Hartt Summer Youth Festival
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Hartt Summer Youth Festival

July 22-26, 2019

A comprehensive full-day program for passionate musicians in grades 6-8.


Register online!

The Hartt Summer Youth Festival (HSYF) offers musicians in grades 6–8 a holistic program, including ensemble and solo offerings. In the morning, students focus on instrument-specific techniques, repertoire, and ensemble work with distinguished HCD faculty. After lunch, students come together for ensemble rehearsal, working with renowned conductors Glen Adsit (wind ensemble) and Edward Cumming (orchestra) alongside graduate-level conductors and music educators. HSYF empowers students to hone their technical skills with distinctive faculty in a friendly, supportive environment.

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Location and Schedule

The University of Hartford's Hartt School
200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, Conn.
Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.—4:30 p.m.


9 a.m.12 p.m.: Instrument Specific Master Class

1212:30 p.m.: Lunch Break

12:301:30 p.m.: Choir Rehearsal

1:30–4:30 p.m.: Wind Ensemble Rehearsal with Glen Adsit or String Orchestra with Edward Cumming


  • Tuition: $475
  • Non-refundable registration fee: $25

Register Today!

Register by May 1, 2019, and waive the registration fee.
Registration deadline: June 21, 2019

Making an Introduction Video for Hartt Summer Youth Festival

Eligibility: Students in grades 6-8 with two years of experience on their instrument are welcome to attend the Hartt Summer Youth Festival 2019!

Help us get to know you by giving us a sneak peek at your personality and your talents, this is not an audition! This is informal, make it with your cell phone, and don’t worry if you’re not perfect, we just want to learn a bit about you!

Introduction Video Requirements

  • At the start of your audition recording, please introduce yourself by name, instrument, and what grade you’ll be going into in fall 2019.

  • Play one scale of choice.  This could be a simple as a one-octave major scale or chromatic scale.

  • Perform a short piece, this could be a few bars of your band/orchestra music or the piece that you are working on in your private lessons. We just want to see you play! Only your teachers for Hartt Summer Youth Festival will see this recording.

  • Optional: Anything else you want us to know about you?

All Introduction Videos are submitted online. Please send recorded online Introduction Videos to harttcomm@hartford.edu.

  • Registrations accepted January 2–June 21, 2019

  • Send your Introduction Video link (YouTube and Vimeo are preferred*) to harttcomm@hartford.edu

*Videos may not be marked private on YouTube and Vimeo videos marked private must provide a password with submission.

This program has rolling admissions.

Step 1: Register online.

Step 2: Submit an Introduction Video (You Tube or Vimeo preferred) to harttcomm@hartford.edu within one week of registering.


Instrument Offerings

These courses are available for students on flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, horn, trumpet, trombone, low brass, percussion, violin, viola, cello and bass. Please expand each section for details about the program for that specific instrument.

Flute with Barbara Hopkins

Summer Master Classes flute students

This week of fun and intensive training provides flute students with the opportunity to gain performance experience, study with a professional flutist, and learn alongside their peers in a supportive and encouraging environment. Each day includes a group stretch, warm-up, flute ensemble rehearsal and flute repertoire study, including clinics on topics important to you, from mastering those tricky passages to how to present yourself at an audition. This week will bring your musicianship to the next level.

Program Clinic Highlights for Flutists

  • Break it down! Tips on Effective Practicing
  • Where'd that beautiful tone come from? How to improve your sound
  • Flute ensemble playing
  • Get a head start on Regional Band pieces and scales
  • Intonation, posture, and you

About Barbara Hopkins, D.M.A

Barbara HopkinsFlute faculty Barbara Hopkins received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Samuel Baron. She earned her Master of Music from The Mannes College of Music under Thomas Nyfenger, and her Bachelor of Music at The Hartt School with John Wion. She currently serves as Assistant Principal Flute with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, teaches at The Hartt School Community Division, and plays historical flute with the Rosewood Chamber Ensemble.

