Frequently Asked Questions

The Program

Is an audition required?

We do not require auditions for acceptance into our program, but we do ask for a recommendation from your private teacher. All students audition for placement in ensembles when they arrive, and take a test for placement in theory classes (which do cover every level from note reading through to analysis and music history). 

Can I take one instrument for lessons, and play another in ensembles?

Yes, many students study piano, voice, or guitar for their private lessons and individual practice time, but will then bring a violin, trombone, or clarinet to play in the ensembles. You are asked on the registration to list any instruments you play which may be considered for participation in band or orchestra.


About a quarter of our students are pianists. Those who don’t play another instrument will play in the handbell ensembles, chamber choir (in high school only), or for percussion in the band/orchestra.

Can I come for only 1 week?

The high-school camp runs for 4 weeks every summer in 2 sessions. Each session concludes with student recitals and an awards ceremony before the Saturday afternoon concert of week 2 and week 4. For this reason we recommend that students consider registering for a 2-week session. There is a number of campers who can only come for 1 week, and this is not a problem. Major ensembles start with new seating, and new music every Monday, and perform the music learned that week in the Saturday afternoon concert. For every week that the camper is there, they will also receive 2 private lessons in their area of major study.

Can middle-school campers attend the high-school camp?

Rising 9th graders are eligible for the middle-school camp and the high-school camp, and may attend both if they wish. Rising 8th graders may be considered for acceptance into the high-school camp with an audition and recommendation from their private teacher regarding their suitability musically and socially for the high-school group.

How is the Middle-School week different from the HIgh-School week?

The programs are very similar with a few exceptions. 

  1. The middle-school camp will finish on the Friday evening rather than Saturday afternoon. 

  2. The middle-school camp will have concert band, string ensemble, handbells as major ensembles and everyone in concert choir. High school also has symphony orchestra and chamber choir as elective ensembles. 

The slightly lesser load is intentional so that middle schoolers can have an earlier bed time, and one less night away from their own beds and home setting.

Why is the weekly cost of camp so high?

The costs of camp includes full room and board as well as tuition costs for the full program we offer. Csehy Summer School of Music is more than a camp - it is also high-calibre musical training with faculty who represent many orchestras and colleges across America. We have on average one faculty member to every 6 campers, and one counselor to every 10 campers.

Why is the weekly cost of camp so low?

Many families have remarked at our price-point in comparison to other programs which are usually in the range of $1,200 to $2,500 a week. This is sustained through our many financial donors who contribute to the cost of hiring our faculty, as well as the generosity of our volunteers and staff/faculty.

What is ChamberFest?

ChamberFest was established in 2014 as an invitation-only program to train and develop campers who demonstrate musical and spiritual leadership potential. 25 students from the previous camp year are nominated by the teaching faculty based on their demonstrated musical ability as well as their attitude observed by faculty and counselors.

ChamberFest participants will work in chamber ensembles for one week prior to the commencement of the high-school camp. We also will have an Artist in Residence who will hold masterclasses for each of the chamber groups, attend group coachings, as well as perform a recital for all the ChamberFest participants.

It is such a long way to drive

One of the highlights of the Csehy week is campers coming together from all over the country, and all over the world. Summer of 2016 had representatives from 26 states and 10 countries. Whilst the majority of our campers come from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia, many campers also come from further states such as Florida and California, as well as campers who fly in from overseas, including United Arab Emirates, Germany, Japan, and Russia.

We offer airport pickups and drop-offs for campers who fly into Philadelphia International Airport (35-minutes commute) or who catch a train to Trenton Transit Center (12-minute commute).

The Organization

How do you say "Csehy?"

The name is pronounced "CHAY-hee?" Our founder, Wilmos Csehy was known to joke that his Hungarian name sounded like a sneeze.

How is Csehy connected with Cairn University?

Csehy Summer School of Music was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization while at its first site in Cedar Lake, Indiana where it was held from 1962-1967. Csehy was then at Muncy Terraces, Pennsylvania from 1968-1994, Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University) from 1995-2008, Houghton College, New York from 2009-2018, and returning to Cairn University again in 2019.

Whilst we hold similar values to Cairn University, and some of our teaching faculty are also teachers at Cairn University's School of Music, we are an independent program with teaching faculty from many colleges and orchestras.