Valley Teen Musicians Join Forces to Form Bands and Learn the Music Industry

Academy of Musical Performance (AMP) is pleased to announce the final list of students chosen for the renowned AMP Summer Music Camp, now heading into its fifth year.  After a series of auditions, 14 new musicians will be joining 16 returning AMP musicians for an intensive three-week music camp at Hope Lutheran Church in Palm Desert from July 8 – 26, 2019.  The curriculum will include music instruction, band live performance, songwriting, stage and sound management and a variety of other projects.  The teen musicians are between the ages of 11-18, and represent 18 Coachella Valley schools.

AMP Summer Camp culminates with a fundraising Showcase Concert on Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 1:30 pm to 4 pm at Hope Lutheran Church. Tickets are available online at at $5 for kids under 12, $10 for adults, or $15 at the door. Food and non-alcoholic drinks will be available for purchase along with raffle prizes.

Photo By Julie Moses

Founded in 2014, AMP focuses on encouraging and educating teens about the many intricate aspects of the music industry.  The instructors include singers, songwriters, producers and management professionals.  In the three-week camp, participants will form a series of small rock bands, and will experience rehearsals, workshops, individual instruction, and live performances.  An after-school program was added in 2016 to provide instruction and performance opportunities year-round at a variety of events throughout the Coachella Valley.

AMP’s Executive Director and Music Director, Will Sturgeon (singer/songwriter, multi-instrument artist and award-winning producer) has been involved since AMP’s inception. “With this program, we have created a community of peers in their formative teenage years, who may be feeling different or misunderstood, but at AMP, they shine.  For many, they may never have played music with another person prior to joining AMP, so the program is transformative and essential by giving young people a community in which to create, communicate, and collaborate,” stated Sturgeon. Born and raised in the Coachella Valley, Will is a graduate of USC Thornton School of Music’s Division of Contemporary Music and Boston University’s Masters in Music Education program.


AMP, led by a volunteer Board of Directors, relies on grants, sponsors and generous private donations to keep the tuition low as well as provide full scholarships for over half of the young musicians who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend. “The community continues to impress us with their investment in AMP. We have received several grants from organizations interested in programs such as ours that make a difference for the youth of our community. Thanks to our sponsors, who provide lunches and other key services, and our donors, we are able to truly support the teens and make the Camp an unforgettable experience, filled with real-life training and a base for their future endeavors,” stated Kate Spates, co-founder, Board President and Volunteer CEO.

AMP is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization led by a dedicated board of directors which includes Camille Arujo, Clayton Baldwin, Daniel Duardo, Bruce Feagle, Michele Penn, Cherise Sonderman, Kate Spates, Greg Vincent, Roman Whittaker, Maria Wren with the addition of Stephanie Greene, a long time sponsor and donor. 

For more information about Academy of Musical Performance visit or call 760-537-5AMP (5267).