SA Music Camp Association Inc.

Committee Members

Camp Director Wendy Heiligenberg
Camp Administrator Samantha Taylor
Association President Dennis Johnson
Association Vice President Mary Waterhouse
Association Secretary and Historian Jenni Watkins
Association Treasurer Lisi McGowran
Association Public Officer Charles Klein
Association Librarian Louis Cann
Committee Member Martin Cheney
Committee Member Tim Rosen
Committee Member Jenny Symonds
Committee Member Angelo Valdivia
Committee Member Emily Legg

Our Mission

Our mission is to equip young musicians, new to advanced, with the opportunity for interaction with other like-minded musicians from all over South Australia and provide experience playing in a large orchestra and band.

How It All Began

A fortuitous meeting between John Bishop, Dr Percy Jones and newly-arrived American pianist and music educator, Ruth Alexander, at Scotch College in Melbourne in 1943, saw the seeds of friendship sown. Throughout the ensuing years Ruth Alexander fired the imagination of John Bishop with her descriptions of American summer music camps. John Bishop travelled in the USA, on the continent and in Great Britain, and brought back a burning ambition to instigate such musical camps in Australia.

The music camp movement was founded in 1947 in Melbourne but the first ever Australian Music Camp was held at Point Lonsdale, Victoria, in the summer of 1948 under the auspices of the National Fitness Council and the Victorian School Music Association. The experiment was highly successful and although the idea grew from similar activities overseas, the Australian movement developed its own individual identity.

Immediately following the first Australian Music Camp in 1948, John Bishop left Victoria to take up a new appointment at the University of Adelaide. His musical achievements in South Australia are distinguished and many, but for us, one of the most important was the establishment of the May Music Camp in 1962 (as it was called until the school year changed from three to four terms) which transformed into the South Australian Music Camp, and as they say, the rest is history…

Testimonials from Parents

“......Thank you to all the team for the exceptional week organised for our children last week. My daughter in particular was very hesitant, nervous and of the shy type, however just loved the week and looks forward to auditioning again next year. She found the conductor and mentors wonderful - friendly, kind and helpful. She really enjoyed being with a group of like-minded children who all listened and were friendly. It's done wonders for her confidence. Thank you.”


"......Congratulations and thank you to everyone who contributed to the SA Music Camp and Concert. This was our first time attending the camp and our daughter enjoyed the various aspects of it.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Concert!  What a wonderful experience for all the young people. We are looking forward to next year!"


".....Congratulations on the concert last night. It was lovely to see all of those beautiful, talented kids on stage performing. I’m sure the administration and tutors were very proud!"


"......Thanks so much to everyone - it was a beautifully run camp and both my girls really enjoyed themselves."


......" My daughter was a first time attendee and she had a fabulous time in Hawkes.  She was quite uncertain about going but it has been such a positive experience for her.   She was delighted with her progress and the ensemble’s performance on Friday night. Thanks for all your efforts behind the scenes."


"......My husband and I would like to pass on our heartfelt thanks to all involved in Music Camp.  It was our daughter's first experience and she loved every minute of it and made some wonderful friends. She definitely wants to attend again next year.  The performance on Friday night was spectacular and we were so proud that she was part of such a polished performance and it was a great extension to her current ensembles at school."