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Summer Institute

Elevate Vocal Arts' Summer Institute is a groundbreaking, residency-based, five-week summer program designed for aspiring Vocal Arts Apprentices aged 18-25. Our Summer Institute unites distinguished vocal artists, artist managers, and arts administrators to serve as faculty and mentors for our apprentices, equipping them with the essential skills and knowledge for a successful career in the vocal arts. Apprentices will develop a professional development plan tailored to their individual goals and assistance in creating a portfolio of professional materials. Apprentices will close out the program with a public performance of solo and ensemble repertoire alongside members of Elevation. 

Course Topics

Throughout the program, apprentices will engage in daily coursework covering a wide range of topics, including:

  • Workforce Development
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Financial Literacy and Management
  • Ensemble Skills
  • Artist Representation
  • Interview and Audition Skills
  • Self-Care and Self-Advocacy
  • Solo Voice Development
  • Composition
  • Stage Presence
  • Audience Engagement

Skill Development

Our innovative curriculum not only nurtures artistic talent but also strengthens and develops Delaware's upcoming workforce by instilling essential workplace skills desired by Delaware employers, such as:

  • Healthy Vocal Production & Sustainability 
  • Communication and Professionalism 
  • Reading and Writing 
  • Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Respect & Understanding of Diversity
  • Career & Life Management
  • Information Technology 
  • Guarding Intellectual Property 

Vocal Arts Apprentices will build portfolios that include:

  • CV
  • Artist Statements
  • Sample Recordings of Performances
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Professional Biography
  • Headshots

Sample Daily Schedule 

8:30am - Morning Meal

9:15am - Meditation, Daily Goal Setting, Vocal Warm-Up

10:00am - Seminar: Self-Care and Professional Stamina 

11:00am - Voice Lessons and Mock Interviews

1:00pm - Lunch 

2:00pm - Field Trip to the Freeman Pavilion Recording Studio

4:00pm - Ensemble Rehearsal 

6:00pm - Dinner 

8:30pm - Solo Vocal Arts Masterclass


Dr. Jillian Harrison-Jones
Brian Ming Chu
Arreon A. Harley-Emerson
Dr. Lori Hicks
Maria A. Ellis
L. Jay Besch

'24 Institute Dates and Details:

The 2024 Summer Institute will kick off on May 20th!
  • Hosted in Bethany Beach, Delaware.
  • Weeks 1-4 (online, part-time): May 20 - June 14
  • Week 5 (in-person, full-time): June 16 - 21
  • Students recieve a stipend for their participation (yes, vocal artistry is real work!)
  • SI 2024 will include a special collaboration with the Freeman Arts Pavilion!

Application and Audition Requirements:

  • Jotform Application (online)
  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • Performance recording of a song from the African Diaspora (including but not limited to Gospel, Spirituals, Jazz, R&B.)
  • Performance recording of a contrasting song (including but not limited to Musical Theater, Pop, Western Classical, etc.)
  • OPTIONAL: Spoken Word Performance (Original Poetry, dramatic reading, Rap, etc.)

Deadlines and Important Dates:

  • Application Deadline: March 15th - 11:59 pm 
  • Acceptance Letters Sent: April 15th
  • Online Institute Begins: May 20th
  • In Person Institute Begins: June 16th

Applications Are Closed!

Applications for Summer Institute 2024 are currently closed. If you missed your chance to apply this year, check back in early 2025 for more information about applying to SI '25. You can always email for more information about SI!