UNCSA Summer Intensives offer conservatory-level training in drama, dance, music, filmmaking, animation, visual arts and more

UNCSA has announced details for its Summer Intensives in drama, dance, music, filmmaking, animation, visual arts and more, held annually on the UNCSA campus.

Taught by UNCSA faculty and distinguished guest artists and reflecting the conservatory rigor of the school’s renowned high school and undergraduate programs, the Summer Intensives offer hands-on experience and performance opportunities with access to the state-of-the art facilities and equipment at UNCSA. The Summer Intensives are open to students ranging in age from 12 to 26, depending on the program, with most geared toward high school students. Registration and audition scheduling is open on the UNCSA website.

“We are very proud to offer a place where students focus on their art in a campus environment that is both challenging and supportive,” said Suzanna Watkins, director of summer and community programs. “With our dedicated faculty and top-notch facilities, Summer Intensive students journey to the next level in their art form and gain 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, work ethic, empathy, discipline and collaboration. Along the way, these young artists build great friendships and have fun!”

Dance Intensives

Dance Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

Dance Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

UNCSA Summer Dance Intensives offer a range of concentrations and a holistic approach for serious students interested in pursuing a career in dance. The programs provide personal attention from faculty experts from the renowned School of Dance at UNCSA as well as performance opportunities.

“Our unique summer programs at UNCSA offer a cutting-edge approach to contemporary dance and classical ballet technique, movement innovation, and artistic self-discovery,” said Ashley Lindsey, director of UNCSA summer dance programs. “Our dancers gain the skills and tools necessary to excel in their art forms and lives.”

Contemporary and Ballet Intensives
June 25-July 22
Ages 12-18, audition required

The Contemporary and Classical Ballet Summer Intensives are separate, four-week intensives taught by experienced faculty from School of Dance and distinguished guest artists. The programs offer a cross-disciplinary approach to ballet and contemporary dance, with classes in technique and repertory alongside master classes in a range of styles including hip-hop, ballroom, jazz, musical theater and more.Seminars and Q&As will cover practical topics such as dancer health and mental wellness, injury prevention, and career planning.

Additionally, students ages 15-18 will have the opportunity to audition and work with guest choreographers participating in the Choreographic Institute, who are among the leading dance-makers in the contemporary dance world (this summer's choreographers to be announced at a later date). All students will participate in a professionally produced dance performance of new works and classical repertory at the end of the program.

Professional Studies Intensive
July 16-22
Ages 15-26, audition required

The Professional Studies Summer Intensive offers a one-week deep dive into the creative process, teaching methodology and repertory of some of today's leading contemporary choreographers. Classes include improvisation, repertory and new creations, alongside seminars and Q&As on careers in the arts, the business of dance, injury prevention and mental wellness.

Following the success of last summer’s dance film “NEXT” (featured in Dance Magazine’s “Friday Film Break” and an official selection of the Greensboro Dance Film Festival), students will take part in the creation of a new dance film directed and choreographed by UNCSA Dance alumni Lindsey and Grady Bowman. Additional faculty for this summer’s program include professional dancer/choreographers Sidra Bell, Norbert De La Cruz and Maddie Hicks.

Drama Intensive

June 25-July 15
Ages 15-18, audition required

Drama Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

Drama Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

The UNCSA Drama Summer Intensive offers the opportunity to train with faculty from the renowned School of Drama, ranked fourth in the world by The Hollywood Reporter, with a multidisciplinary approach to training for the stage, film and television. Students will spend their days focused on fundamentals of the craft: acting, dancing and singing, through two tracks: acting and musical theater. UNCSA alumnus and telelvision and Broadway actor/singer Wesley Taylor (“Smash,” “The Addams Family”) will teach musical theater classes. Both tracks provide on-camera training.

“The Summer Drama Intensive at UNCSA offers students an authentic conservatory experience,” said Quin Gordon, Drama faculty member and director of its summer program. “The acting track will help students focus on developing awareness around their natural instrument in order to become better communicators of story, whereas the musical theater track will help singers become storytellers. Above all, students will have fun immersing themselves in the art form with like-minded peers and build connections that last a lifetime.”

Filmmaking Intensive

June 25-July 22
Ages 15-18

Filmmaking Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

Filmmaking Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

The Filmmaking Summer Intensive is a comprehensive, hands-on college preparatory program immersing students in all aspects of narrative filmmaking, including screenwriting, cinematography, directing, producing and digital editing. Students will develop their own individual short narrative films, using the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment from the top-ranked UNCSA School of Filmmaking, and guidance from resident faculty and guests. The program is led by UNCSA faculty member and experienced director and screenwriter Janos Kovacsi

Animation Intensive 

June 26-July 8 (introductory); July 9-22 (advanced)
Ages 15-18

The Animation Summer Intensive offers both introductory and advanced programs exploring visual storytelling, storyboarding, cinematography, directing, animation production, editing and sound design. A variety of styles will be taught, including hand-drawn, stop-motion and 3D computer animation, with individual instruction from experienced professional animators. Students will receive hands-on guidance as they create their own unique short film. Presentations and screenings will delve into history and techniques of animation; students will participate in critiques and screen their own work for families and friends.

“The UNCSA Animation Summer Intensive is a memorable and fun experience that will help students gain insight into all aspects of animation, while building lasting connections with fellow animators from across the country,” said Keith Hobgood, School of Filmmaking faculty member and director of its summer animation program.

