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Inspiring U | Mar 28, 2024

What's New With U? March 2024

A young girl with long brown hair holding a violin case outside at Usdan.

This month, we celebrate all things music, from the launch of our Music Merit Scholarship Program to proudly supporting upcoming performances by our Artists in Residence, alumni, and Music students. 

Check out our Spotify for a curated playlist featuring Usdan alumni, Artists in Residence, and Festival and staff artists. Want to add a song to the playlist? Send in your suggestions by emailing questions@usdan.org.

We want to connect with U!

We miss you and are counting down the days until summer. In the meantime, connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and join in on the conversation! Be sure to tag us for your chance to be featured on our channels. 

Music Merit Scholarship Program


From the start, it was essential to the founders that Usdan be accessible to all young artists. In the same year as they established the nonprofit arts camp, the founders also launched a scholarship program. To date, the Music Merit Scholarship Program has allowed over 1,000 Music students to pursue their musical passion at Usdan.

Applications are now open for the 2024 edition of the program. Young musicians in grades 2–12 are encouraged to audition for a partial scholarship to attend Usdan this summer as Music Majors in Concert Band, Orchestra, Junior or Senior Vocal Ensemble, or Jazz Ensemble as part of the camp’s Classic Program. Learn more and apply.



This summer will mark five years since the International Contemporary Ensemble finished their residency at Usdan. Hailed as “America’s foremost new-music group” by The New Yorker, the ensemble partnered with music students from 2017–19 to create experimental performance work in collaboration with students in other disciplines such as Chess and Video Game Design. Take a look back at their work. 

Catch the collective on Wednesday, April 3 at Chelsea Factory in New York City, and mark your calendar for their cutting-edge concert “Boulez Rebooted” on January 30, 2025, highlighted by the New York Times as one of 12 concerts their music critics’ most want to hear from Carnegie Hall's 2024–25 Season.


Our monthly spotlight on some of the upcoming performances by Usdan students, alumni, faculty, and friends. 

Student: George Socolow 
New York Philharmonic
May 4, 2024

Usdan has a young Mozart among us. Longtime Usdan student, George Socolow started composing spontaneously at age six when he wrote his first pieces for violin and piano. Since then, he has not stopped composing. For the last three years, George, now age 11, has been the primary composition student of Grammy Award-winning composer Richard Danielpour at CURTIS Institute/UCLA. In summer 2023, as part of Usdan's inaugural Composition class, George debuted his work "Elegy for the Loss of Compassion" in honor of his late great-grandmother. George composed this new work as part of the Rhapsody project with Artists in Residence The Knights. Listen to a clip here.

George's piece Rush Hour will premiere at the NYPhil on May 4, 2024. Congratulations, George!


Alumni: Ben Boecker 
The Players’ Theatre 
May 3–June 2, 2024

Your perfect match is out there... but it might not be the fairytale you had in mind.  

At least that’s the lesson that Cedarella learns in Usdan alumnus and faculty member Ben Boecker’s original musical My True Love: A Perfect Musical Fairytale. Performed at Usdan in 2022, the musical is now making its off-Broadway premiere at The Players Theatre beginning May 3. Witty, funny, and heartwarming, this musical is perfect for all ages.  Buy tickets.

Read our 2023 interview with Ben to hear what he loves about Usdan!


Pictured from left to right: Director of Education Javan Howard; Administration & HR Coordinator Ana Ponce;
Senior Director of Student Affairs Stephanie "T-Rex" Abrams; Enrollment Coordinator Emily Annesley;
and Chief Operating Officer Victoria Ellerbe.


From March 12–14, five members of Usdan's staff attended the American Camp Association (ACA) New York, New Jersey Tri-State Camp Conference. Our staff returned to campus inspired by the educational sessions and networking opportunities that took place at the conference, the largest gathering of camp professionals in the world. You might even say it was t-riffic! Meet our staff.

We're Hiring

We are still accepting applications for energetic lead and assistant teachers across all disciplines, as well as counselors and other staff for Summer 2024. Plus, we are looking for a full-time Accounting Associate. Apply today!

Update on Uniquely U: Winners To Be Announced Soon!

We were thrilled to receive an overwhelming number of applications this year for our annual Uniquely U scholarship. Stay tuned for when we announce the winners on social media the week of April 10!


Tour Usdan

Do you know someone who is thinking of sending a child to Usdan summer arts camp  for the first time? We invite families to take a tour and experience our beautiful campus and meet our friendly staff! Our next tours are April 7 and 28. Sign up here.

Huntington Unity Fun Day

Come visit our booth at Huntington Unity Fun Day on Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Stimson Middle School. Learn more.