Barbara was first prize winner in the National Flute Association Orchestral Audition Competition, has been a top prize winner in the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, and was awarded a fellowship to Tanglewood Music Center, where she had the honor of playing Principal flute under Leonard Bernstein.

Clarinet with Curt Blood

This series of performance-oriented classes helps students improve their musicianship through a guided review of basic technique, intensive study of solo and ensemble repertoire, and efficient practice habit development. Students delve into recordings of prominent clarinetists of yesterday and today, and look at instrument and reed maintenance to maximize achievement. Advance your musicianship while gaining a greater understanding of what makes a well-rounded clarinetist.Clarinet student at The Hartt School Community Division

Program Highlights for Clarinetists

  • Warm-up! Tone production, long tones and scales.
  • Extending the range: the three octave F and G scale!
  • School Bus Tones: a study of articulation
  • Solo and ensemble work
  • Regionals audition preparation
  • The art of practice
  • Basic instrument care and maintenance
  • Clarinetists of the past and present: a guide to listening

About Curt Blood

Curt BloodClarinetist Curt Blood joined The Hartt School collegiate faculty in the fall of 2006 and the Hartt School Community Division faculty in the fall of 2015.  He has been an active teacher and performer in New England since 1982, when he was appointed Principal Clarinetist of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, a position he still holds.  Additionally, he has performed with many of the areas finest orchestras, including the New Haven Symphony, Springfield Symphony, and Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and has performed in Carnegie Hall and Symphony Hall in Boston.  Each summer, Blood serves as Principal Clarinetist with the Buzzards Bay Musicfest in Marion, Massachusetts.  Blood has played under the direction of esteemed conductors, Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Slatkin.

During his career with the HSO, Blood has performed with many great artists, from Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, and Yo Yo Ma, to Rod Stewart, Tony Bennett, and Aretha Franklin. Blood has performed the concertos Mozart and Copland, as soloist with the Hartford Symphony in Mortensen Hall in Hartford and Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In addition to his work at The Hartt School, Blood’s teaching credits have included positions at the University of Connecticut, Wesleyan University, and Trinity College.  His past students have performed throughout the country with ensembles, including The Minnesota Orchestra, Albany Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, and The United States Coast Guard Band.  Many of his students are dedicated music educators in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast.

Blood graduated from New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He studied clarinet with William Wrzesien.

Oboe with Charles Huang

Clarinet student at The Hartt School Community Division

The oboe might have a reputation of being a difficult instrument, but it can be more enjoyable with the correct playing techniques and positive musical approach to learning and listening. We can simplify and overcome many of the obstacles in order to express the music and ourselves to the fullest.

Program Highlights for Oboists

  • Best use of the Air, Embouchure and Fingers
  • Playing Better in Tune and with Beautiful Tone
  • Basics to Advanced Artistry: Scales and Dynamics to Vibrato and Sight-reading
  • Preparing for Auditions: Performing at Your Best
  • Tips to Teach Yourself and to Manage Your Reeds
  • Ensemble: Sounding Good when Playing with Others

About Charles Huang, DMA

Charles HuangCharles Huang, DMA, has performed throughout North and South America, Germany, and Asia as soloist and chamber musician. A founding member of Oboe Duo Agosto and the Sylvanus Ensemble, he is active in commissioning new works and advancing a wide variety of repertoire for their concerts. Huang has been a Fulbright Scholar with studies in Stuttgart, Germany; a semi-finalist in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition; a scholarship recipient to the Music Academy of the West and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival; and a winner of the Miami String Quartet Competition. He is currently serving on the faculty of The Hartt School Community Division for oboe and chamber music and has been a guest teacher and performer at various colleges and festivals, including The Hartt School, the University of Michigan, the University of Cincinnati (CCM), SUNY Purchase, Chiayi University in Taiwan, conferences for the College Music Society, the International Double Reed Society, the Lucarelli Oboe Master Class, and the Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil. Huang’s principal teachers include Nancy Ambrose King, DMA; Humbert Lucarelli; Ray Still; and Ingo Goritzki.

