Additional Participants' Comments:

"The summer music composition program at IWU was a life changing experience.  I had never been around so many people who were so much like me.  Dr. Pelusi made me feel so welcomed and taught me so much.  If I had the chance, I would do the summer camp all over again."

Marissa Simmons
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Lincolnshire, Illinois

"Being in a group of 28 composers was a unique experience in itself.  I thought it was amazing how in the course of a week a large group with diverse musical backgrounds turned into a community where each person could share his or her talents with others and grow musically in return, while creating a composition that he or she would never have thought could have been created when the program began.  My favorite part was watching each person beam in delight as his or her composition was professionally performed and recorded."

Emi Nakamura
Homewood-Flossmoor High School
Flossmoor, Illinois

"The IWU Composition Institute was by far the most informative, fun, and enriching experience of my high school career.  I was exposed to many aspects of music composition, some of which I never knew existed.  The program in its entirety is very well-planned, structured, and balanced.  I cannot even begin to express what an excellent experience this program is and would recommend it to any young and aspiring student interested in music composition."

Christopher Grills
Joplin High School
Joplin, Missouri

"Working with Dr. Pelusi really changed the way I look at music composition.  The one-on-one work I did and the composition I wrote introduced me to many new ideas and techniques.  The program is really worth going to for anyone interested in the field."

Chris Running
Timberline Middle School
Alpine, Utah

"This program was amazing.  I composed my very own flute, cello, and piano piece in four days. I learned a lot from the classes, and I really think this program will help me with composition a lot.  I also had a great time."

Jonathan Evans
Interlocchen Arts Academy
Traverse City, Michigan

"Coming to IWU was a fantastic and memorable experience that I will cherish forever.  It was exciting to learn new things about composing and to be around fellow student composers.  I think anyone with an interest in composing would benefit greatly from a week of classes, learning, and fun."

Kate Cabrera
Home-schooled
Peachland, North Carolina

"I loved the composition project!  At first it was unusual for me because I’d never composed anything in 20th (or 21st) century style before, but once I got used to the concepts and the pitch organization, writing this piece was a great period of musical growth for me.  I received thorough instruction in how to shape my composition, helpful answers to my questions, and had ample time to compose my piece and to make revisions to perfect it.  I’d never imagined that I could compose a piece in that style, but I was very happy with how it turned out, and it was so much fun to hear it played at the end of the camp!

"This is a fantastic program, and it should be attended by any and every teenager thinking about pursuing a career in composition.  The classes provided an abundance of useful information on a variety of different topics and musical styles.  Dr. Pelusi was extremely knowledgeable and had extensive answers to questions about every subject, and the atmosphere was focused and conducive to learning, but still laid-back enough to be a lot of fun.  It was a great experience to spend time with other composers around my age, and the composition assignment expanded my conception of what I was capable of writing.  I am very proud of the work I accomplished at this camp, and I also had a great time and made friends with some remarkable people!  What’s not to love?"

Sarah Chaffee
The Cleveland Institute of Music
Cleveland, Ohio

"This camp was an outstanding experience.  I loved the students and the counselors, and Dr. Pelusi is an absolute genius in regards to music!  The composition experience was fantastic.  This was the first time I ever composed a piece to completion, and I am extremely satisfied with it!  I’m so glad I came."

Tim Carlos
Glenbard North High School
Carol Stream, Illinois

"This was a great experience!  I’ve tried to compose before, but I could never get very far on my own without a schedule.  Having specific times for composing kept me on track, and I hope to use that organization to help me in my future work.  I learned to compose music!  Not only that, but I learned how to dive, how to play lots of card games, how not to scratch every time I play pool, and how to become a master ping-pong player.  A pretty impressive list, I think!"

Catherine Brandt
Central Catholic High School
Bloomington, Illinois

"If you are interested in music composition, you won’t find a better camp to go to than this one.  Having your composition recorded by professional musicians is a wonderful experience.  Dr. Pelusi taught me everything I needed to know about composition in general as well as help me with my own composition along the way.  I now have wonderful connections as I go on to study music in college."

Sam Mullooly
Pius XI High School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"The Composition Institute at IWU was incredibly informative.  Everything was clearly taught, and Dr. Pelusi was very exciting to listen to.   Writing for the flute, cello, and piano ensemble was a great learning experience.  Dr. Pelusi’s Composition Institute is a wonderful program, and I would recommend it without reservation to anybody interested in composition." 

