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Young Musicians & Artists

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For over 50 years, YMA has been inspiring students as 

Oregon’s premier residential arts camp. 

Open to students who have completed grades 4-12, YMA offers all the benefits of an intensive arts camp combined

with a built-in leadership training program and the outdoor games, campfires, and deep friendships

that form memories to last a lifetime...


YMA has some important deadlines coming up! With spring break on the horizon to distract us all, please mark your calendars to make sure these important applications get submitted on time.


FINANCIAL AID applications are due April 1st this year! Just click here for details and application materials.


We are accepting submissions until April 1st for the CONCERTO & ARIA COMPETITION. Make sure you submit your audition by then to be considered for a chance to perform as soloist with the YMA Spotlight Orchestra! Click here for info.


And finally, the last day to take advantage of YMA's REFER-A-FRIEND DISCOUNT is one day prior on March 31st! See below for details.
Featured Program: Guitar

Guitar student
The YMA Guitar program at Session 1 is open to students of all levels, with particular encouragement to applicants with basic musical literacy and/or guitar experience. This program is designed for classical guitar and acoustic steel-string players and is a great opportunity to hone your guitar skills in a fun, supportive environment!

Advanced students will be challenged with more difficult parts and may have the opportunity to work in smaller ensembles to hone their skills. There are also opportunities to play in the Jazz program. You’ll have many chances to perform throughout the YMA session, from evening student recitals to the Final Performances on the last week of camp! Students will need to bring their own instruments.


Mario Diaz

This year YMA is pleased to welcome our new guitar instructor Mario Diaz! Mario is a guitarist, singer and educator whose musical activities have taken him across the U.S. and South America. His work as both soloist and collaborator crosses over into a wide range of genres and styles from Classical to Rock, and he performs with the Oregon Guitar Quartet. As an educator, Mario maintains an active private teaching studio and serves on the faculties of Portland State University and Portland Community College. He holds degrees from Portland State University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Aside from playing music, Mario enjoys spending time with his wife and son.


Think this program sounds like fun? It is! Register today at to reserve your place in the Guitar program!




Give the Gift of YMA: Sponsor a Camper


PhotogDo you love sharing your passion for the arts with others? Did you realize just how deeply you loved performing when you attended YMA? Did your own child attend YMA and leave feeling confident and inspired?


We invite you to celebrate the arts and make a gift today to help bring a deserving student to camp this summer!


Whether your interest is in a specific program or even supporting a specific student, your assistance provides an opportunity that truly changes a young person's life.


To sponsor a camper today, contact Sarah Tiedemann, Executive Director, at More info is also available at


Young Musicians & Artists | PO Box 86034 | Portland, OR 97286 | 503.880.3817

YMA 2018

Whether you're considering a summer at YMA for the first time or are an alum looking forward to sending your children for the same inspiring adventure that shaped your own youth, thank you for your interest in YMA!

We hope you'll find all the info you need on dates, programs, faculty & staff, camp life, tuition, and financial aid below, but if not, please check out the FAQ and/or contact us via the Info Request Form.



Each program area at YMA has its own schedule and curriculum. Students sign up for one program area per session, during which they build close friendships with the staff and students in that area. They also get to know the rest of the camp students and staff at meals, during free time before and after dinner, and in their connections and elective classes.


Financial Aid

YMA awards financial aid on a rolling basis beginning January 31, 2017 and ending April 1, 2017. It is highly recommended that you apply as early as possible so maximum resources are available. Please apply early, as funds are limited. YMA reserves the right to stop accepting applications earlier if funds are assigned to students before that date. Note: If you are applying for Financial Aid, send those materials in before registering so you don't have to pay a deposit upfront.

Assistance is awarded on a competitive basis, taking into consideration the following three factors:

Financial need of the student’s family
Proficiency and enthusiasm of the student in the major artistic area
Needs of YMA to strengthen sections or departments

Every applicant will be given due consideration when financial aid is awarded, but because of the number of applicants, not every applicant will receive funds. For more information, please complete the Info Request Form.


To Apply:

Click here to download the YMA Financial Aid Application. You will also need to complete and submit the application along with the following supplemental materials:

  • Written statement of need
  • Documentation showing need (can be in the form of tax statements, pay stubs, proof of free or reduced lunch status, financial aid award statements from other organizations or schools, etc.)
  • Letter of recommendation from the student’s most recent instructor
  • Letter from the student outlining why you want to come to YMA
  • Optional: Additional statement of need from an adviser or teacher


Return completed application and supplementary materials via email or mail to:


Attn: Financial Aid Committee
PO Box 86034
Portland, OR 97286

Galen Cohen, Camp Director



YMA is located on the picturesque campus at Willamette University just across the street from Oregon's State Capitol. With gorgeous summers, natural beauty, and friendly faces, there is inspiration everywhere you look!

Creative students choose a program in which to immerse themselves for two weeks, and with two sessions and fifteen programs, YMA offers something for everyone!

In addition, students choose electives once they arrive at camp—everything from accordion playing or piñata making to tap dancing or crocheting cat toys. They also collaborate across programs, so a walk through camp often reveals dancers posing as subjects for photographers, artists and writers working together on a 'zine, and pianists performing as concerto soloists with the YMA Orchestra.

Faculty & Counselors

YMA’s faculty and counselors are the cornerstones of the camp. Our faculty includes members of the San Diego Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and Boise Philharmonic; dancers from the San Francisco Ballet, Tony Awards, and Radio City Rockettes; actors from Artists Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare & Company; published authors; and accomplished artists and photographers. Faculty and counselors are chosen not only for their excellence and professionalism, but for their ability to teach, inspire, and support students in a cooperative and caring environment.


Our Pledge

We are committed to creating a safe, supportive environment for all members of our community, regardless of gender, orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability. All are welcome, and all are loved.


Memories to Last a Lifetime. . .