Saxophone with Andrew Studenski

Summer Master Classes saxophone studentsDeveloping saxophonists will progress towards mastery of the following technical and expressive aspects of their playing: tone production, intonation, technical proficiency, range, phrase shaping and musicality, ensemble blend, aural skills, sight-reading and improvisation. This summer program will allow the developing saxophonist to grow within both the classical and jazz idioms, delving into classical and jazz repertoire. Students will learn to develop productive practice habits in order to build a useful routine and continue improving on their own.

Daily Schedule: 

9–9:10 Group stretch and breathing exercises 
9:10–9:30 Warm-up, with a focus on tone and intonation 
9:30–10 Developing technique through scales, exercises, and repertoire 
10–10:30 Solo repertoire preparation, including sight-reading work 
10:30–10:45 Break 
10:45–11 Master class discussions, which look closely at instrument care and equipment, reed selection and care, practice techniques, and performance preparation. 
11–11:30 Ensemble playing 
11:30–12 Jazz Style and Improvisation

Program Highlights for Saxophonists

  • Building a beautiful, characteristic tone on the saxophone
  • Playing with more stable intonation
  • Improving technical facility
  • Developing consistent and useful practice habits
  • Building on the basics: Jazz theory and improvisational devices
  • Enriching solo and ensemble playing through listening
  • Developing an understanding of appropriate equipment and instrument care

About Andrew Studenski

Andrew StudenskiAndrew Studenski is a freelance saxophonist and multiple-woodwind player currently residing in the Greater Hartford area. Originally from Brockton, Massachusetts, Andrew relocated to study at The Hartt School, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Saxophone Performance.

Since then, he has appeared as a classical saxophonist with the Juilliard Wind Ensemble, Le Train Bleu, and the Hartford, New Haven, and Greater Bridgeport Symphonies. Studenski can also be seen playing jazz and commercial music with the Hartford Jazz Orchestra, "Other Orchestra," and New London Big Band. In the theater world, he has worked on over sixty professional musicals, from national tour stops to world premieres, at such venues as the Goodspeed Opera House, Palace Theater, Shubert Theater, Long Wharf Theater, and the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

Studenski serves as a teaching artist and guest clinician throughout the state of Connecticut. He is also adjunct faculty for The Hartt School music education division, where he shares his woodwind pedagogy experience and expertise with teachers-in-training and in-service educators alike. Studenski has been on faculty at the Hartt Community Division since 2013, where he has the privilege of helping saxophone students of all backgrounds and levels work towards their musical dreams.

Read more about Andrew Studenski.

"The HSYF summer program will serve to help improve students' overall musicianship. We'll expand our comfort zones through work in both the classical and jazz styles and get experience playing solo as well as in large groups. Young saxophonists will gain new strengths and reinforce old skills in a fun, judgment-free environment where everyone will get a chance to work on something new."  Andrew Studenski

Horn with Barbara Hill

Summer Master Classes horn student

Have you ever wondered, “What more could I possibly learn about playing the horn”? During the Summer Horn Workshop Intensive, you will discover that as a horn player, you can reach new levels of artistry, refine your intonation, learn jazz and blues style for the horn AND improvise. Also you'll have the opportunity to experience fun and creative ways to collaborate with your fellow horn players and learn how to give your favorite instrument the TLC it needs and deserves! Each day of this weeklong experience covers these areas, as well as feature engaging mini-courses like:

  • DIY Garden Hose Creative Ensemble
  • Horn Idols: learn about the masters, and their approach to playing
  • Prepare Like a Pro: how to get ready for Regional, All State, and summer music program auditions
  • The Inner-game of Horn Playing
  • That’s a Wrap! Discover the history behind the design, construction, and models of horns

Program Highlights for Hornist

  • Jazz Horn: the Horn CAN Swing AND Improvise!
  • It's not about the Horn: musicianship artistry, and collaboration.
  • Horn's Greatest Hits: learn the repertoire from a variety of periods and styles.
  • Tune it! Know your harmonic series, transpositions, and alternate fingering choices.
  • TLC for your horn

About Barbara Hill

Barbara HillBarbara Hill has been Principal Horn with the Hartford Symphony since 2008, joining the orchestra in 2006 as Fifth Horn. She has also been Guest Principal Horn with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and recently performed Brahms’ "Horn Trio" with HSO Concertmaster Leonid Sigal, as well as a new work for horn, oboe, and harpsichord (finished from sketches of Debussy by Kenneth Cooper), as part of HSO’s Sunday Serenades Series. 

