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Summer Music Conference

Event Date: July 28 – August 2

Grounded in decades-long traditions of sacred music festivals at held at Zephyr Point, the Summer Music Conference aims to bring all people closer in community through music. The conference provides opportunities for both career and lay musicians to enrich their lives, and the lives of others, through music. The conference will focus on the use of music in both educational and worship settings. The conference prioritizes the inclusive nature of music where all people are welcome to serve and share.

Throughout the week, participants will have the opportunity to join one of three tracks that guides the majority of their activities while at the conference. The conference will culminate on Thursday night with a celebratory, multi-disciplinary performance that celebrates the wide range of musical talent in attendance at the gathering. In addition to your primary ensemble, you will have the chance to select from a variety of enrichment classes focusing on technique, spiritual growth, social justice, or music theory.

Choral Track

The choral track is geared towards those who love to sing choral music AND music professionals – this is a time to “fill your cup” with music and community. Experience a wide variety of repertoire designed to uplift, inspire, and challenge you. Experience in choral singing is a plus, but not mandatory. Enrichment courses in singing techniques, music in worship, and social justice are available as options to enhance your experience as a participant. Daily sectional rehearsals and full rehearsals with our conference clinicians. The experience includes offering music in evening events as well as the culminating concert for event participants.

Conducting Track

The conducting track is geared toward conductors in various stages of their careers to enrich their skills as musicians and leaders. Daily workshops in programming, reading seasons, and conducting masterclasses offer more individualized and small group time with the conference clinicians. Additional opportunities to explore your leadership potential through guided discussion and strategizing. The conducting track includes participation in the choral track (as part of the “lab” experience that will be discussed in small group sessions) as well as the possibility of singing in the auditioned, conference chamber choir. Limited spots available.

Handbell Track

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time ringer, the handbell track has something for you. Sign up for Intermediate Bells to have the classic Zephyr experience with a double choir and performance in the Grand Concert, or choose the Advanced Ensemble for a more aspirational single-choir experience. Mixed workshops will include techniques and articulations, musicality and rhythm plus a little fun and games. Our Handbells for Everyone enrichment sessions will give singers a change to ring a little between choir rehearsals. At the end of the week, you’ll leave with a sense of pride and knowledge to share with fellow musicians back home.

Opportunities for the Whole Family

Make the Summer Music Conference a new family tradition! While adults participate in the conference, children are invited to register for our Camp Zephyr Day Camp (ages 6-10) or Beyond Camp Zephyr Day Camp (ages 11-14) programs. Day Camp runs Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-4:00PM daily. Older youth (ages 15-18) are invited to participate in the Summer Music Conference as youth participants with no program fee! Children and youth will be housed with their parents in the Tallac Center, with all meals included. *Parents are responsible for supervision of their children outside of camp hours.* 

To register your child – register for the Summer Music Conference and select “Child Participant” for your track. To register a teen – register for the primary track they would like to participate in and an automatic registration discount will be applied at checkout.

If you have any questions about this offering, please call the Program Department Office (775-588-6759 ext. 113). 

2024 Event Details:

Dates: July 28 – August 2

Theme: For Everyone Born

Choral & Conducting Faculty:

Jennaya Robison is the Artistic Director of the National Lutheran Choir and is a highly accomplished conductor, educator, and soprano. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from the University of Arizona, the Master of Music in conducting and voice from the University of New Mexico, and an undergraduate degree in music (education and voice) from Luther College. Her extensive work in the field of choral conducting includes serving as the Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Associate Professor and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory until 2023, Associate Professor of Choral Music at Luther College from 2013 to 2020, and founding Scottsdale Musical Arts in 2009.

In demand as a clinician and guest speaker, Robison frequently appears at regional and national choral conferences and seminars; regularly leads All State and honor choirs, workshops, and festivals; and has taught courses in choral singing and global connection in the United States, Namibia, South Africa, Germany, and an upcoming festival in Italy (2024). She is the editor of the National Lutheran Choir Series with MorningStar Music Publishers as well as the Jennaya Robison Series with Pavane Publishing, and she is an active arranger of choral music. Robison has served as soloist and chorister with the Dale Warland Singers, True Concord Voices, Spire Chamber Ensemble, and the Tucson Symphony among many other ensembles. She is the national chair of Music in Worship for the American Choral Directors Association, a member of Chorus America, and has held leadership positions at Lutheran churches in Arizona, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Allan Robert Petker is a composer and arranger with more than 250 published works, including classroom texts on conducting and music literacy. He is the owner of Pavane Publishing, which publishes choral music and college music textbooks. He also serves as the Vice President of Publications for the Fred Bock Publishing Group which includes such distinguished catalogs as Gentry Publications, National Music, the H.T. FitzSimons Company and Hinshaw Music.

As a professional choral and orchestral conductor since 1994, Allan currently leads three large ensembles of auditioned voices: The Consort Chorale from the San Francisco Bay area, the Santa Clarita Master Chorale and the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale from Torrance, California. He has led concert tours to Europe, Eastern Europe, the Baltic region, South America, Portugal and Scotland. Internationally, he has guest conducted choirs in England, Korea and France. He has twice conducted at Carnegie Hall, including the performance of his “Te Deum” for Choir and Orchestra.

Since 1989 Allan has been a coordinator and clinician for two church music conferences at Lake Tahoe, “Summer Sing” and “Tuning @ Tahoe.” He remains active as an instrumentalist, primarily on the viola and violin, but also on mandolin and guitar.

