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Delta College Foundation

Summer Conservatory of Music and Festival of Arts

Developed in 1964 by President Donald J. Carlyon and Dr. Samuel Jones, the Delta College Summer Conservatory of Music and Festival of Arts started as a musical program, with the hopes of it growing into an annual summer festival of performing arts, as well as graphic arts and writing. (The photo at the right is from one of the first concerts in 1964.)


In June and July of 1964, the festival featured an eight-week program, with four concerts by a 31-piece chamber orchestra conducted by Dr. Jones. Plans were for him to also conduct a conservatory of music for talented high school and college students, as well as interested and capable adults. A 13-member conservatory faculty taught credit courses in theory, appreciation, music literature and composition.


Although well received – and a wonderful program for the community - budget constraints prevented the unique music and arts festival from continuing. Fifty years later, our community faces similar financial hurdles, when it comes to educational opportunities for our area’s youth. It is Delta College’s intent to work to rebuild opportunities for middle- and high-school students – as well as the general public – to ensure those with an interest can learn about and appreciate art, music and the humanities.


If you would like further information, please contact Julie Dorcey in the Delta College Foundation at 989-686-9079, or e-mail:

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