Thomas Ridgway
Homeschooled

"Every aspect of this program was expertly structured, and I never expected to learn so much material in just one week.  I was pushed to work hard on my composition assignment and truly felt the deadline and college life aspect of the program.  I never expected to make such good friends and connect with almost everyone there."

Drew Mikuska
Hinsdale South High School
Darien, Illinois

"The program has many strengths.  I enjoyed the constant company of other composers.  I also appreciated the structured daily schedule, which kept me sufficiently occupied.  The camp was a highly enriching experience.  I met many people with whom I enjoyed working.  The program was difficult, but I was rewarded for my effort."

Stephen Hough
Alamo Heights High School
San Antonio, Texas

"After traveling across the world, it was definitely worth it.  This was my first time in summer school/camp and I enjoyed every second of the time I spent.  I was so scared to come, but now I just don’t want to leave!  I’ll miss the friends I made!  This was an unforgettable, unbelievable experience. Thank you, Dr. Pelusi."

Shilla Limarga
The British International School
Jakarta, Indonesia

"The Institute was a more rewarding and informative experience than I could ever have imagined for being only one week long.  I also met a lot of awesome people interested in music.  Anybody interested in composition needs to go to this Institute."

Jacki Howard
North Montgomery High School
Crawfordsville, Indiana

"Any sort of uncertainty I had heading into my world of composition in the future was completely gone by the last day.  The kids are a blast to be around, the teacher is incredible, and your music gets played by professionals.  You cannot ask for a better opportunity.  It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Nicholas Perozzi
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Lincolnshire, Illinois

"This camp is great!  I got to learn new composition techniques while still having fun with other composers!  The assignment was very interesting, and it is definitely something I would want to do again.  I highly recommend this camp to anyone, beginner or advanced, interested in composition."

Tyler Katz
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Lincolnshire, Illinois

"IWU’s Composition Institute is a wonderful program that provides new composers with a great foundation.  I also had a wonderful time with all the great people who were part of it.  Dr. Pelusi is an amazing teacher and also an amazing person."

Christian Timmis
Home-schooled
Vermontville, Michigan

"The IWU Composition Institute gave me the educational platform to enhance my skills as a musician, composer, and as a person.  Dr. Pelusi’s program gave me the guidance I needed to improve and work to the extent of my creativity."

Anna Busch
Glenbrook South High School
Glenview, Illinois

"This is a camp for anybody interested in writing music.  It’s amazing to hear the finished products made by everyone. If you’re looking to learn and write music along with meeting great people and making good friends, you should attend this camp."

Michael Erman
Marshalltown High School
Marshalltown, Iowa

"This camp has been an amazing experience that has allowed me to find what I’m interested in pertaining to music and helped me to learn where I want to go with that.  We had the greatest group of people.  I can’t imagine a better place to learn about music."

Katie Bicego
Yreka High School
Yreka, California

"This camp was a fun and exciting experience.  I met a lot of new people who shared a common interest in composing music.  I learned a lot from the classes, and the performance of my piece was outstanding."

Ethan Berg
Deerfield High School
Deerfield, Illinois

"If you are creative and everyone thinks you have a gift or not, there is no question about participating in this opportunity.  The idea of meeting people from around the country and world is brilliant.  I never thought it was going to be this fun.  You will regret not doing this if you’re musically talented.   This camp will create the next Beethoven; don’t let an opportunity like this pass you by.  I loved everyone I met here, and I expect that we will always keep in touch and be long-lasting friends."

Chris Carter
Eureka High School
Eureka, Missouri

"The attention each student receives from Dr. Pelusi and other staff is incredible, not to mention that by the end of the day, you feel like family with everyone else in attendance.  This program is a great opportunity no musician should pass up."

Alexander Kidd
MacArthur High School
Decatur, Illinois

"The Illinois Wesleyan University Summer Music Composition Institute is a strong step forward for anyone who is interested in music composition.  You are flooded with information from a professional, who has, and still is, working in the business.  There’s a balance of everything with plenty of time to enjoy the summer, and this is during a strong academic process.  Then, when you leave with your composition, you are set for college admissions and the world."

Austin Howard
Blythewood High School
Blythewood, South Carolina

"I loved going to the classes here and learned a lot about music composition.  Dr. Pelusi is a great teacher and made sure that we all understood what we were learning.  We also had a lot of time for working on our compositions, and we had a lot of free time to socialize with other members of the camp."

Cady Williamson
Tri-Valley High School
Downs, Illinois

"Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about music in just one week, but we were in an environment designed to submerge all of us completely in creativity.   This was, for sure, one of the best weeks of my life".

