Clarinet Academy
2020 Clarinet Academy Dates:

Session I                                                   Session II*

June 20th—27th                                             June 28th—July 5th

Students can choose to participate for one week or register for both weeks of the Academy.

*Session II participants will perform in the July 4th band and should plan on checking out on July 5th.



The Sewanee Summer Clarinet Academy is a unique one-week residential program for middle and high school clarinetists that runs concurrently with the Sewanee Summer Music Festival.

Under the dynamic leadership of nationally recognized pedagogue Kristen Sheridan, Academy participants will learn:

  • How to develop solid fundamentals in tone, technique and sound production
  • How to select and prepare etudes, solos and orchestral excerpts
  • Cutting-edge concepts to help you master district, regional and college entrance auditions
  • How the proper equipment, carefully selected, can help you sound your best!

In addition, a major portion of each day will be devoted to performance, including opportunities in single and mixed instrument chamber groups, clarinet choir, performance class and master class with music festival faculty Chad Burrow, Rebecca Van de Ven, and other special guest artists.

Academy participants will be featured in a grand finale performance at the conclusion of the program. These final concerts are free and open to the public.

If you have any questions please check the Student Handbook and our FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

Tuition and Housing

$925 – includes room, board, and all program experiences

Limited scholarships are available – for maximum scholarship consideration, we highly recommend you submit your application by March 15th, 2020.


Prospective academy participants need to submit an application online once it opens in the fall. 

All Applicants:

Please upload a document that outlines your participation in:

  • District, regional, or all-state ensembles.
  • Solo and or/ensemble festival, including the piece(s) you performed, and the rating you received.
  • Ensembles you regularly perform with (youth orchestras and wind ensembles, school ensembles, etc.)
  • Non-musical honors or awards — honor society, Boy/Girl Scout awards, etc.
  • Anything else you would like us to know about your musical or academic accomplishments.
  • A recommendation letter from your private teacher, ensembles director or other people familiar with your playing will also be required.

If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please include a short video of your most recent performance of a district, regional or all state audition etude, solo and ensemble etude, or any other work that represents your current playing.  NOTE – this is only required for students wishing to be considered for scholarship.


Kristen Sheridan – Program Director

Chad Burrow – SSMF Faculty.  Professor Burrow will present a clinic and master class for academy students


Sample Schedule

7:30-8:30 Breakfast
9:15-10:15 Group Warm-Up
10:30-11:30 Technique Class or Rehearsal Visit
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Master Class or Topic Discussion
2:30-3:30 Chamber Music
3:30-4:30 Special Topics in Music ( Theory, Composition, Conducting)
4:30-5:30 Private Lessons or Individual Practice
5:30-7:30 Free Time and Dinner

7:30 – Evening Activity, including concerts, recitals and performances

Frequently Asked Questions – Clarinet Academy

Please check the Student Handbook to see if it answers your questions.

Q: Does the tuition cost include housing and meals?

A: Yes, the tuition includes room and board for the duration of your stay.

Q: Does the tuition cost include access to all performances?

A: Yes, all performances are open to Academy participants.

Q: When will I find out if I have been admitted?

A: Typically within 1—2 weeks of submitting your application. Admission to Academy Programs is rolling and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis on qualification. Submit your application soon to ensure your spot in the Academy Program of your choice.

Q: Can I come late or leave early?

A: We prefer for Academy participants to attend the full session. If you have to come late or leave early, tuition will not be pro-rated.

Q: Is there a waiting list for Academy Programs?

A: Yes, students who apply once the program is full will be placed on the waiting list and admitted on a case-by-case basis as openings become available.

Q: Can I request a special diet in the dining hall?

A: McClurg Dining Hall has a range of diet options, from carnivore or pescetarian to vegan or vegetarian. When you complete your admitted student form, you will have the opportunity to share any dietary restrictions with us.

Q: How old can students be?

A: 13-18

Q: Can my 12-year-old come? He/she’s really good!

A: 12-year-olds can apply. Admission is at the discretion of the Director based on the performance and experience of the applicant.

Q: How good with the students be? Do I have to be the first chair in my band to get in?

A: We expect to have a range of previous musical experience and ability at the Academy, from intermediate to very advanced. You don’t need to be the best in your area to get in. You should be:

  • well past beginner level
  • a dedicated home “practicer”
  • on a scale of 1 (beginner) to 6 (very advanced), be able to read and enjoy playing at least grade 3-level music.

Q: I only play bass clarinet, can I attend?

A: Yes, and if you want to gain additional experience on Bb, this is a great place to give it a try!

Q: Do I HAVE to prepare a video?

A: Only if you want to be considered for scholarship. A video is not required for standard admission to the academy program

Q: What should I prepare for the video?

A: We want to hear what you’re good at. Acceptable audition repertoire could include:

  • Any solo you’ve prepared
  • Any etude or study you’re working on (ex: Rose 32 studies, Hite Melodious & Progressive Studies, etc)
  • Orchestral excerpts
  • District/Region/All-State audition piece
  • Scales WITH your other pieces. Do not submit ONLY scales.

Recording tips:

  • If you’re using your phone or tablet to record, make sure you’re in a well-lit room and your face and fingers are visible.
  • Please do not put the phone on your stand and record during a rehearsal.
  • You do NOT need an accompanist, but accompanied performances are most welcome if you’d like.

Kristen Sheridan

Program Director

Chad Burrow