In March 2011 Hill was proud to be featured in the Inaugural Debut Concert of the HSO’s new music director, Carolyn Kuan, performing Mozart’s "Horn Concerto, K. 495." She has also been a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Canada) as both Acting Principal and Second Horn, and has performed with numerous Canadian orchestras, including the Calgary Philharmonic and Orchestra London Canada. 

While in Vancouver, Hill was featured in a performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for winds and had a recital of horn music broadcast on CBC Radio for the program Westcoast Performance. 

As a freelance artist, Hill has performed with numerous groups in Houston, Vancouver, New York, and Hartford, including touring Broadway shows (South Pacific, SHREK! The Musical, and Mary Poppins), and her horn playing has been featured on CBS during broadcasts of the Tour de France, as well as other cable channels. She studied with Julie Landsman and Ifor James, and has also been a member of both The National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the National Academy of Music in Hamilton, Ontario.  

Originally from Guelph, Ontario, she obtained her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York where she studied with Jerome Ashby and was the recipient of the James Chambers Scholarship. She holds her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, and also holds an ARCT in Piano Performance. Hill has been teaching horn for nearly 20 years and served as Horn Instructor at The Hotchkiss School and Vancouver Academy of Music.

Trumpet with John Charles Thomas

Summer Master Classes trumpet studentThis is a performance-intensive program concentrating on solo and ensemble repertoire. Students delve into the intricacies of classical trumpet literature, with a focus on the fundamentals including breath, articulation, range, and endurance. In addition to group class and trumpet ensemble, students learn about efficient practice habits and performance preparation from Dan D’Addio, an experienced trumpet teacher and conductor, who has spent years teaching at the pre-college and collegiate level in Connecticut.

Program Highlights for Trumpet Players

  • Strategies for developing an effective practice routine
  • Tone: production, range, and endurance
  • Articulation: single and multiple tonguing
  • Technique: engaging your breath, embouchure, and articulation
  • An introduction to Regional and All-State level repertoire
  • Trumpet choir and chamber ensemble opportunities
  • Group class: exploring the trumpet’s best music

John-Charles-Thomas-Headshot.jpgAbout John Charles Thomas

John Charles Thomas is a graduate of the world famous Indiana University School of Music and holds a Doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook. His principal teachers include Vince Penzarella, Allan Dean and William Adam. 

His background includes performances in all fields of music, from classical to chamber, commercial to jazz. He is the assistant principal trumpet of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, principal trumpet with the Waterbury and Ridgefield Symphonies (CT) and the Queens Symphony (NYC). He has performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic, various Broadway shows, and appeared with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Trier Bach Soloists, Vienna Symphony, and Bermuda Philharmonic. He has played under many of the great conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Mstislav Rostropovich. For eighteen years he was a member of the Grammy Award winning Chestnut Brass Company. John has performed in the premieres of works in both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and appeared on three continents as soloist and chamber musician. 

Some of John’s solo appearances with orchestras have included performances of concertos by Bach, Haydn, Hummel, Shostakovitch and Tomasi. His recordings include Mahler Symphonies with the New York Philharmonic, many works of Handel, Mozart, Bach and Buxtehude, on the natural trumpet, and several film soundtracks. 

Low Brass with Matthew Russo

Summer Master Classes trombone studentParticipants engage in an intensive week of instruction, developing a solid technical foundation and strong characteristic sound on trombone, tuba, and euphonium/baritone. Throughout the week, students identify the tools necessary to push forward in their musical development, with classes on aspects of the mechanics of playing as well as solo and ensemble repertoire. In the process, students develop an engaging and fun plan for daily practice to facilitate technique and musical expression. Each day, the group explores a new artist or style to expose students to new ways to express yourself. Low brass musicians have the opportunity to explore jazz improvisation, whether they are a novice or have prior experience. Each morning culminates in chamber music, a fun opportunity to play in small low-brass only groups that helps develop ensemble skills through a variety of jazz, classical, and pop repertoire. This is a week for the developing low brass player to gain a strong foundation in scales and technical studies, benefiting both their jazz and classical performance skills.