Emily McGinn
Lyons Township High School
La Grange, Illinois

"I had reached a point in my composing that I didn’t have enough theory knowledge to create the effects I desired.  The camp provided me with enough knowledge to pass this obstacle.  It was extremely informative and also incredibly fun."

Michelle Schleevogt
Sheboygan Falls High School
Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin

"This program is unique, both in its focus and excellence.  Dr. Pelusi made the classroom sessions both fun and educational, and his insights into the realm of composition were invaluable.  Combining good musical experiences, good times with other composing peers, and good instruction, this is an experience not to miss!"

Jared Hedges
Lakes Community High School
Lake Villa, Illinois

"Going through this program from start to finish—working at an original composition, learning all day about music, and hearing your completed piece played for you by professional musicians, is sure to be an extremely rewarding experience."

Daniel Burr
Central Catholic High School
Bloomington, Illinois

"You will come out of this camp with not only a greater understanding of composition and a piece you can be proud of, but you will also find so many people who share the same passions and interests as you, whether they live 20,000 miles away or 20 minutes from your house."

Celina Kobetitsch
Neuqua Valley High School
Naperville, Illinois

"It was really nice to meet some other people who wrote music.  I learned a lot and made a lot of new friends.  I didn’t want to leave when it was over."

Conor Strejcek
Naperville North High School
Naperville, Illinois

"This was such a wonderful experience.  I got to know everyone and learned what life would be like as a music composition major in college.  I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in music.  You will learn so much more about music and the different styles.  You will meet wonderful friends you will keep for the rest of your lives."

Ashli Augsburger
Mount Pleasant High School
Mount Pleasant, Iowa

"Dr. Pelusi is a wonderful teacher, and the opportunity to have your piece recorded is invaluable to young composers."

Robert Andrews
Fremd High School
Palatine, Illinois

"The IWU Music Composition Institute was a really good workshop for musicians to develop better composition skills as well as to meet many people with different abilities and styles of music."

Casey Rajkumar
Home-schooled
Paris, Illinois

"The camp really helped expand my knowledge of composition and has made all of the compositions I’ve written since have a higher quality."

Nathan Kiever
Lemont High School
Lemont, Illinois

"The IWU Summer Music Composition Institute really allowed me to gauge my progress as a composition student.  I was challenged, encouraged, and best of all, surrounded by peers who loved music and composition!  This camp definitely made me a better composer and student of music."

Priscilla Liu
Naperville Central High School
Naperville, Illinois

"This program was a great experience.  I learned a lot about composition and music in general.  It was great hearing my piece performed by professional musicians.  Thanks!"

Spencer Brown
Ernest Righetti High School
Santa Maria, California

"Your composition camp at Illinois Wesleyan University was a very educational experience for me.  Before that week, I had never finished a single composition. Afterwards, I had a finished composition and a good understanding of how to create more music.  I also gained a much greater understanding of the Finale music notation software in addition to my understanding of music in general.  Thank you for offering such an educational and rewarding experience."

Andrew Bosonworth
Alton High School
Alton, Illinois

"This was honestly a fantastic program; it opened me up to a whole new world of music I’d never been involved in before, and now, because of the Institute, I’m definitely continuing with composition."

Michael Wagner
Vernon Hills High School
Vernon Hills, Illinois

"The week I spent at Illinois Wesleyan turned out to be an excellent experience.  The classes and private lessons with Dr. Pelusi were insightful.  I learned so much!  Everyone was friendly and eager to learn, regardless of personal tastes or prior training.  I feel as though my skills in composition really improved because of this program. Anyone interested in composition should definitely consider this program."

Erin Sumpter
Wade Hampton High School
Greenville, South Carolina

"IWU’s Summer Music Composition Institute is definitely worth a week of your summer vacation.  Not only are the classes and the composing aspects of the program great, but the social aspects are worth the trip alone.  It’s really important for young composers to meet kids like themselves whom they wouldn’t have had the chance to meet at home."

Stephanie Rosario
Staten Island Technical High School
Staten Island, New York

"I had a lot of fun at the Institute, but more important, I learned about new areas of music.  The piece that I had created by the end of the week was completely different from anything I would have written at home.  I certainly expanded my musical horizons, while at the same time making lots of new friends."

Ethan Berl
University Laboratory High School
Champaign, Illinois

"This program is great.  It has the perfect balance of composing time, classes, and free time.  You also learn more than you ever expected."

