham Young University. Her busy private piano studio maintains high standards while emphasizing the ability of all students to find joy in music making. She performs as a collaborative pianist and enjoys lecturing and writing on pedagogical topics. As an adjunct faculty member at Westminster College, she teaches group piano classes and private lessons.

Voice Faculty

Emily Nelson holds degrees in voice, music history, and early music performance from Indiana University and the University of Utah, where she completed her doctorate in vocal performance. Her passion for teaching stems from her deep love of sharing music as a performer. Her love of music of all kinds has led her down diverse paths that include singing opera in Italy and Austria, studying Medieval song in France, learning how to tango dance and, for a short time, finding herself singing backup in a Brazilian pop band. She co-founded Utopia Early Music, a 501(c)(3) organization that gives historically informed performances of medieval, baroque, and renaissance music in Salt Lake City. She is an Adjunct Professor at Westminster College, where she teaches voice and World Music, and an Associate Instructor at the University of Utah, where she teaches World Music and Survey of Jazz. She also teaches voice and songwriting at Eva Carlston Academy, a residential therapy high school that uses the arts to empower students.

A native of Dayton, OH, tenor Christopher Puckett has maintained an active career as both a performer and teacher over the last decade. Dr. Puckett made his professional debut as a member of the prestigious Gerdine Young Artist's Program at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, appearing as Wolfram in The Tales of Hoffmann. Other operatic credits include leading roles in The Turn of the Screw, Così fan tutte, Street Scene, Cendrillon, A Midsummer Night's Dream, La Sonnambula, Don Giovanni, Little Women, The Mikado, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Susannah. Equally at home in concert repertoire as on the operatic stage, Dr. Puckett has also performed roles in a variety of oratorios, including Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ, and Haydn's Missa in tempore belli. Dr. Puckett has a particular interest in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach and has frequently appeared as a soloist in performances of Bach's church cantatas. In 2016 he made his debut as the Evangelist in Bach's St. Matthew Passion as a part of the Southwest Area Choral Directors' Association Regional Conference in Kansas City, MO. A champion of new music, Puckett recently sang the role of Sergeant Edward Younger in the world premiere of Timothy C. Takach's oratorio We, the Unknown with the Heartland Mens Chorus of Kansas City, and also sang the Alabama premiere of Evan Mack's A Little More Perfect, a musical setting of Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in the ground-breaking SCOTUS marriage equality ruling. In addition to Bach, Dr. Puckett is an ardent interpreter of the music of Benjamin Britten, and also holds a particular interest in both the study and performance of the music of modern LGBTQ composers.

Dr. Puckett is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Head of the Voice Area at Westminster College.  He served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at both the University of Northern Colorado and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Music at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, CO and Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. In 2017 he completed a residency as Visiting Artist-Teacher of Voice at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO, where he taught private lessons to both voice and musical theatre majors in addition to presenting a Master Class. Most recently, Dr. Puckett served as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Voice Area at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Former students have gone on to performance careers at both the regional and national level, as well as careers in both music and theatre education. Dr. Puckett holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, a Master of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wright State University.


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