My Opus Magnum Summer Composition Camp

Week of July 10th 2017
Logos Academy, 250 W. King Street, York, PA


The York Symphony Orchestra will hold its 17th Annual Summer Music Camp, “My Opus Magnum” at Logos Academy in York the week of July 10th-14th 2017. The camp will offer youth musicians in grades 3 through 12 immersion in the composition process, learning about harmony, melody, counterpoint and rhythm as they compose their very own musical work. The camp emphasizes a hands-on creative approach with group instruction on individual keyboards and computer software as well as individual coaching through the songwriting process. Students will be divided into two sessions: Beginning Composition in the morning and Advanced Composition in the afternoon. *See below for guidelines to determine your level.
Highly qualified instructors will offer level specific instruction and will creatively guide elementary to high school students through the process of composing a masterwork all their own.
 Instructor Bios: 

Chris Whittaker, Head InChrisWhittakerwebstructor 

Composer, conductor, pianist Chris Whittaker’s musical language of classical, jazz, and gospel music melds genres and brings people together.  Originally from York, PA, he received his masters in orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan, and studied composition at the Peabody Institute.  His principal teachers include Kenneth Kiesler, Stuart Malina, and Philip Lasser.  His music has been featured on Baltimore’s 88.1 WYPR and South Central Pennsylvania’s 89.5 WITF and his compositions have been performed and broadcast throughout the United States.  In addition to his freelance activities, Chris serves as the Director of Music at Fort Washington Collegiate Church and directs a jazz worship service at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City.  This is Chris’s 4th summer teaching at the YSO’s My Opus Magnum.

MattMonticchioMatt Monticchio, Assistant Instructor 

Matt Monticchio is a musician, composer, pianist, music director and music teacher living and working in the Central Pennsylvania area. Matt grew up surrounded by pop music, rock, hip-hop, R&B, jazz and classical music and still loves, studies and plays in all of these musical traditions. Matt graduated with a music degree in 1998 from West Chester University and from the Peabody Conservatory in 2001 with a composition degree. He has taught theory, improvisation, composition, music history and piano both at the college level and privately as well as in public and homeschool organizations. He served as music director at Wheatland Church in Lancaster, PA from 2000 to 2010. During those years Matt formed Pageant Music as a way to bring church musicians, writers and artists together in creative collaborations. In the fall of 2010 Matt was hired by Second City Church in Harrisburg, PA to direct music and be a part of the city church ministry there. Now he and his wife Becky and their three children call Harrisburg home. As a composer and piano improviser, Matthew has joined with many colleagues in the Philadelphia and Lancaster areas to produce concerts and recordings. He has also played in countless jazz trios and quartets, a new music ensemble he formed called Sphere and a handful of creative singer/songwriter groups. Currently he plays in the group the Go Particle which vacillates between an improvising atmospheric acoustic trio and an electro-acoustic sound sculpture ensemble. Matt also teaches upper school music at Logos Academy in York, PA.


Camp will conclude with a performance of each students composition and a pizza party. Each student will also receive two vouchers to a York Symphony Concert for the 2017/2018 Season. Students of all levels of ability are encouraged to attend however, it is suggested that they have some private lesson experience with the instrument of their choice.

The camp hours are 9 am until 12 pm for the Beginning Composition session and 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm for the Advanced Composition session Monday through Thursday.  Both sessions will give a performance of their compositions on Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The cost is $110 per student. 
*If you are unsure regarding which level best suits your student, please read the following from Instructor Chris Whittaker as a guideline:  “A good rule would be if your child has composed a piece on his or her own recently, without direct supervision or guidance, they would be suited for the advance group.  I’m generally thinking the age for the advanced group will start around 13, though there will be some exceptions.  If the student is older, more advanced at their instrument, and has had some music theory instruction, then they would also be suited for the advanced group. If writing down their musical ideas is something new, they have had little music theory instruction, and are beginning at an instrument as well, I would put them in the beginner group.” If you are still unsure feel free to contact us directly at and we will put you in contact with Chris for further discussion.

Click Here for: 2017 YSO Summer Camp flyer and application 

For questions call 717-812-0717 or email