Junior Composers is a two-week intensive residential summer camp for young musicians age 14-20 held on the banks of the Mississippi River on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. Randall was General Director 2001-2015 and continues as a faculty member and program advisor. During camp in July, he teaches daily composition lessons and two hours of music theory and ear training. Here is more information about the camp.
As General Director, Randall shaped the "Junior Composers experience" by challenging students to master musical 1) literacy, 2) fluency, 3) self-expression, and 4) team-work. These four challenges define the experience for both the faculty and the students. Every student is expected to...
document their music with a legible score and audio recording.
Faculty are available to perform and read compositions. A special opportunity is offered to students to compose a work prior to camp for professional musicians (e.g. vocal ensemble, chamber ensemble or large ensemble) which is then given a reading on the first day of each week. Junior Composers holds songwriting and composing as equal forms of musicking. The cultural position that "high" and "low" art are different in nature and in form does not apply at Junior Composers. "Songwriting" faculty (Eric Radloff) are equal to "Composing" faculty (Sarah Miller, Seth Custer, and Randall Davidson). As a result, students have access to all of the faculty members as performers, teachers and coaches during camp.
Finally, there is a popular alumni gathering every summer after camp (EVERYEAR) that is equal parts chatauqua, TED talk, reunion party and happy hour. For more information about Junior Composers, you can check out their Facebook pages here and here (alumni only).
@ MacPhail Center for Music
Randall Davidson offers private composition instruction at MacPhail in downtown Minneapolis and also is on the faculty of the June "Comp Camp" directed by Dr. Sarah Miller and created for young musicians (age 8-17) interested in exploring music composition.