Testimonials From Previous Campers

Tanya Bromley, Trumpet, 1969

“In 1969, Foster Music Camp was a  four-week camp. During that four weeks, I had the opportunity to make  music with some of the finest young musicians in the nation. Just like  me, these students had a passion for music-making. That interaction  helped me gain a whole new perspective of possibilities for musical  excellence. The experience helped prepare me for music study at the  collegiate level and entry to the professional world of music  performance. Teachers at Foster Camp were great performers and  professional music educators. We even had the opportunity to meet and  work with Vaclav Nehlybel. All in all, Foster Camp was one of those  "mountain top" experiences for a young high school musician. The impact  Foster Camp had on me led me to initiate Foster Camp Scholarships for my  high school band students. Over the years, many of my students also had  life changing experiences at Foster.”

David Deaton, Tuba, 1990-1995

Some of my fondest memories are associated with the Foster Music  Camp. I am proud to have been a Foster camper, as well as serving as an  instructor.”

Ashley Coffman, Clarinet, 2001-2005

“I attended Foster camp for 4 years and I would have attended longer  if I could have but I got too old. This was the place that I learned  what it meant to be a musician. Foster camp lead me to go to EKU for my  degree. I also made truly lifelong friends. Foster camp was also a  escape from a rough home life and a time without illness. It was a time  of learning and fun!”

Lynn Thompson, Percussion, 1992-1993

“Foster was one of my favorite experiences while in high school band.  One year we had the pleasure of taking part in a handdrumming workshop  that led to a life long fascination.”

Jim Stone, Trumpet, 1962-1963

SFMC was a magical time during my teen years that provided musical  experiences and friendships from across the country. Last year, one of  my granddaughters attend Foster for the first time and she will be  returning this year.

Dana Curlis, Voice, 1987-1989

My high school chorus did not have a Show Choir, so attending Foster  allowed me to be a part of something I would not have ever got to be a  part of, I loved the performing on a BIG stage!! I will never forget  that we got to perform a piece of Music that had been used in the  Calgary Olympics either opening or closing can not recall...but It has  always stuck with me that we got to be a part of something important!

Jan Neece, Voice

I have very fond memories of vocal camp. Spending a week with other  teens who loved to sing was a great experience. I hope my daughter will  be able to attend soon.
Dr. Wehr was a wonderful director and  teacher. I also have warm memories of my friend and roommate, Debbie  Kerns, who passed away several years ago.

Lea Siders, Violin, 2002-2004

I absolutely loved it, I attended foster music camp my sophomore  through senior years of high school and absolutely loved every minute of  it. I definitely played a lot of music that challenged my abilities  but the 

Lyle Collins, Cello, 1977-1979

I look back on my summers at the Stephen Foster Music Camp with great  fondness. The instruction I received was excellent. Overall the camp  was a wonderful experience and I would recommend the camp to anyone.


Michael Insko, Trumpet, 1969

Foster camp was a place to meet people that i would have ties to for the  rest of my life. It was an experience in music that changed me and made  me a better musician than I ever thought i could be at the time. My  future colleagues were at Foster Music camp.

James Shannon, Cello, 1945-1950

I was principal 'cellist of the orchestra from 1946 to 1950. I had a 5  year record attending summer camp. It was one of the most enjoyable  experience in my life. I still have a scrap book with old pictures and  clippings from the newspapers. Best wishes for the 75th Anniversary and I  hope to attend.

Joy Heideman, Cello, 1960

I may be wrong, but I think in 1960 I was your youngest camp member  ever! I had just finished 8th grade, and played cello in the Camp  Orchestra. I also accompanied many fellow campers on the piano during  camp recitals. I loved Foster Music Camp, and cried when I had to leave-  I thought my parents should just leave me at EKU- music was the life  for me!
And indeed it has been! I graduated from EKU with a B.Mus.Ed.  in 1970. I majored in pipe organ, and have been a pro church organist  and choir director for many years. I am in my 36th year of teaching  music, can't imagine retiring!

-      Joy Heideman, Cello, 1960

Stanley Cornett, Percussion

Foster was a great musical experience that, eventually, took me into  the Army's Band program as an officer and conductor. Dr Don Cooper, Dr  Van Peursem, Louis Brown, Nick Koenigstein, Robert Hartwell and Mike  This gave me more percussion experience than I could have hoped for in  several years w/out Foster.

Denise Newland, Voice, 1982-1985

I have wonderful memories of camp and the friends I met. I am proud  to be a Foster Camp Alumni. I will be sending my daughter this year for  the first time and I think I am more excited than she is. Wait until  next year! I now teach music because of Foster Camp.

Glaria Williams, French horn/clarinet, 2000

I attended the music camp in season 65. At the time I lived in  Ashland, KY. It was hard for me to decide to go, because I didn't know  anyone else that was going. But once I got there, and met my roommate, I  had a lot of fun and really expanded my music abilities. This  experience forced me to go outside of my comfort zone, but if I could go  back, I would do it all over again. I can't believe it has already been  ten years since I have been there.

