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Brass Camp is a summer ensemble made entirely of Pittsburgh-area student brass musicians open to 5th through 12th graders.  The group was conceived as an opportunity for these musicians to perform in a unique, fun ensemble during the summer months, supplementing what they had learned in their school's instrumental program. Age appropriate music is chosen that corresponds with a given theme, and is specifically arranged for the group to provide an appropriate challenge for all students, no matter their level of experience. Individual musicianship as well as the willingness and ability to perform with others are utilized.  Rehearsals are held on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, and the camp culminates in a public performance.



I am proud to announce Brass Camp 2019: Around the World in 80 Days! Brass Camp participants will be taken on a musical journey around the globe, learning and performing music of the world. I am excited about this theme, because there is so much great music in the world, and this is a chance to explore some of that music beyond the Western Classical tradition that is often focused on in schools.

Rehearsals (Junior High Ensemble)

  • June 30th: 1-2:30 pm

  • July 7th: 1-2:30 pm

  • July 14th: 1-2:30 pm

  • July 21st: 1-2:30 pm

  • July 28th: 1-2:30 pm

Rehearsals (Senior High Ensemble)

  • June 30th: 3-5 pm

  • July 7th: 3-5 pm

  • July 14th: 3-5 pm

  • July 21st: 3-5 pm

  • July 28th: 3:30-5:30 pm

The final concert will be held on Monday, July 29th at 7:30 pm at South Fayette Middle School. 


  • To create a fun and safe environment for brass students to learn the skills of playing their instruments while performing in a unique ensemble.

  • To supplement the skills students are learning in their school band programs.

  • To provide each student with a new tangible skill(s) that they can take with them to school in the fall.

  • To teach students the skill of making music with others.

  • To teach students the value of hard work and the benefits of overcoming obstacles.

  • To encourage each student's love of music so that they may reach their maximum potential on their instrument while discovering that music is a life skill.


Is there a registration deadline?

The deadline to register for Brass Camp 2019 is June 22nd, 2019.

How do I know which ensemble my child is in?

Students are placed in an ensemble based on what grade they will be in for the 2019-20 school year:

Junior High: Grades 5-8
Senior High: Grades 9-12, & Class of 2019

My child is in advanced ensembles at his school.  Can he/she move up into the senior high ensemble?

All students will play in the ensemble that is for their grade, with no exceptions to be made.  This is to ensure that ALL ensembles sound as good as they possibly can sound!

Students are placed in an ensemble based on what grade they will be in for the 2019-20 school year:

Junior High: Grades 5-8
Senior High: Grades 9-12, & Class of 2019

What is a brass instrument?

A brass instrument would be one of any of the following: trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn, French horn, alto horn, mellophone, baritone, euphonium, trombone, bass trombone, or tuba.

My student doesn’t play a brass instrument, can he or she still participate?

Unfortunately, the music performed by the Brass Camp has been custom arranged for brass instruments only, so students who play woodwind or string instruments are not able to participate.  Check with your school's band director to see if they provide anything.  If not, the PYPO Summer Camp is a great option for all instrumentalists!

My student just started at the beginning of last school year. Can he or she still participate?

Yes, absolutely!  The Brass Camp is designed for students going into 5th grade and older, as long as they have been taking lessons on their instrument for the majority of the school year.  The music is custom arranged with these “beginner” students in mind.  If you think your child may need some more help on their music, please let Michael know.

My student is going to start playing an instrument this summer.  Can he or she participate?

Unfortunately, this unique ensemble experience is designed for students who have achieved a certain level of competency on their instruments, normally occurring after a full year of instruction.  A student who is just starting out now will not appreciate the benefits that Brass Camp would have to offer, and may even grow frustrated at the experience!  To ensure that this does not happen, Brass Camp is restricted to those students who have had a full school year of instruction on their instrument…but don’t worry, we’ll be back next year!  

Is there a cost for Brass Camp?

The cost for Brass Camp this year is $50.00, which must be paid in full before the first rehearsal.  For this low price, you receive: Five rehearsals, concert, guest clinician workshop, custom arranged music, and a commemorative poster.

How do I pay for Brass Camp?

The cost for Brass Camp is $50.00 and is paid directly to Michael Buckstein. Cash and check are both accepted, with check being the preferred method of payment. 

Is there a discount for siblings?

Due to the registration price being so low to ensure that all students are able to participate in the Brass Camp, there is no further discount.

When and where are rehearsals? 

Rehearsals for Brass Camp 2019 will be held at Bethany Presbyterian Church. The Junior High Ensemble will rehearse from 1-2:30 pm and the Senior High Ensemble will rehearse from 3-5 pm. The address for Bethany Presbyterian Church is: 740 Washington Ave. Bridgeville, PA 15017

When and where is the concert? Is there a charge for the concert?

The concert will take place at 7:30 pm on Monday, July 29th at South Fayette Middle School. There is no admission fee for the concert. Bring everyone you know for a wonderful evening of brass music! The concert will also be live-streamed via Youtube, and a link will be provided to share with family and friends who cannot attend the concert in person.

Why do I need to fill out a medical form?

While your child will only be in our care for a brief period of time once a week, it is best that we are prepared for any medical emergency that may take place, and having a medical form on hand helps in case something were to happen.  All information will be reviewed by the director and kept private, only to be used in the event of an emergency.  If you questions or concerns regarding this, please contact Michael. 

I filled out a medical form last year, do I still need to fill one out?

To maintain your privacy, the medical forms are destroyed at the culmination of each Brass Camp; therefore, yes, you will need to fill out a new form.

Who are the clinicians this year?

The clinicians this year will be The Brass Roots. A collection of Western Pennsylvania's finest brass musicians, The Brass Roots is committed to translating the experience of the symphony hall to the more intimate setting of chamber music through dynamic musicianship and innovative programming. Quickly becoming a Pittsburgh favorite, The Brass Roots is noted for the brilliance and power of their sound. Going into their fifth year, The Brass Roots is expanding their concert schedule, their reach throughout the community both in person and online, and building relationships with Pittsburgh arts organizations and under served communities through strategic concert programming and partnerships. For more information, please visit their website: https://www.thebrassroots.com

I live far away from Bethany Presbyterian Church. What can I do while my student is in rehearsal?

There are many ways to pass the time. Grab a bite to eat at many local restaurants located within minutes of Bethany, such as Chipotle, Texas Roadhouse, or Burgh's Pizza and Wing Pub. You can also do your weekly grocery shopping at the Giant Eagle just down the road. 

Our family is going on vacation in July. Can I still participate in Brass Camp?

Yes! We understand that July is a common time for family vacations. When you register, simply indicate which date will be missed due to a family vacation or other obligation. This is no issue if it is a one time thing. If a student needs to miss 2 or more weeks of Brass Camp, that situation will need to be discussed with the director. 

What do I need for a typical Brass Camp rehearsal? 

For a typical rehearsal, all participants will need their music, instrument, a pencil, and a music stand. Music must be printed out at home! Our rehearsal space does not have stands, so everyone will need to provide their own stands. Folders and pencils will be provided, courtesy of Johnstonbaugh's Music Centers!

Is your question still not answered?  Please e-mail Michael at michaelbucksteinmusic@gmail.com!