Camp Musicmania

       Welcome to Camp Musicmania! 

Camp Musicmania kids collage



Campers will explore unique and different ways to make and create their own music.  Camp Musicmania kids playing piano


Registration is Closed.


  • Camp takes place at the University of Northern Iowa's Russell Hall
  • Small Groups 
    • Campers are divided into groups by grade (grades 1-4 and 5-8) and participate in age appropriate activities
  • Daily outside and/or movie time with snacks!  (bring your lunch! :-) )
  • Opportunity to create your own music 
  • Attend a recital put on Camp Musicmania faculty and staff
  • Explore movement and other acting activities to get to know your new friends and have fun with music!
  • Instruments!  Make music in ways you probably have not before!
  • Art!
  • Awesome Teachers and Staff!  




Mark Your Calendar! 

girl singing sitting down with drum in lap


June 12-16, 2023

9:00am - 4:00pm

Rising 1st - 8th graders welcome!

Cost: $150






All students will need to bring a lunch daily.  Activities will take place indoors and outdoors pending weather. Please have your camper dress accordingly.

Complete your registration online.  After you have completed the registration form, you will be prompted to complete your payment in order to reserve your camper's spot. 

Questions can be directed to Heather Hamilton at


FINAL REGISTRATION FEE DEADLINE:  Registration is not complete until all required forms and payment have been received or when class limit is reached.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  If registration is canceled prior to June 1, a refund will be initiated (minus $35 processing fee). Cancellations after June 1 will be subject to a $65 processing fee. Refunds are not issued after June 12th. 


Due to a large number of financial aid applications for Camp Musicmania that have been received, we are unable to accept any new applications at this time. Thank you.

If you would like to donate to our scholarship fund, you can do so by contacting Heather Hamilton (319-273-2142 or, or by making a donation online


Russell Hall Exterior




Meet the Camp Musicmania Staff 2022 - 2023 Staff 

Heather GillisHeather Gillis has a passion for piano teaching, performance, and fine arts education. Currently, she teaches at the UNI Community Music School and has previously taught at the Des Moines Symphony Academy and the Drake University Community School of Music, welcoming students of all ages including Pre–K beginners and adult learners. Ms. Gillis holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Northern Iowa and is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association.







Alex Lafrenz Alex Lafrenz currently serves as an area percussionist and music educator, alongside working with Special Education students at Holmes Junior High. He has performed in numerous Cedar Valley municipal bands, shows, and orchestras, including performances with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. In the marching band season, he can be seen working with the Cedar Falls Drumline. Alex received his education from the University of Northern Iowa, and is very excited to be returning to his fourth year teaching at Camp MusicMania! His class will feature drumming, movement, and other various percussion instruments.






Lauren LemanLauren Leman graduated this spring with a master's degree in vocal performance. Lauren also studied music education at UNI, and though she chose the performance route, teaching has always been one of her passions. She spent three years working with the Spectrum Project, music directed Columbus Catholic High School's 2022 production of Grease, and continues to teach voice lessons. After Camp Musicmania, she will travel to Michigan to perform in Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, and Beauty and the Beast with Bay View Music Festival. Lauren's class will be a creative project in which each group will construct their own "mini musical."




Madeleine Marsh - Bio coming soon!

Kari Jo Ruden

Kari Jo Ruden is currently a music teacher in the Waterloo Community School District at Lincoln Elementary, where she has been teaching since 2010.  The Oelwein native graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2009, and received Orff Level 1 certification in 2016.  Mrs. Ruden is passionate about giving her students  meaningful experiences to explore, create and share music together.  This past year, she has been inspired to adapt clapping games, rhymes and chants to teach improvising on xylophones and grow her technology skills. She is super excited to be back at Camp Musicmania again this year! Mrs. Ruden's class will include a mix of singing, creative movement and playing instruments. 
When she's not teaching, she enjoys  spending time with her family and two dogs at home in Reinbeck.