Jim Drake, Tuba, 1963

Attended in 1963 with both my brothers, what a great time. Playing  our instruments, traveling and playing concerts, I remember playing in  Bardstown at the Stephen Foster Story. Probably the main reason I  selected EKU to attend. Many fond memories of the bus trips.

Larry Brashear, Tenor, 1974-1975

Was there for the 74 & 75 Vocal camp and still have fond memories of all the music we learned and friends we made.

Matthew Fletcher, Euphonium

Foster camp has given me the strength and confidence to become a  better musician, it has also been such a great atmosphere of music and  people. The staff and the teachers are all great and they have each done  so much for me, not only as a musician but also as a person.

Anna Harmon, Piano/Violin

I became involved with Foster Music Camp in 5th grade. I attended 2  years in piano camp and 5 years in string camp. Every year Foster Music  Camp was a highlight in my summer!

Calvin Whitt, Trumpet, 1944-1945

I attended Foster Music Camp in 1944 and 1945. My high school band  director, M.F. Rice, who directed the Salyersville High School Band,  encouraged me to attend. I played cornet--the same instrument that my  oldest son, Marc, continues to play. I eventually enrolled at Eastern  Kentucky State Teachers College and completed my degree in Music in  1954. Being a part of Foster Music Camp under the leadership of Joseph  Van Peursem continues to be one of my greatest and fondest experiences.  Go Big E!

Amie Kincaid, Voice, 1987

I was a student at foster camp the summer of 1987. I decided to  attend because I would be attending EKU that fall. I thought it would be  a great opportunity to check out the campus and get to know the music  staff since I would be a music ed major. I loved the camp. After  graduating from EKU, I was invited to direct the vocal camp with Dr.  Greenlee when I was teaching high school in Scott County. I directed the  camp with June Williams as well.

Mason Paris, Horn, 1973-1975

My 3 years at Stephens Collins Fosters music camp have provided for  me some of my greatest memories of my youth. Till this day I still look  back on the lessons I learned and the people that I met.

Roger Warren, Flute, 1997

Foster Camp for me, was an experience that I still talk about today. I  was a self-taught flute playing-cellist. Amazingly, I got first chair!  The masterclasses and sectionals were invaluable to my evolution as a  musician. I still credit Dr. Bromley and Dr. Hartwell for their  inspiration. Thank you!

Lane (Bunny) Smith, Trombone, 1979

It was the first time I realized that there were other kids who, like  me, lived and breathed for band/orchestra/voice. Finally I was among my  own kind, and we reveled in our geekitude. It was suddenly cool to be a  band dork. From that point on, I never felt like an outsider in school  again. I knew there were people just like me now, and we understood the  power of ensemble music.

Terry Thompson, Trumpet, 1975-1976

I was counselor in 1975 & 1976. I really learned a lot in dealing  with kids. With students in the dorm like Karrick and Webber, you had  better be on your toes at all times! I made great friendships with those  guys that extend into today. Bob Hartwell was a wonderful role model as  I watched how he dealt with the students, both musically and  personally. GREAT TIME!

Amy Gayle Milner, flute, 1991-1993

I attended Foster Camp for three summers in high school. Foster Camp  benefited my musical growth and helped me to "come out of my shell". I  later attended EKU and graduated with my bachelor's degree in music  education. I now teach elementary music near my hometown. I have kept in  touch with Foster Camp friends through facebook and encourage others to  attend Foster Camp!

Patty Kelley, Cello/Trumpet, 1972

was fourteen, one of the youngest in camp, which at that time was  four weeks. It was my first true time away from home, and I loved it. I  was in orchestra and chamber orchestra (cello), and in band (trumpet). I  had lessons, master classes, and so much support from other "campers".  We wore all white for our concerts, and (of course) stood for "My Old  Kentucky Home" at every event. It was truly one of the most exciting and  memorable experiences in my life.

Kalen Carty-Kemker, Flute, 1977-1981

Foster helped me develop the discipline required to succeed in future  endeavors. My father, the late Dr. Charles Carty, attended in the  1940's. I attended 5 years. My son, Christian Kemker, attended several  years and now has a full scholarship in music performance at UofL. We  are looking forward to our son, Colin, continuing the tradition. He is  registered for the middle school camp this year!!!

Christian Kemker, Trumpet, 2006-2009

I essentially began my music career and passion at Foster, sitting  last chair the summer after 6th grade. I will never forget the privilege  of playing taps at closing ceremonies when I had had achieved principal  trumpet stature. Foster helped build the foundation of my music  education and I now have a full scholarship in music performance.

Mark Martin, Clarinet, 1971-1973

SFMC was one of the pivotal experiences that led me to a life time of  music making, teaching and conducting. The memories of those 4 weeks  (yes, the camp was 4 weeks long back then) have stayed with me  throughout my career. I was fortunate enough to serve as a camp  counselor when I was attending EKU as an undergraduate as well. I will  never forget the experience and friendships made - as we use to say in  the 70's SFMC FOREVER!