An Orchestral Camp for Continuing and Beginning String Students.

    Yes we are still accepting 2018 Camp Registrations until JULY 19, 2018

    MISSION PWC Orchestra Camp is dedicated to providing a fun and balanced 2 week program of musical instruction and activities for string students in rising grades 4-12.


    PROGRAM GOALS Musicians will develop instrumental and ensemble skills which support the school orchestra program during the school year. The program emphasizes individual musical growth through the development of stronger technical skills and a more discerning musical aesthetic. Musicians are placed in an ensemble of similar age and skill. The PWC Orchestra Camp Staff works diligently to group musicians in an ensemble that matches their skill level while providing a challenging environment for personal growth. The camp is an ideal for students wishing to strengthen their playing skills. It is also a perfect environment for students who are switching string instruments or just beginning a string instrument.


    HISTORY    PWC Orchestra Camp began in 2005 led by Karen von Bernewitz and Tami Nelson, both PWCPS Orchestra Directors. Their vision of a summer program was to help students continue and increase their playing skills in the summer and retain students from year to year in the PWC public school orchestra program. Since 2005, PWC Orchestra Camp has grown from 20 students to over 100 students each summer.




  • SUMMER 2018 CAMP

    Location, Dates, Times, Cost

    SUMMER 2018


    Location: Charles J Colgan High School

    13833 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA 20112

    Dates: July 23 -August 3, 2018


    Times: 8:30 am-12:30 pm (M-F)


    End of Program Showcase Concert: August 3 at 10:30 am
    Charles J. Colgan HS Auditorium

    *followed by a celebration reception in the Commons Area..


    Early Registration Fee: $200 Tuition (Postmarked/Received by June 15, 2018)


    Late Registration Fee: $225 Tuition (Postmarked/Received after June 15, 2018)


    Send Payment To: Lake Ridge Middle School

    c/o Karen von Bernewitz

    12350 Mohican Road

    Woodbridge, VA 22192


    Optional Express School Bus Transportation Fee: $30.00 due with tuition fee

    Students riding the bus will arrive at Colgan HS by 8:15 a.m

    Students riding the bus will depart Colgan HS by 12:40 p.m.

    Parents are responsible for transportation to and pick up from Express Bus Stop


    Express Bus Stops

    Route #1

    Potomac MS

    Leesylvania ES

    Woodbridge MS

    Lake Ridge MS

    Colgan HS


    Route #2

    Graham Park MS

    Pattie ES

    G. Hampton MS

    Beville MS

    Saunders MS

    Colgan HS


    Route #3

    Bull Run MS

    Marstellar MS

    Parkside MS

    Colgan HS



    Optional Private Lesson Fee: $30.00 per 1/2 hour lesson per week for 1 or 2 weeks. Pay private

    instructor directly. Lessons take place at Colgan Senior HS either in the morning before the camp day at 7:45 -8:15 am or after the camp day from 12:35 - 1:05 p.m.


    Contact Information: Camp Director: Karen von Bernewitz

    email: pwcorchestracamp@gmail.com

    cell phone: 703.851.7145




    It is our intent to place students at a level where they will be challenged, but not overwhelmed.

    The camp staff meets before the first day of camp to read each student's registration in order to place them in the correct level and group. Please keep in mind that camp is only 2 weeks long with an end of camp concert. The first two days of camp, the staff and students are reading through various levels of music to find the appropriate for each group level.


    Depending upon the number of students registered and their levels of experience, the following levels are offered.


    Beginning Level

    Posture, instrument set up, note-reading, rhythm, eurhythmics, develop internal pulse, ear training. No prior experience with the instrument before. No audition required


    Intermediate Levels

    Expand range, improve tone and pitch center, more complex rhythms and bowings, sophisticated harmonies/melodies, develop leadership and independence in the ensemble, greater understanding of music theory as it applies to the repertoire. No audition required unless student feels after the first two days of camp that they need to move to a higher level after initially being placed in a group.