Program Highlights for Low Brass Musicians

  • Fundamentals of chamber music: duos, trios, quartets, and low brass choir
  • Identify and cultivate a beautiful low brass sound
  • Developing solid fundamentals in a fun and musical way
  • Designing a routine for practice
  • Engaging new students 
  • Jazz improvisation and theory
  • Introduction to Regional and All-State level repertoire

About Matthew Russo, DMA

Matthew Russo

Trombonist Matthew Russo, DMA, enjoys a varied career throughout Connecticut as an educator and performer. He serves on the faculty at the University of Connecticut and The Hartt School Community Division. Prior to his appointment at UConn, he served on the faculty of The Hartt School. Russo’s students have had success in regional, state, and national competitions and festivals.

He is a regular trombonist at the Goodspeed Opera House, most recently in its production of The Will Rogers Follies, and has played for the Hartford Stage, Monomoy, Ivoryton, and Playhouse on Park theatre companies. He is principal trombonist of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and appears regularly with the New Haven, Hartford, Waterbury, Wallingford, and Greater Bridgeport Symphonies. 

Russo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from The Hartt School and a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. He is an S.E. Shires Artist and plays Hartman mouthpieces.

Violin with Janet Jacobson

Violin student at The Hartt School Community DivisionYour journey starts with the basics, travel through detailed practice and performance techniques, and culminate with a performance including classical and non-classical ensemble playing. Combining technique with musicality, these summer classes are an opportunity for developing violinists to enhance their artistry and start new musical friendships.

Program Clinic Highlights for Violinists

  • Efficient, effective, and enjoyable practicing.
  • Posture: finding the best way to hold your violin for your body
  • Technique meets musicality: You can't have one without the other!
  • Basic care and maintenance for your violin.
  • How is your theory? How music theory applies to the violin.
  • Off the page and outside the box: ear training to build confidence in playing off the page.
  • Sight reading and playing in chamber ensembles: the skills necessary to have fun.

About Janet Jacobson

Janet Jacobson

Janet Jacobson  is a versatile violinist who has built a reputation in the New England area performing in orchestras, chamber ensembles, and as a soloist. She is concertmaster of Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra and has performed with orchestras across the country, including Hartford Symphony, Springfield Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Kentucky Orchestra, and Plymouth Philharmonic. She also was a member of the Orchestra at Temple Square, performing, recording, and touring regularly with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Jacobson recently completed coursework for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Hartt School, where she studied with Katie Lansdale. She holds a master's degree from The Boston Conservatory and a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University. She has taught violin, viola, and chamber music at HCD since 2009.

Viola with Melinda Daetsch

Viola student at The Hartt School Community DivisionThe viola summer intensive combines the excitement of learning alongside fellow violists with an in-depth exploration of how to become a better musician and performer. Classical and non-classical music will be used to build technique, musicianship, and ensemble skills, culminating in an ensemble performance. Students will learn ways to identify long- and short-term goals and plan their practice accordingly. Participants will have the opportunity to be coached individually on solo pieces and will share the excitement and beauty of the music as they learn to apply good practice habits and specific practice tools. There is nothing more satisfying than getting better at something you love doing while making new friends and having a great time.

