Students rehearse on stage with a conductor

For more than 65 years, SFA School of Music has hosted band camps each summer. The summer music programs have expanded to include choir, strings and piano camps.

A student creates art with crayons and paper

The SFA School of Art hosts its Art Academy for elementary and secondary students, bringing aspiring artists to the university campus every summer.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The traditional fine arts camps focusing on art, music and theatre are once again drawing potential future Lumberjacks to the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University this summer and boosting the local economy.

From band and other music camps, to the annual Art Academy, to theatre camps, the Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts provides summer training and inspiration for aspiring artists of all genres. And when many of those young artists visit the SFA campus for a camp, so do their parents, siblings and grandparents, often attending end-of-camp performances and exhibitions.

For generations of band students, SFA continues to be home for a week in June with the School of Music’s high school and middle school band camps and the drum major camp.

“The summer music camps have been an integral part of our music program for decades, starting with the band camp in 1956,” said Dr. Nathan Nabb, director of the School of Music. “We’ve hosted many thousands of students since that time, and now we are proud to offer camps for young musicians in all areas: band, choir, orchestra, and piano.”

Other music camps include strings camp June 26 through July 2; small school and large school choir camps July 10 through 16; and Piano in the Pines camp July 24 through 29. Concerts are held at the conclusion of music camps.

The Art Academy is under way for its two-week session for younger students, and a new, week-long session for older students is planned for late June. Classes for elementary students conclude June 17, and an exhibition of student work will be at 4 p.m. that day in the art building off Wilson Drive. The secondary level art academy is June 27 through July 1, and an exhibition of all secondary student artworks will be at 3 p.m. Friday, July 1.

“Enrollment for our Secondary School Art Academy has exceeded expectations in the first year that we are offering it,” said Chris Talbot, director of the School of Art. “We look forward to having young prospective college art students in our academy this summer and seeing the artwork they produce.”

The School of Theatre will host its annual High School Summer Theatre Workshop July 10 through 23 featuring the study of acting, voice, movement, musical theatre and scene and costume design and construction, along with stage management, sound and lighting design. The Junior Jacks theatre camp for younger students is Monday through Friday, July 25 through Aug. 5. Performances are held at the conclusion of theatre camps.

“We are excited to be back for our 54th annual high school theatre workshop,” said Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre and Dance. “Students are going to get the opportunity to work in a variety of styles of theatre, commune with like-minded artists and enjoy a beautiful time in the Piney Woods. The leadership staff this summer are all former campers, and they are excited to be able to welcome the students back to our summer theatre workshop.”

For more information about fine arts camps at SFA, visit