Katie ScottKatie Scott is a third year student at UNI, earning degrees in Art Education and BFA: Sculpture. She works at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, serving within the Phelps Youth Pavillion and as an instructor for children's art classes. She is also active within the Waterloo Community Playhouse, performing in Footloose last summer and currently cast in their upcoming Musical Theatre Showcase. Her artwork has been exhibited in the 2020 Art Educators of Iowa's Youth Art Month, the 2021-2023 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at the University of Northern Iowa, and the 2021-2022 Cedar Valley Pride Art Show.



Crystal WaltzWhile teaching elementary music at Irving Elementary in Waterloo during the day, Crystal Waltz can be seen frequently on stages at the Cedar Falls Community Theatre and the Waterloo Community Playhouse.   In addition to her acting and musical skills, Crystal has directed the music for Singin' in the Rain, Nunsense, and Annie at the Waterloo Community Playhouse. Crystal has a degree in Music Education from Simpson College and has been teaching music in the Cedar Valley for more than 20 years. 







Group Leaders


Levi Dugger - Bio Coming Soon!

Hannah ElerdingHannah Elerding will be a third-year instrumental music education major at UNI this fall. As a member of the saxophone studio, Hannah plays alto saxophone and has performed with the Panther Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band III, and chamber music ensembles.  She also participates in UNI's Dance Marathon! Growing up, Hannah loved playing piano, and now occasionally plays for Orchard Hill Church. In her free time, you can find Hannah drinking coffee, going on walks, and watching movies. This is her first year being involved in Camp MusicMania, and she is so excited to meet and connect with all the kids!




Ellie Gavin - Bio Coming Soon!

Kathryn MalekKathryn Malek enjoys volunteering in the community. She is a student at Columbus Catholic High School, where she will be a junior this upcoming school year. You can also find Kathryn working at Stuff, etc. and Friendship Villiage. Her smile and bubbly personality can light up a room and she is so excited to be working at Camp Musicmania this year. When she was younger, Kathryn attended Camp Musicmania and has said that she wouldn't be where she is at today in her music and theatre career, without the Musicmania experience. Kathryn is so very excited to work with your students this summer. The adventure awaits them.





Kelley MeinenKelley Meinen graduated from UNI in December of 2022 with a Bachelor’s degree in General and Instrumental Music Education. Kelley is a trumpet player and has performed in the UNI Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band I & II, Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Panther Marching Band, and UNI Pep band. In May of 2022, she traveled to Central Europe with the UNI Wind Ensemble! Kelley is also a trumpet teacher through the Community Music School.

Kelley spent the spring of 2023 subbing in music classrooms around the Cedar Valley. This fall, she will start teaching K-8 Music at Interstate 35 Elementary School in Truro, IA. 

Music has been a part of Kelley’s life since a young age. As a child she loved to sing, play piano, and perform in musicals. She is excited to share her love and passion for music with the campers of Musicmania!


Calista Rowe is Choral/General Music Education major at UNI. She is involved with Students of Singing, American Choral Directors Association, the First Presbyterian Church in Waterloo and is a Peer Educator for theory classes. Calista has sung with Concert Choral, UNI Singers, UNI Opera, and the Cecilians while at UNI and will be in Opera Seme's production of Suor Angelica and Giulio Cesare this summer in Italy! In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and journaling.


Akela SalterAkela Salter is a Choral Music Education major and Communication- Theatre Minor at the University of Northern Iowa. She is from Boone,Iowa. During her time here at UNI she has participated in UNI Singers, The Cecilians, Interpreters theater, Viola and Voice lessons. She is a current member of Tau Beta Sigma Honorary Band Sorority. Outside of these activities Akela works at Trinity preschool and childcare. In her free time she enjoys playing with her band, playing the Ukulele, and ham-mocking with friends. 








Joley SeitzJoley Seitz is currently studying Vocal Performance at the University of Northern Iowa, under Dr. Jean McDonald. During her time at UNI, Joley has performed in several UNI Opera productions including: Serse, The Monteverdi Project, and UNI Opera: In the Studio.  Joley also is a voice instructor through the UNI Community Music School.

Joley has been involved with music since she was a child. She grew up performing in musical theatre and has been involved with helping direct children's theatre at Great River Players in Keokuk, IA for the past seven years. She is excited to be involved with the upcoming Musicmania camp!