Program Clinic Highlights for High School and Middle School Violists

  • Keeping the end in mind: setting goals, planning your practice, and performing with passion!
  • Practicing the basics: posture, bow hold, tone, note-mapping and intonation
  • Developing great practice habits and practice tools
  • How to get the most out of scales and exercises
  • Building on the basics: advanced techniques in shifting, bow planning, polishing intonation, vibrato and tone colors.
  • Love at first sight…reading
  • Practical ideas about the art of performing
  • Grace under pressure: Dealing with nerves and auditions
  • The care and feeding of your viola and bow
  • The tradition: great violists and recordings

About Melinda Daetsch

Melinda DaetschDegrees: 
B.A., Harvard University 
M.M., The Juilliard School 

Melinda Daetsch began playing the violin at the age of four at Ithaca Talent Education, where she also had the opportunity to play for Shinichi Suzuki and with his students from Japan. She discovered the viola at age 12 when her teachers started the Ithaca Chamber Music Summer Institute where she happily became "bilingual" with violin and viola and fell in love with chamber music in the process.

Daetsch holds a Master of Music degree in viola performance from The Juilliard School. While at Juilliard her quartet received acclaim from The New York Times for their performance of Arnold Schoenberg's seldom heard work Ode to Napoleon on the FOCUS! Festival of Contemporary Music. Daetsch has also studied chamber music with Felix Galamir, Paul Docktor, Raphael Hillyer, and Glen Dicterow. Her primary viola teachers were Karen Ritscher and Karen Tuttle. She also holds a BA with honors in comparative religion from Harvard University. During her four years at Harvard, she worked closely with composer and chamber music coach Leon Kirchner and taught 28 young Suzuki students in a program supported through the Massachusetts council of the Arts for low income families.

An avid performer, Daetsch has performed at numerous festivals such as the Yehudi Menuhin International Festival (Switz), Assisi Performing Arts (Italy), The Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), the Rutger's SummerFest, the Strawberry Creek Festival (California), and the Luzerne Music Center (NY). She serves as the Principal violist for the Music at Penn's Woods Festival at Penn State University where she has also been the Penns Woods chamber music series coordinator and has been a frequent chamber music collaborator with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra at "Music from Gretna" and at the Luzerne Music Center where she was on the faculty for a decade. She has been guest violist with The Philadelphia Piano Quartet, the Claremont and Lions Gate Trios, and with the St. Petersburg, DePasquale, and Everest string quartets. In addition, Daetsch recently collaborated with members of the Louisville Orchestra at the annual New Music Festival, (University of Louisville, Ky.) celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Grawemeyer Award featuring the recently composed and rarely performed Sextet of Krzysztof Penderecki.

As guest artist at the 2015 National Flute Association conference, Daetsch performed in the Library of Congress chamber music discoveries concert, and she has also performed as guest artist in chamber music concerts at the International Society of Bassists convention and at the Double Reed national convention. She performs regularly with colleagues from The Hartt School on the faculty concert series, at the Simsbury Chamber Music Festival, and with colleagues from Ithaca College on the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra Chamber Music series. She has held titled chairs with the Pennsylvania Centre Chamber Orchestra and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (N.Y.), and has performed with the Riverside Symphony (N.Y.), Bern Sinfonietta and Orchestra Symphonique Neuchatelois (Switzerland), Syracuse Symphony, Charleston Symphony (S.C.), Key West Symphony (Fla.), and with the Hartford (Conn.) and Springfield (Mass.) Symphonies.

Prior to her position at The Hartt school, Daetsch was adjunct professor of violin and viola at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and for many years served as the string director for the State College Suzuki Program and Central Pennsylvania Youth Chamber Orchestra. In addition to her college teaching, she currently teaches a full load of young violin and viola students in The Hartt School Community Division where she also coordinates the string chamber music program and Suzuki viola program. 

Daetsch has a special interest in musical ambassadorship and since 1998 has led several successful European concert tours of young musicians from State College, Pa., and from The Hartt School. In 2002 she and her colleagues at the State College Suzuki Program organized a special concert at Ground Zero for the children of a New York City public school. She is very interested in developing fluency and musical literacy in her young students as well as discovering and encouraging untapped sources of creativity in students of all ages. Daetsch is passionate about teaching as well as performing and has served as a guest artist and clinician at string workshops and festivals both abroad and in the United States.

Daetsch is especially interested in using music as a tool to bring joy and to overcome difficulties in life and is very grateful to her mentors and to her parents for making it possible for her.