Visual Arts Intensive

June 25-July 22
Ages 14-18

Visual Arts Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

Visual Arts Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

The Visual Arts Summer Intensive offers classes in drawing and design. Students will explore historical concepts and practices and contemporary imagery through slide shows, lectures, and library assignments; participate in classroom critiques; and show their work in a virtual gallery exhibition for families and friends. Design, taught by UNCSA high school Visual Arts faculty member Kaitlin Wilson Botts, is a studio course offering an introduction to the basic elements of design, helping students develop visual problem-solving skills in a variety of media and sharpen a sense of optical awareness and craftsmanship. Studies addressing line, value, proportion, perspective, principles of design, and layout are employed to facilitate artistic interpretation and compositional control. 

“The Visual Arts Summer Intensive is designed to lay a groundwork for the young visual artists while challenging them in their approach,” said Botts. “Students are exposed to a wide variety of materials and processes that are meant to engage them in the act of exploration, development of skill, and the purpose of meaning within their work.”

Guest artist Miranda Javid will teach drawing, a studio course designed to provide students with a solid drawing foundation, including elements of line, gesture, shape, value, texture, space, scale, proportion, composition, and perspective. Students will develop their ability to articulate the ideas, options, obstacles, and motivations that direct the drawing process. Assignments and exercises will help students develop technical skills and broaden conceptual thinking. 

Music Intensives

Music Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

Music Summer Intensive / Photo: Lauren Olinger

The School of Music at UNCSA offers Music Summer Intensives taught by UNCSA faculty and guest artists. Students receive one-on-one training and are immersed in a supportive musical environment with state-of-the-art instruments and concert halls, private practice areas, an extensive music library, and performance and demonstration opportunities.

“The Summer Music Intensives at UNCSA are a wonderful opportunity for musicians to enhance their skills and grow as an artist,” said Saxton Rose, dean of the School of Music. “The unique opportunity to work with our world-class faculty and receive personalized attention, in a campus setting with their peers, can help propel students to the next level as they prepare to audition for a conservatory, or simply explore their artistic potential.”

Summer Composition/Music Technology
June 25-July 15
Ages 15-19

The Composition/Music Technology Summer Intensive is for composers with or without formal training who have already created their own music but who want to expand their creative perspective and technique. Students will study creating music for film, songwriting, and composing music for the concert stage. Taught by composer and former UNCSA faculty member Michael S. Rothkopf, the program includes individual composition lessons plus courses in composition techniques, music technology, songwriting, music notation, recording, orchestration, harmony, counterpoint ear training and improvisation. Students will create music using the latest digital technology as well as work with live performers.

"What I love about this summer workshop is that it is not only an outlet for young composers to realize their creative musical ideas, but it also offers a pathway for both beginning and advanced students to take their creative work and step into the world of being a professional composer,” said Rothkopf. “Many former students have used this workshop to assemble portfolios that lead them to acceptance at UNCSA and other major music conservatories around the country.”

Harp Intensive, “American Harp Academy”
June 25-July 1
Ages 12-adult

UNCSA annually hosts the American Harp Academy on campus, led by UNCSA faculty member and harp department chair Jacquelyn Bartlett. Harpists participate in intensive study with world-class performers and dedicated teachers in a program designed to prepare harpists for competitions, auditions, recitals, repertoire expansion, and other artistic ambitions.

Organ Intensive
July 16-22
Ages 13-18

UNCSA’s Summer Pipe Organ Intensive, taught by UNCSA faculty member and organ department chair Timothy Olsen, is a five-day, rigorous program for students with prior organ experience that will further students’ understanding of the basic rudiments of pipe organ technique, service playing, improvisation, and fundamentals. Through daily lessons and improvisation study, the program will offer an overview of organ literature, history, pipe organ construction and design, and other related topics, such as a visit to the theater organ at the historic Carolina Theatre in Greensboro. The city of Winston-Salem has a rich culture of the organ and many active, avid supporters, with historic instruments in local churches and in Old Salem (1800 David Tannenberg, II/13). UNCSA has four organs on campus including two C.B. Fisk organs (Opus 75, III/52; Opus 59, II/12).

Piano Intensive
June 25-July 8
Ages 12 -18

Taught by UNCSA faculty members Dmitri Shteinberg and Dmitri Vorobiev, the UNCSA Piano Summer Intensive provides individual attention for pianists hoping to improve their playing, through a one-week or two-week program with both in-person and online options. The program will focus on sound production, technique and convincing interpretation, culminating in a student recital. UNCSA performance facilities feature a collection of Steinway pianos housed in three venues: four Steinway Model D concert grand pianos (three Hamburg and one New York) and a fifth Steinway Model B. There is a separate dedicated practice area for pianists, which features 14 soundproof rooms with regularly maintained grand pianos. The school also owns three French Double Manual harpsichords, a concert organ and three practice organs.

Voice Intensive
June 25-July 15
Ages 13-18

UNCSA voice faculty, alumni and guest artists lead the Voice Summer Intensive through lessons, group voice classes, Alexander Technique, yoga, music theory, aural skills, stage combat, drama and improvisation. Using varying musical styles including classical art song, opera and musical theater, the course is designed to enhance technique, build upon the singer’s existing foundation, and help develop complete artists and singing actors. The program is directed by soprano Amanda Moody-Schumpert, an alumna of the UNCSA A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute.

Community Summer Programs 

Ages 3-16, plus adults

UNCSA also offers summer day camps and evening classes for younger students and adults, including:

Visit our community program summer pages for more information and registration for Community Summer programs.

Visit our summer intensive pages for information, registration and audition scheduling for UNCSA Summer Intensives.

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February 21, 2023