SYMS: Summer Youth Music School


SYMS 2024

76  years and going strong!


About SYMS

SYMS is a great experience for aspiring young musicians! At both the Junior and Senior sessions, students perform in a variety of concert bands, choruses, orchestras, and jazz bands, while receiving top-notch instruction in masterclasses and lessons from outstanding teachers and freelance artists. Private lessons, small ensembles, elective courses, evening activities, and other opportunities designed to stimulate the growth of each student's passion and musical development are available to students at all levels. High school aged student seeking a more immersive experience can apply for the Chamber Intensive session in addition to their enrollment in the Senior session.

Students concentrate on a major instrument or voice part and choose electives to broaden their experience. They associate with talented young musicians who share their excitement about music, and they study with caring and encouraging teachers. Enrollment for certain instruments may be limited.

Students and faculty members give a variety of evening recitals throughout the sessions. Each session concludes with a final concert.

 All SYMS campers are fully supported by a team of camp counselors carefully selected from the UNH Music Department, led by a professional staff of experienced educators.

Come be inspired at one of our SYMS sessions!


Junior Session 
July 13 - July 17, 2024

For students entering grade 7, 8 and 9 
Cost: Overnight - $549 / Commuter - $349

Chamber Intensive
July 18 - July 19, 2024

The Chamber Intensive session is designed for high school musicians desiring an immersive experience working with amazing UNH faculty members. All musicians are welcome—instrumentalists and vocalists, classical and jazz musicians, and more! An audition is required to attend this session. See the links below for information.

This session is free of charge for those who qualify!  However, Chamber Intensive session students will need to pay for and attend the Senior SYMS session, July 20-28.


Chamber Music Session information and Details will be posted here

chamber music session audition requirements and recording guide

SYMS Chamber session Application and Audition Video Submission will be posted here


Senior Session
July 20 - July 28, 2024

For students entering grades 10, 11, and 12.
Cost: Overnight - $899/ Commuter - $699

Registering and Paying for SYMS

Online Registration Instructions: please review before enrolling for the best outcome. Family Accounts are recommended for families enrolling multiple children in any UNH youth program. If enrolling through an individual student account, the account must be created in the name of the child, not the parent/guardian. More information for creating and/or enrolling in either a student or family account are at the online registration link.

We also recommend families be familiar with all other information on the Youth Programs website. The website includes downloadable forms, a Family Guide, and much more information regarding UNH summer youth programs.

Note: Students who may be receiving outside scholarships to help with SYMS tuition cost should send the check, made payable to UNH (with SYMS and student name in the memo) to:

Lyndsay Boysen
Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824


Registration opens February 13, 2024





Find us elsewhere!

Lyndsay Boysen

Program Assistant
Summer Youth Music School
Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival

To be announced

Participants live in a modern UNH residence hall with students from around the country, eat in a cafeteria-style dining room, and have a chance to use the University's Memorial Union Building. Students will be closely supervised, with one dormitory counselor for each eight students in the Junior Session, and one counselor for each ten students in the Senior Session.

Summer Youth Programs Family Guide

Summer Youth Music School info packet will be posted here

Audition Materials for Junior SYMS
  • Voice
    Students should prepare a song of their choosing (classical, folk, popular song) that demonstrated their range and strengths.  Students will also be asked to sight read and to sing some vocal technique exercises under the guidance of the vocal faculty in the audition room. 
  • Strings
  • Woodwinds and Brass
  • Percussion
  • Piano
Audition Materials for Senior SYMS
  • Voice
    Students should prepare a song of their choosing (classical, folk, popular song) that demonstrated their range and strengths.  Students will also be asked to sight read and to sing some vocal technique exercises under the guidance of the vocal faculty in the audition room.  If you are interested in jazz choir or musical theater, please have an appropriate song prepared, in addition to your main voice audition.
  • Strings
  • Flute
  • Clarinet
  • Oboe
  • Bassoon
  • Saxophone
  • Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Horn
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Guitar
  • Piano

Jazz Etudes

Drum Set Information

Junior and Senior SYMS Rules and Regulations will be posted here.
Please read the UNH Youth Program Code of Conduct


Junior SYMS is a 5-day program for students who have finished 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Senior SYMS is a 9-day program for students who have finished 9th-12th grade. SYMS typically enrolls around 250 students for each session.

Families are advised to read  through the instructions before heading to the registration page.

Registration Instructions  / UNH Youth Programs website

Register for SYMS

No audition is required to be accepted into the program.Short auditions are held the first full day of each program for placement in groups. Audition information is posted online.

SYMS campers check in on  the first day of each program: Morning for Jr. SYMS and  Sr. SYMS programs. All students, including commuters, will sign up for audition times and residential students will receive their room keys for dormitory check-in. Specific program information is sent out before sessions begin.

SYMS faculty and staff members are UNH professors, high school and middle school music educators, and UNH students who are counselors and occasionally teach a class. Dormitory counselors are older UNH students along with two head counselors who are music educators and have been with SYMS for many years.

One optional private lesson may be taken at an extra cost of $25.  Teachers and students arrange lesson times on the first day of classes. Lessons are taught during the student’s free time.
Enroll/Private Lesson Jr. SYMS 
Enroll/Private Lesson Sr. SYMS

Housing for residential students will be in the UNH dormitories with separate dorms for males and females. The rooms are doubles, and students may choose a roommate if they wish. The choice will only be guaranteed if the other student sends us a reciprocal request. If students do not have a roommate choice, they are paired by age. There will be adequate counselors (one counselor per eight students at Jr. SYMS and one counselor per ten students at Sr. SYMS); counselors are UNH students, along with two head counselors who are older and have been with SYMS for many years. Counselors live on the floors with the students and help them adjust to being away from home, organize activities during free time, etc. Counselors do a bed check each night before lights out.

Dining will be at Holloway Commons in the Memorial Union Building. It is a fantastic facility with a wide variety of choices at each meal. Those with food allergies will have no problem finding plenty to eat. Click here for information regarding our food service.

SYMS does not offer any scholarship aid, but many students find financial help through their schools, churches, civic organizations or downtown businesses.

Students may wish to bring a bit of spending money as they are allowed to visit the immediate downtown area to  pick up snacks or buy a UNH memento. There are also vending machines on campus, and the counselors collect a few dollars from those who wish to use the laundry facilities in the dormitories.

Casual summer wear is fine including shorts and sandals. Footwear must be worn at all times. For final concerts at Jr. SYMS, the students wear SYMS T-shirts and light colored pants or shorts. Concert Dress: Option 1: Dress Pants/Dress Shirt (Ties are optional) Option 2: Appropriate length dress or skirt. Students should bring instruments and music as well as a folding music stand. Linens, towels and blankets are not provided at the dormitory so students need to bring their own. Beds are long twin size. 

Convocation is a full camp meeting each day which all students must attend. Important information and announcements are made at these meetings. The evening convocation at the beginning of SYMS is when students receive group assignments and sign up for classes. All other convocations are in the morning before rehearsals and classes begin.

Students are welcome to bring cell phones as there is no land line phone service in the dormitory rooms during the summer. Cell phones must be turned off during all classes and programs. Internet hookups are available in the dormitory rooms if you wish to bring a laptop computer.

Yes, mail may be received and should be addressed to: (student's name, room #, SYMS, Dept. of Music-PCAC, 30 Academic Way, Durham NH 03824. Mail will be taken to the dormitories daily and given to the students.

Required waivers are completed as part of the online registration process. However, there may be additional forms required depending on the student’s individual needs. Review the Youth Programs website Student Forms & Waivers page
for more information.”