SA Music Camp Association Inc.

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…