          Intermediate Level I

    Usually students in this level are rising 6th graders. Occasionally students who may be in a higher

    grade level who have just started playing the instrument. Also students who need to strengthen

    some of their music reading/playing skills appropriate for this level.

           Intermediate Level II

    Usually students in this level are rising 7th or 8th graders. Occasionally a more advanced rising 6th

                  grader may be placed in this group.

           Advanced Intermediate

    Usually students in this level are rising 8th or 9th graders. Occasionally a more advanced rising 7th

    grader may be place in this group.


    Advanced Levels: Expand range, develop professional tone, vibrato, more complex repertoire, understand conducting gestures, advanced music theory, foster leadership and independence in the ensemble.

            Advanced Level 1

    Usually students in this level are rising 8-12 graders. Audition is required. If a student does not wish

    to audition, they will be placed in the group level determined by the staff.

            Advanced Level 2

    Usually students in this level are rising 8-12 graders. Audition is required. If a student does not wish

    to audition, they will be placed in the group level determined by the staff.



    **Students must provide their own instruments. If you presently rent a school instrument, contact your child's string teacher before the end of the year. They may be able to extend your contract. You can also always rent from a local music store.





    Class Placement for Beginning through Intermediate Level groups (Beginning - 7th grade)

    There will be NO formal audition for class placement in the Beginning and Intermediate Levels. Placement for these groups will be determined by the following criteria.

    • Age/Grade level
    • Experience on instrument
    • Music reading skills.
    • Experience in a orchestra (group) setting
    • Previous Camp experience
    Class Placement for Advanced Level groups (8-12 grade)
    Placement will be determined by the following criteria an a short audition is required.
    • Choice of short audition on music posted on this website or student will placed in a group by the camp staff based on the following criteria. (Audition music will be posted by July 1, 2018)
    • Age/Grade level
    • Experience on instrument
    • Music reading skills
    • Experience in a orchestra (group) setting
    • Previous Camp experience

    Students will be closely observed during the first 2-3 days of the program. Any necessary level changes will take place by Friday of the first week. Please be aware that there is only two weeks to learn the concert music.









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      Sample of Daily Schedule:

      8:15 - 8:25 - Daily arrival and check-in.
      8:30 - 9:00 - Group Tune/Warm up/Stretch

      9:00 - 9:55 - Ensemble Rehearsals
      9:55 - 10:00 - Short bathroom/break
      10:05 - 11:00 - Sectional /Technique Class
      11:00 - 11:25 - Snack Break/Group Activity

      11:25 - 12:25 - Full Ensemble Rehearsal

      12:25 - 12:30 - Announcements/Pack-up/Dismissal


    • PWC Orchestra Camp Calendar 2018

      Showing Spirit days and other activities​

      Week 1

      July 23 - July 27, 2018


      Monday, July 23

      Opening Day of Camp.

      Advance Group Levels short audition
      Make Name Tags

      Tuesday, July 24

      School T-Shirt Day-
      Represent your school by wearing your school t-shirt


      Scavenger Hunt

      Wednesday, July 25

      Hat Day— Let’s see what hat you are going to wear today!


      Thursday, July 26

      P.J. Day—
      It’s summer time. We may as well be comfortable.

      Ice Cream Social—
      For the students enrolled in camp.

      Friday, July 27



      Week 2

      July 30 - August 3, 2018

      Monday, July 30

      Mismatch Day—
      How mismatched are you going to dress today?

      Tuesday, July 31

      Super Hero Day—
      Come as your favorite Super Hero.