Cello with Pablo Issa

Cellist at The Hartt School Community DivisionLearning alongside your peers, you have the opportunity to develop your cello musicality, technique, and performance skills in a challenging yet supportive atmosphere. You begin each day with a group warm-up followed by scales studies and cello ensemble music, orchestral excerpts, and solo repertoire of the your choice. Participants who wish to get a head start on Regional auditions are encouraged to bring those materials. Throughout the week you are given the tools necessary to develop efficient practice techniques to maximize your progress throughout the year. Classes are developed based on individual student needs, allowing for each cellist to reach a new level of musicianship during the week.

Program Clinic Highlights for Cellists

  • Extended techniques on the cello
  • Blues and jazz elements
  • Ensemble work and sight reading
  • Vibrato development
  • Bow strokes
  • Ear training
  • Music appreciation: different styles of playing
  • Balanced practice: the elements of practicing
  • Audition preparation
  • Taking care of your cello

Bass with Sue Powell


Participants engage in a fun, intensive week developing their technical foundation and understanding of playing the double bass. Throughout the week, students learn the tools necessary for them to push forward in their musical development with classes on the skills of bowing and fingering the instrument as well as solo and ensemble double bass repertoire. In the process, students develop a plan for daily practice to master technique and musical expression. Each morning culminates in Bass Ensemble, a great opportunity to play in Double Bass-only groups that develop ensemble skills while having fun. This is a week for developing Double Bassists to gain a strong foundation in scales, technical studies, sight-reading, and new music benefiting both their audition and classical performance skills.

Sample Daily Schedule

Hour 1: Warm ups, scales, and basic technique

Hour 2: Rotating schedule of special topics & music with shared playing, including a focus on audition taking and orchestra section leadership

Hour 3: Bass Ensemble

Program Highlights for Double Bassists

  • Fundamentals of chamber music: Double Bass duos, trios, quartets, and Bass Ensemble
  • Developing a daily practice routine
  • The how-to’s of audition preparation
  • Mock auditions
  • Solo performance
  • Introduction to Regional level repertoire

About Sue Powell

Laura KaneSusan Powell is a bassist with over 40 years of experience in teaching and performing. Her love for the bass began at the age of nine in the public schools. She graduated from the Juilliard School with a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Music Performance. She was also awarded the Frederick Zimmermann Memorial Scholarship award while there. Her major teachers included Fred Zimmermann and Homer Mensch. She studied the Suzuki teaching method for bass with Virginia Dixon at the University of Wisconsin.

Powell has performed with many orchestras and chamber ensembles, including the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, as Principal Bassist, for over 20 years. Others include the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Bridgeport Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Orchestra New England, and the Lake George Opera Festival. Currently, she substitutes with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and performs in other local groups.

Susan joined the Hartt Community Division faculty in 2007 and enjoys teaching students from beginner to college levels. All ages are welcome to learn with the Suzuki or traditional methods of teaching. She also teaches at the Loomis Chaffee school. Before moving to Connecticut, she taught at Vassar and Bard Colleges in New York, SUNY in New Paltz, and at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina during the summers. She is an energetic and committed teacher who also loves coaching the Hartt Community Division Bass Ensemble, which is open to any bassist wanting to perform with others who love the beautiful sounds of the bass.

Harp with Susan Knapp Thomas

This program will primarily focus on practice techniques and time management tips geared especially to middle school harp students, while giving them an opportunity to fine-tune their solo works through sharing and listening to others. Additional focus will be given to sight-reading and harp ensemble, and we’ll devote each day to particular techniques such as étouffée, open hand octaves, glissandos, extended techniques and the solo repertoire that uses them. Additional time will be given to string changing, harp moving and challenges specific to the young harpist, as time allows.

Program Highlights for Harpists:

  • Technique and Extended Technique in Solo and Orchestral Repertoire
  • Harp Ensemble
  • Sight-Reading Drills
  • Harp Moving, String Changing and Other Harp Challenges Solved!