Dr. Brett Robison has conducted choirs and orchestras of all ages and ability levels for the past twenty-five years. Most recently, Brett served as the assistant professor of music and director of choirs at Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. At Viterbo University, Brett conducted the Concert Choir, 9th Street Singers, and Rose Chorale. He also taught conducting, choral methods, voice lessons, and served as the Artistic Director for the annual “A Viterbo Christmas” concerts.

As a choral conductor, Brett also served on the faculties of Waldorf University and Upper Iowa University. As a public school music educator for almost ten years, he taught in Iowa, Minnesota, and Arizona where his ensembles consistently received superior ratings. He has also taught general music and choral music to grades K-12. Brett continues to be in demand as a clinician and festival conductor for choirs and orchestras.

Brett is the executive director of the Kansas City Friends of Chamber Music and has a passion for nonprofit leadership in the arts. He has served as the Executive Director of the Topeka Symphony and he founded the music nonprofit organization, Scottsdale Musical Arts and served as the artistic and executive director. As a church musician, Brett has served congregations throughout the Midwest and Southwest. He most recently served as the Director of Music and Collaboration at Decorah United Church of Christ in Decorah, IA.

Composer, conductor, organist, preacher, and teacher Tom Trenney has been blessed to serve as Minister of Music to First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, since 2009.  In 2019, he was invited to become Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choirs at Nebraska Wesleyan University.  Tom’s choirs have been honored to perform for state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and they have been award winners in the American Prize for choral ensembles.

Tom has been a featured performer at churches, colleges, and concert halls across the country including Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Seattle’s Benaroya Hall, Philadelphia’s Kauffman Center, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall.  His choral compositions are published by Augsburg Fortress, Beckenhorst Press, Choristers Guild, E.C. Schirmer/Galaxy, Morningstar, Musicspoke, Pavane, and G. Schirmer.

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music, Tom is grateful for the inspiration of his teachers and mentors – especially Anton Armstrong, David Davidson, Craig Hella Johnson, (Mister) Fred Rogers, William Weinert, Anne Wilson and Todd Wilson.

Brent serves as organist and choir director at Eastridge Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Having his graduate and seminary studies in theology and music, Brent served on pastoral staff at a Methodist church and as a college organist before he and his husband adopted their two wonderful children. Having completed mindfulness meditation certification and 200-hr yoga teacher training, he serves as a meditation volunteer with the Lincoln Zen Center’s prison outreach.

Handbell Faculty:

William Bryan Kyle, a handbell ringer and director for more than 25 years is a champion of community handbell ensembles and promoter of handbells in the larger music world.  As a founding member of Velocity Handbell Ensemble, Music Director of both Bay Bells and Bell Appeal, and the first Executive Director of Handbell Ventures, he has focused on innovative presentation as a connection to a broader audience.

As Assistant Music Director at Foothills Congregational Church, UCC he led the handbell program for 13 years and directed the vocal choirs on a regular basis.  He has served as Chair of Area 12, Handbell Musician of America and was their Events Director for six years.

Today, he is the Dean of the Zephyr Point Handbell Conference held on the shores of Lake Tahoe every summer and the Program Director of Campanae Mundi, an impromptu touring festival and ensemble that travels abroad every two years to play concerts where people are not familiar with handbells.

After studying and working for many years in the field of architecture, William is the owner of a wholesale manufacturing and distribution operation specializing in aromatherapy bath and shower products based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Tessique joined the Zephyr Point Handbell Conference staff in 2002. Tessique holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Nevada, Reno, where her main instrument was flute. She has been ringing handbells since she fell in love with them during her student teaching in 1995. Tessique currently rings with Sonos Handbell Ensemble and Tapestry Ringers and Singers. She is the Director of Handbell Ministries at Walnut Creek UMC, and teaches at various handbell clinics throughout the area. Tessique taught Elementary General Music (K-6) for ten years, and now works part time as a substitute teacher. She is currently the Events Coordinator for Area 12 of The Handbell Musicians of America and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. In her spare time she enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, and pushing her husband, Brian, off cliffs!

Barbara Walsh has been ringing handbells since 1985 and conducting bells since 1986.  She doesn’t remember exactly when she first attended Zephyr’s Handbell Conference, but she remembers sleeping on the bunkbeds beneath Dobbins Hall and the waterfall coming down the chimney in the Lakeside Lodge after a very heavy thunderstorm, so that was a long time ago!  Ever since that first time, Barb knew how special the Zephyr Handbell Conference was and has returned almost every year since then, now as part of the handbell staff.

When not at Zephyr, Barb is still involved with handbells.  She is the artistic director/conductor for the high energy community group, Tintabulations, in Reno and is the Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierra Regional Coordinator for the Handbell Musicians of America.

Summer 2024 Rates

Room StyleHousing CostProgram Fees + MealsTotal Cost
Double Occupancy Room$295$400$695
Single Occupancy Room$590$400$990
Non-participant/Spouse (Double Occupancy Room required)$295$195$490
Child Registration (Ages 6-14)$0$395 (includes day camp registration)$395
Youth Registration (Ages 15-17)$0$125 (free participation in SMC!)$125
*At this time, there is no childcare available for children ages 5 and under.
  • Lodging for the 2024 event is in the Tallac Center. 
  • If you would like to be housed with more than 1 roommate, please include that request at the time of registration. 
  • Program Fee includes Sunday dinner through Friday breakfast
  • Non-refundable/non-transferable deposit due with registration: $100 per registrant
  • Registration and Balance due 14 days before the program start date

Have a question? Please call the Program office at 775-588-6759 ext. 113


The Zephyr Point Summer Music Conference is a proud affiliate conference of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM). Visit for information about the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and join today