      Wednesday, August 1

      Colors Day—
      Your group gets to pick their color to wear today


      Doughnut Day—
      The big ones from Shopper’s Food Warehouse-for all campers


      Thursday, August 2

      Twin/Multiple Day—
      Who are you going to group up with?
      Camp T-Shirt Handout—

      Friday, August 3
      Concert Day—
      10:30 Concert—In the Auditorium. All are welcome! Wear your camp t-shirts.
      11:30 Reception—bring an item to share at the reception celebration







      LATE REGISTRATIONS - Accepted Online until July 19


      Tuition payment cannot be made online. Mail payment to:


      Lake Ridge Middle School

      c/o Karen von Bernewitz

      12350 Mohican Road

      Woodbridge, VA 22192


      Make Checks Payable to : Charles J. Colgan HS



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      All refund requests must be made in writing and emailed to pwcorchestracamp@gmail.com

      •  Approved refund requests made on or before June 15, 2018 will receive a full refund*.
      •  Approved refund requests made June 16, 2018 - June 30, 2018 will receive a 50% refund*.
      •  Refunds* will  not be made after June 30, 2018 unless written medical documentation is  provided and approved by the PWC Orchestra Camp Director.
      • Upon approval, please allow 3-5 business days for the refund to be processed.



      These are the most commonly asked questions. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please contact us (link in menu).

      How are the musicians grouped?

      Musicians are grouped by grade/age and ability. Occasionally, exceptions are made, however we generally do not place elementary age children in the middle/high school groups, regardless their advanced technique.


      Is there an audition for group placement?

      There is no formal audition for group placement in the Beginning through Intermediate Levels. Placement is largely determined by grade/age and playing experience. For the Advanced Levels their is a short audition to help ensure correct placement.  Teachers assess the musicians during the first few days and may recommend class movement to the Program Director. Please direct any concerns about class placement to the Program Director.


      Does PWC Orchestra Camp provide instruments to the campers?

      PWC Orchestra Camp does not provide instruments for the campers. Students must either own their instrument or rent one from a local music store. If a student rents their instrument from their school, please speak to the string teacher of their school before the end of the school year. A contract may be able to be extended. There is an info page on the menu for places to rent/buy instruments.



      Is lunchtime part of the daily schedule?

      The daily schedule includes a 25 minute lunch time. Students bring a sack lunch. Students eat in the lower level cafeteria


       Can I mail in my registration and payment?

      Yes, you can either mail in your registration or conveniently submit the registraton application online. Tuition payments are not accepted online.


      When is payment due?

      Payment is due at the time you register. If online registration is done, simply mail in your payment. If mailing in registration, include your payment with it.



      Who are checks made out to?

      Checks made payable to: Colgan HS


      Where do I send my payment?

      Payment is sent to:

      Lake Ridge Middle School

      c/o Karen von Bernewitz

      12350 Mohican Road

      Woodbridge, VA 22192



      I just found out about PWC Orchestra Camp. Do you accept late registrations?

      We prefer you to register early so that you have a spot in camp. Late registrations pay an additional $25 late registration fee. On a case by case basis, we have accepted registrations up to and including the day camp begins if we have room.




      Due to scheduling confilcts my child can't attend both weeks of camp. Can my child attend just one week of camp.

      PWC Orchestra Camp is designed as a two week camp which builds on musicianship skills during those two weeks. Occasionally, a student may attend just one week of camp with prior approval from the camp director. The last day of camp culminates with a Finale Concert where each orchestra performs separately and then all orchestra perform together for the final piece of music played.




      Can tuition be prorated if my child will miss a portion of the camp?

      Your child is welcome to attend whatever portion of the camp your schedule allows. Unfortunately, we are unable to prorate tuition. Full payment is required upon registration.



      Can I obtain a receipt for my FSA?

      Please use your confirmation email from PWC Orchestra Camp as a receipt of payment for tax filing purposes. This serves as sufficient documentation.



      Is transportation provided?

      YES! For the time this year, PWC Orchestra camp is offering optional school bus transportation for an additional fee of $30.00 Express school bus stops are listed in the registration. Parents are responsible for transportation to and pick up from the express school bus stops. The $30.00 transportation fee is due along with the the tuition payment at the time of registration.


      Is there a multi-child discount? Financial Aid?

