About Us

Summermusic was started in 1993 by Peter Morris and Susan Butler, two accomplished musicians, when they moved to Deep River, Ontario from Ottawa. The camp had modest beginnings at the local high school in Deep River, using only the music room and auditorium to accommodate its handful of students and staff of three. A few years later the camp moved to the Deep River Curling & Squash Club, where eventually even the locker rooms were needed for class space as the enrolment grew. Avoiding errant golf balls became an unintended acquired skill when rehearsals occasionally had to be held outside the Club due to space restrictions.

The early years at the high school

The early years at the high school

By 1997, the camp developed into the two week day-camp we know today. In 2006, the camp moved to its current location, St. Mary’s Catholic School where the student population grew to 114 by 2011 with a staff of 12. Since that time, Summermusic consistently draws approximately 100 campers every year – an amazing feat for a town of 4000. As of 2007 Summermusic entered its second generation, as former students, who had pursued further music studies, joined the ranks of the staff. While most of our attendees are Deep River children and youth, we also attract young musicians from throughout Renfrew County, and the city of Ottawa, in addition to southern Ontario, the western provinces, Québec, the Maritimes, and the U.S.

Summermusic offers its full-day campers two levels of orchestra, wind and string ensembles, a Chamber choir, and a beginner instrument program. These programs are for ages 9 through 18 and include fun recreational and musical arts activities. Deep River is situated on the beautiful Ottawa River so our recreational sessions include one afternoon at the beach, which is always an exciting time for our campers! The camp concludes with an afternoon performance by the students for parents, friends and the general public. Our full-day camp runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In addition to our full-day programs, we offer Music for the Young programs for ages 3 through 8. Music for the Young runs daily for 40, or 60 minute session, depending on the age of the group.

For more detailed information about Summermusic’s programs, please check the Programs page.

On our Facebook page, you will find regular camp updates and photo galleries – check it out.

SUMMERMUSIC Mission Statement

  • To provide children and youth the opportunity to be immersed in a supportive, inspirational musical environment.
  • To offer students high-quality music instruction led by professional musicians and teachers who are dedicated to the value of musical education in a positive setting.
  • To offer musical education to children and youth regardless of previous musical experience; that is, to provide programming appropriate for young musicians of all levels, as well as introductory programs for children 5 to 8 years old.
  • To provide children and youth with the vocabulary and skill to gain greater enjoyment from music
  • To enrich human interactions and foster friendships through music
  • To uphold the philosophical belief that an appreciation and joy of music is vital in the development of a balanced, well-rounded contributing member of our society.