Meghan Birdsong
Webster Groves High School
Webster Groves, Missouri

"This program was 100% fun.  It was so informative on topics like contemporary music and film music.  The things that I learned have helped me to grow as a composer and is perfect for people who have never composed before to people who know what a pandiatonic cluster is.   Everbody involved benefits."

Noel Fortman
Hinsdale Central High School
Hinsdale, Illinois

"By far the most informative and interesting camp I’ve attended with plenty of time for relaxation.  I was amazed to find how easily I connected with the other students."

Henry Ward
Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
Aurora, Illinois

"This program introduces students of all levels to a comprehensive guide to creating sound and improves musicianship on many levels."

David Bloom
Indian Springs School
Birmingham, Alabama

"The most I’ve learned and possibly the most fun I’ve had for one week straight was at IWU’s Composition Institute."

Keirnan Johnson
Homeschooled
Peoria, Arizona

"This is an excellent program for anyone who has an interest in music composition.  I was amazed by how much I had learned in a week."

Jim Miles
High School of St. Thomas More
Champaign, Illinois

"Even if you don’t have any experience in composition, you will still have a lot of fun and find everything informative.  It’s truly a great program and everyone is very friendly."

Megan Cherry
Prospect High School
Arlington Heights, Illinois 

"This program creates a positive and beneficial environment in which to expand your exposure to different types of music and to grow your knowledge and interest in music composition."

Brad Cardella
Lemont High School
Lemont, Illinois

"This was a great program. I enjoyed being around people with the same musical interests.  It was so nice to meet so many new people."

Julie Gardner
Argo Community High School
Summit, Illinois

"The program provided me with more knowledge than I thought possible in a week."

Blake Cecil
Normal Community High School
Normal, Illinois

"This program presented me with ideas and elements of music I never even knew of; it introduced me to an entirely different world."

John Gholson
Hampshire High School
Hampshire, Illinois

"The Composition Institute provided me with an optimal learning experience that is very hard to find anywhere else.  If you have any interest in how masterpieces were created, it is all here!"

Dylan Findley
Ottawa Township High School
Ottawa, Illinois

The IWU Composition Institute gave me a new way to view composing music.  I learned what I was never taught in my educational career in terms of music theory.  I also came into the camp very timid, but by the end of the first night, I opened up to everyone.  I never expected to meet friends or complete such a challenging course.

Zach Plata
Downers Grove South High School
Downers Grove, Illinois

"Thank you for doing this.  I’ve been looking for years for some way to further explore composition."

Jori Barash
Highland High School
Gilbert, Arizona

"The IWU Summer Music Composition Institute balances learning, composing, and recreation in a way that is intriguing, informative, and fun."

John Lewis
Naperville Central High School
Naperville, Illinois

"After completing the Summer Music Composition Institute at IWU, my whole outlook and music technique completely changed.  I learned more about music in a week than I've learned my whole life."

Adam J. Peña
Bartlett High School
Bartlett, Illinois

"This program was a great experience for me.  I learned so much about music and made friends that I’ll stay in touch with for a long time.  It was fun and enjoyable and was a great way to start my summer."

Michael Shonberg
Highland Park High School
Highland Park, Illinois

"It doesn't matter how much you know about music--this program is about expanding your knowledge."

Tim MacKay
Indian Spring School
Birmingham, Alabama

"This camp was one of the best experiences of my life."

Chloe Malouf
Quince Orchard High School
Gaithersburg, Maryland

"This program is extremely helpful if you want to know more about composition, composers, music theory, and even just getting a better understanding of music in general.  It was really great to have people who share your passion for music to talk to about ideas and music programs."

Shane Cook
Bolingbrook High School
Bolingbrook, Illinois

"A positively wonderful experience! At the risk of sounding lame, it  really did alter my idea of what music truly is!  I also met a fantastic group of people and made two great friends!  Go!"

John Rot
Larkin High School
Larkin, Illinois

"Anyone who is serious about composition needs to look into this program."

Tim Kwasny
Maine South High School
Park Ridge, Illinois 

"This program was perfect for a relative beginner such as myself, and between the excellence of the classes and taking notes, you can really make the most out of this camp."

Ryan Olson
Munising High School
Munising, Michigan

"A young composer could not possibly ask for a better combination of knowledge and resources to begin or develop his or her musical career.  Do you like music? Then why the heck aren’t you here!"

Michael Genson
Wheeling High School
Wheeling, Illinois