During the academic year, it’s common to hear a variety of music wafting from the studios and rehearsal halls in Music Buildings I and II. During one week in the summer, passers-by are likely to be treated to some music as well, but this time by talented high school students participating in the Honors Music Institute (HMI). The 2015 institute takes place July 12–18, with about 90 participants from across Pennsylvania and beyond.
The Honors Music Institute, directed by Jayne Glocke, started as a summer music camp in 1997 and has evolved into a prestigious opportunity for high school musicians. Originally called Summer Music at Penn State, the program was open to all and included options in choir, band, jazz band and piano. In 2013, in order to address participants’ desire for an appropriately challenging experience, the program was revamped and renamed the Honors Music Institute. Applicants to HMI must submit a YouTube video audition, which is evaluated by the institute’s faculty, many of whom are School of Music faculty members. Options for participants—selected based on level of musicianship and technical ability—now include chamber choir, piano and wind ensemble.
“Although we loved the ‘come one, come all’ concept, we found that we did not have the mass of participants needed to have multiple choirs and bands so as to give each student a meaningful musical experience at the level to which they were suited,” explained Glocke, who serves as director of Penn State’s Campus Choir and Women’s Chorale.
Participants, which include students entering 9th through 12th grade, stay in North Halls and fill their days with masterclasses, lessons, chamber ensembles and classes on various musical topics. They also rehearse for an end-of-week concert. In the evenings, they attend recitals by the HMI faculty.
“The days are busy, fun and full of great music-making and learning,” said Glocke. “Because all participants arrive on campus with similar abilities, they are able to have significant musical experiences and achieve a very high level of music-making by the end of the week.”
According to Glocke, many of the participants ultimately attend Penn State, majoring in music and/or participating in one of the School of Music’s numerous ensembles.