Camps with a Monster Twist

June 22nd, 2006 by Adam

Monster trucks, monster meals—how about monster camps? Fans of the infamous PSU piano monster will have several opportunities to visit the monster at summer camp between June 22 and July 2 at the Silver Center for the Arts on Main Street in Plymouth.

The Junior Piano Monster Festival will be held June 25–28 for students entering grades 6¬–9 in the fall, and the Senior Festival is June 29–July 2 for students entering grades 9 –12. Students entering grade 9 may choose either camp.

Public concerts will be held Wednesday, June 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 2 at 4 p.m. in the Hanaway Theatre. Tickets are $7 general admission. Monster concerts group two or more players at each piano in an ensemble of multiple pianos.

Monster camp students live on campus while they study multi-hand piano literature and ensemble techniques, musicianship and specialty topics such as guitar, handbell, percussion ensemble, digital keyboard ensemble, improvisation, history of piano music, theory and technique, piano pedagogy, composition and conducting. They also participate in master classes.

Continuing education units or graduate credits are available for teachers who participate in a two-day teacher seminar June 27 and 28 on a selection of topics.

Wynn-Anne Rossi of Wayzata, Minn. will be the large ensemble conductor. A nationally acclaimed composer whose works have reached audiences throughout the United States, Europe, Iceland and Australia, Rossi has more than 50 publications for the educational piano library available through FJH Music Company. She is currently engaged with the St. Paul (Minn.) Chamber Orchestra as a composer-in-residence with inner city schools.

The conductor of the digital keyboard orchestras will be Donna Smith of Gold Canyon, Ariz. A creative music educator, accompanist and church music director, she is an advocate for the integration of music technology into traditional piano instruction and has been a clinician at teacher workshops throughout the country. Widely known for her work with keyboard ensembles, Donna is regularly welcomed as a digital ensemble instructor and concert conductor in a variety of settings. Her written works includeExploring the MT300; Lab Sheets for Students as well as compositions and arrangements for digital ensembles.

The founder and director of the PSU Monster Piano Festivals is Dr. Carleen Graff, professor of music at Plymouth State. An active performer, adjudicator and clinician, Graff holds Master Teacher certification and Teacher of the Year recognition from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).

Staff for the institute are chosen for their ability to work with young musicians. They are committed and highly qualified individuals drawn primarily from the PSU faculty, staff, alumni and students.

For information about the 2006 PSU Monster Festivals, call Dr. Carleen Graff, (603) 535-2313. Monster Festival information is online at

For ticket information, call the Silver Center box office at (603) 535-ARTS. If special accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, please call in advance.