      If more than one student in a family household attends PWC Orchestra Camp, there is a deduction of 10% ($20) off the additional student(s) tuition. Please email pwcorchestracamp@gmail.com to alert the camp director of a Financial need. There are a very limited number of Partial scholarships based on and the student's present string teachers recommendation and financial need.



      Are private lessons an option at camp?

      Yes. you may opt to sign your child up for private lessons at camp. A student may take one private lesson per week. Private lessons cost $30 per lesson (30 minutes). They take place with the instructor at Colgan SHS either before camp hours, from 7:45 - 8:15 a.m. or after camp hours, from 12:35 - 1:05 p.m. The private lesson fee is not included in the tuition payment. The private teacher is paid by the parent directly. Students using school bus transportation will need to make other transportation arrangements for the day the have a lesson.


      from past years.

      -This is a great program. We were so impressed with the music my our child was learning. She had a lot of fun and made new friends. The concert on the last day was far beyond what I would have expected the kids to learn to play in two weeks. I really appreciated what one of the teachers said..."just because they're 6th graders doesn't mean they have to sound like it." We're really looking forward to next year!


      -It was a blast--she loved it.



      -This is a great opportunity for my daughter to keep her skills up during the summer. The camp had great teachers that my child enjoyed learning from and playing with. She completed the camp a better musician with more confidence.



      -Thank you for you time and effort to produce a high quality summer camp.


      -This was my daughter's second year doing PWC Orchestra Camp and she absolutely loves it.  Seeing this type of excitement in a 13 year old is a beautiful thing!  She was inspired daily and the camp not only improves her skills but she had a lot of fun and made new friends.


      -The camp was well organized and the concert was great.  The instructors and students did a great job.  My son loved it!


      -Our daughter loved the camp.  She had fun, learned new things, and most importantly got to practice more before starting her middle school strings class/group.  We thought it was a great opportunity at a great price.


      -Great job by everybody involved, very impressed and a great value for a two week camp. Thank you!


      -Outstanding camp. The performances were incredible



      -The camp left our "beginner" excited about his decision to take orchestra as his elective at middle school.  His enthusiasm throughout the camp's duration only grew, which is a reflection of the instructors and the program.


      -This was a wonderful experience and my child found the music challenging, the instructors helpful and encouraging and the entire camp great fun.


      -You all did a great job..my son enjoyed & liked it very much to be in the orchestra camp.  He attended last year as well and he told me that it helped him a lot.  Salute to you all!


      -Very pleased with instruction and fun activities for the kids.  The information about practicing was great.  The concert was nicely organized.  Great program.  Thanks for doing it.


      -My daughter loved this camp!  She learned a lot from her instructors and I feel she is ready for 6th grade orchestra.


      Although PWC Orchestra Camp does not provide instruments for students, there are many places to rent or purchase and instrument. You can always do a search under "violin shops" or "music stores". Please be careful--if purchasing an instrument please go to a reputable shop. The internet is loaded with low cost, low quality instruments. Many times to the untrained eye, an internet instrument may "look" like a beautiful violin for a very good price ($50-$150) but in fact it turns out to be a VSO--Violin Shaped Object. These turn out to be virtually unplayable because of innumerable structural and set-up problems. Many times parents who have purchased this type of instrument find out that repairs needed to make their instrument playable far exceed the original price.

      Music Stores  

      These are just a few local ones of many you can find.


      Foxes Music Company


      Address: 416 S Washington St, Falls Church, VA 22046

      Phone:  (703) 533-7393



      Brobst Violin Shop


      Address: 5584 General Washington Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

      Phone:(703) 256-0566



      Potter Violin Company


      Address: 4706 Highland Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814

      Phone: (301) 652.7070, 1(800) 317.9452



      Music  & Arts


      Retail Chain Music Store-(this is just one location listed below.

      Address: 14577 Potomac Mills Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22192

      Phone:(703) 491-4196