About Susan Knapp ThomasSusan Knapp Thomas, Harp

A well-known and widely respected harpist known for her attentive playing, quick adaptability and musicianship, Susan Knapp Thomas has enjoyed an active performance career with orchestras in both the north and the south. Susan served as Acting Principal Harp for the Hartford Symphony from 2010-2014, and has a lengthy relationship with the Hartford Symphony, performing as their featured concerto soloist alongside Principal Flutist Grieg Shearer for Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto. She plays regularly for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, is Principal Harpist for the Waterbury Symphony, and performed as harpist for the U.S. Coast Guard Band from 1987-2002. In Florida, she has performed with the Southwest Florida and Palm Beach Symphonies and has served as Acting Principal Harp for Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne, Florida.

Equally at home in orchestra pits for shows and opera, Thomas has played regularly at the Goodspeed Opera House, in addition to the Bushnell and the Shubert Theaters in Hartford and New Haven, Conn. She has also been a regular at the Florida Grand Opera, and the Vero Beach Opera in Florida.

As a chamber music artist and concerto soloist, Thomas has been featured in concert at The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the Trinity College Summer Concert Series, the Elektra Chamber Ensemble's Music Series in Farmington, Conn., performing Handel's Concerto in Bb, and the Saint Saens Fantaisie for Harp and Violin, with violinist Bruna Myftaraj. She has been featured with well-known flutist Brad Garner at the National Flute Convention, and is part of her own flute and harp duo, the Apolline duo, with flutist Jennifer Berman.

Thomas has done regular work for the Frank Sinatra Jr. show. Other backup work includes shows for such notables as Judy Collins, the group "Yes", Earth, Wind and Fire, the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Peter Cetera, Johnny Mathis and others. Her recently released CD, Everlasting Sunday, was a finalist considered by the Greater Hartford Arts Council for one of their donor level gifts. She is also recorded on the Opus label.

Thomas is currently Instructor of Harp and Chamber Music Coach for the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.  Ms. Thomas teaches a large, active studio of harp students in both Connecticut and Florida, and is the Director and Founder of the Connecticut Valley Harp Intensive Summer Camp in Simsbury, Connecticut, entering its 8th year. She has served as an Effective Competition Preparation Coach for such national competitions as the Anne Adams Awards, and the Lyon and Healy Awards, and judged the AHS MetroHarp Competition in New York City.  Her students have been multiple prize-winners in both local and national competitions. She is President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Harp Society.

Thomas is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and a student of Eileen Malone, Phyllis Wright, Aristid von Wurtzler, and Barbara Pniewska. 

Percussion with Adam DiPersio

Percussion student at HCDThis week of percussion studies focus on the fundamentals of all percussion playing. Regardless of prior knowledge, we work to provide a fun and individualized learning environment catered specifically to each student’s needs and give a strong foundation on snare drum, mallet percussion, timpani, auxiliary instruments, as well as a beginning introduction to world percussion. Each day will begin with group warm ups on snare drum and mallet percussion then move to a topic geared to enhancing student musicianship in relation to concert band, orchestral, solo, and chamber playing.

Sample Daily Schedule

9:00-10:00 – Warm up and technical practice

10–10:45 a.m.: Daily topic (snare drum, mallets, timpani, auxiliary, world percussion)

10:45–11 a.m.: Break

11–12 p.m.: Continuation of daily topic with a focus of application in band, orchestra, solo, and chamber playing.

About Adam DiPersio

Adam DiPersioAdam DiPersio has earned two bachelor degrees from the University of Hartford’s The Hartt School in percussion performance and music education. He has performed in ensembles, chamber groups, and as a soloist in North America and Europe. He has extensive master class experience with world renowned percussionists and has studied privately with teachers such as, Shane Shanahan of Yo-Yo Ma’s Grammy Award Winning Silk Road Ensemble, Joe Galeota, John Amira, and Rogerio Boccato. DiPersio has ten years of experience teaching private lessons, percussion ensemble, marching band, concert band, and orchestra at all levels kindergarten through post college. He is currently attending James Madison University pursuing a Master of Music degree in percussion performance. His primary teachers are Ben Toth and Casey Cangelosi.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at 860.768.4451 or harttcomm@hartford.edu