Thinking about a career in the music biz? Two lucky students from Santa Monica High School were selected to participate in the fourth annual Grammy Camp, a summer workshop for high school students aiming towards a career in the music industry. Samohi rising juniors Adam Zuckerman and Tycho Horan were selected for the camp, which is run by the Grammy foundation.
The highly selective program accepted just 63 participants for this year’s camp, which begins on Saturday with participants attending Starry Night, the Grammy Foundation’s signature gala.
The camp, held at USC’s Thornton School of Music, is broken down into 12 “career tracks,” three tracks that deal with the behind-the-scenes aspects of the music industry, eight performance tracks, and a new track in concert production.
Students work with industry professionals and Grammy Award winning and nominated artists during the workshop. The guest artists are not announced before the camp, and are a surprise to students. Among last year’s guests were soul legends Earth, Wind and Fire, Grammy winning guitarist Steve Vai, and Eric Wilson, bassist for the band Sublime.
The students all work to produce a final project, either a showcase performance, media project or CD recording. This year’s showcase concert will be held at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles on July 25.
Zuckerman, who is attending the camp for the second year, will be one of only five participants in the guitar track. In order to be selected, he had to submit two videos of himself playing guitar, along with a video essay explaining why he deserved to be selected for the program.
Zuckerman has been playing guitar since he was in sixth grade, although his interest in music was pre-existing. He said that he wanted to play violin when he was four, and has always been interested in music.
Horan will be participating in the music production program, where he will mix music from pre-existing beats and songs. Horan said that he has always had an interest in doing this, and often spends hours in his room with stacks of records and his laptop mixing songs. Horan had to submit a mix tape of several beats as well as a video essay in order to be selected.
Horan’s interest in music dates back to his goal of being a drummer for a punk band when he was in fourth grade. Now Horan is more interested in playing with a funk ensemble, or playing jazz or blues piano, but the love of music is still there.
Zuckerman said that the most valuable experience of the camp is simply working with industry professionals, and getting to play music all day with other students and professionals.
“You basically just go into a room and jam for six hours,” said Zuckerman.
Horan said that he is most looking forward to meeting the artists, and working alongside them. He said that he already knows how to mix music, but it will be a very valuable experience to “meet the names.”