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Who can come to camp?

The Lakeside A cappella Camp is aimed at young singers between the ages of 13-23, from both the US and Canada, who love or just want to learn more about a cappella singing.  We do sometimes have singers younger than 13, but they are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the duration of the camp.  The camp is open to both guys and girls and while we do separate you by gender for the two choruses, we eat meals together, socialize together, and everyone is welcome as a part of the family!  We have siblings, friends, classmates, teachers, and everyone in between - if you love to sing and perform we want you here! 


Is the Lakeside A cappella Camp an overnight camp?

Yes!  All campers and chaperones will stay in gender-separate dorms on the campus of Cazenovia College.  Campers may request a specific roommate and all attempts will be made to honor those requests!  If you don't know anyone coming to camp, you'll be paired with another camper your same age and gender.


What does my camp fee include?

Two (2) Night's Housing at Cazenovia College, all sheet music, all learning tracks and recordings, a camp t-shirt, all meals (dinner on Thursday through dinner and After-Glow on Saturday), two complimentary tickets to the Saturday night Camp Show (additional tickets are available), all entertainment, and instruction from Internationally-known clinicians and quartets all weekend!  An initial deposit is due upon registration for all campers, but scholarships are available.  Contact Sky Harris, Camp Director, for more information (


Who are the chaperones and is there a nurse on staff?

All chaperones are experienced working with young people at overnight camps and have been trained and vetted for this event.  Chaperones are also all experienced musicians and supporters of a cappella music - so don't be surprised if they sing along!  We will also have an experienced nurse on staff who will be available and on-call all weekend.  If you are a parent, barbershopper, or music educator interested in applying to be a chaperone, please complete an application on our Adult Application page.


What kind of music are we going to do?

The awesome kind!  Our two incredible clinicians will be selecting great music that will include both a cappella arrangements of more contemporary favorites and the best of barbershop.  Both the girls' chorus and the guys' chorus will have their own unique songs to learn, as well as a great 8-part finale featuring both choruses!  Never sung barbershop?  No worries!  By the end of the weekend you'll be a pro!


What should I do to get ready for camp?

Once you register for camp, you'll get a password to access the sheet music and learning tracks for the camp music on this website.  Download the sheet music, throw the learning tracks on your iPod, and start singing!  This camp works best when everyone comes to camp knowing their notes and words inside-out - that way we can spend camp learning the craft, adding choreography, and preparing for a great show on Saturday night!  Your password will also get you access to all of the official forms you'll need to download and fill out to bring to check-in on Thursday.  Other than that, make sure you have your payments in and get ready for a weekend you'll never forget!


What do I need to bring to camp?

Your sheet music, learning tracks, a pencil, comfortable clothing and shoes (it's summertime - we're casual!), an overnight bag (toiletries, comfort items, PJs, etc.), a sleeping bag or sheets and blankets for your bed, a shower towel and washcloth, a water bottle, snacks (although we bet you won't get hungry), medications (in a bag with your name to give to the nurse), and blue jeans for Saturday night's Camp Show.  Check back soon for a more complete packing list once you register!


What should I not bring to camp?

The Lakeside A cappella Camp and its sponsors have a zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, or any illegal substances, regardless of the age of the camper. Also, the possession of weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited. Any campers found in violation of this policy will be sent home immediately, without refund.  It is also suggested that any valuable electronic devices (laptops, iPads, handheld gaming devices, etc.) or other valuables be left at home... there isn't really time for it while you are here and it is much safer to leave it at home so it doesn't get lost or damaged.  If in doubt, leave it home!


What is barbershop?

Barbershop is a uniquely American art-form of 4-part a cappella singing.  Barbershop is characterized by closely-voiced chords, including the "barbershop seventh chord," a focus on locking and ringing chords by matching vowels and vocal placement to activate overtones, and high energy, highly emotional performances that leave audiences screaming for more!  Called "the black belt of a cappella" by Deke Sharon (Pitch Perfect and The Sing-Off), barbershop is an International phenomenon with thousands of singers worldwide of all ages, nationalities, and levels of experience.  What they have in common is a love of harmony, performance, and singing as a life-long experience.  For this camp, no experience is necessary - come and discover this amazing world that will leave chords ringing in your head for years to come!


How do I pick a voice part?  Am I a Tenor, Lead, Baritone, or Bass?

In barbershop, the names for the voice parts are slightly different than typical choral or contemporary a cappella music.  The lead sings the melody and is usually the second highest part (kind of like alto/soprano 2 or tenor 2).  The bass covers the bass line of the song and is usually the lowest voice part (kind of like alto 2 or bass).  The tenor sings the highest harmony part, usually above the lead (kind of like soprano 1 or tenor 1).  And the baritone sings the middle harmony part in basically the same range as the lead (kind of like alto 1/soprano 2 or baritone).  Barbershop tenors are characterized by a light, pure sound, great ears for tuning, and you only need a couple to make the sound really great!  Barbershop leads are characterized by their dominant, present voice and physical "leading" of the group through their visual performance.  Barbershop baritones are characterized by an awesome ear for harmony, flexible vocal skills, and chameleon-like ability to match other voices.  Barbershop basses are the foundation of the sound and need to be comfortable and very present in their low to mid range, as well as a dominant visual force with the leads.  Pick the part that fits your personality, vocal and musicianship skills, and range... to get the right mix in barbershop we always need lots of leads and basses, a strong group of baritones, and just a few tenors to add the icing on the cake!  If you aren't sure, email us ( and we'll help you figure it out!


Do I have to be really good at reading music?

This is a camp for experienced singers and musicians, but if music reading isn't your strong suit, don't worry!  We provide learning tracks for each individual part, so even if you can just listen to the tracks and follow the words on the page, you'll be able to come prepared to camp without a problem!  In fact, a lot of barbershop is taught by ear, rather than looking at music.  You'll see campers using solfege, numbers, or even just crazy hand gestures to help teach each other parts to the camp music, tags, or even just making up harmony to some their favorite songs!  Our campers have a wide array of skills and talents, so don't worry - you'll have a chance to showcase whatever your strengths are and we'll help you with the rest!

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