Musicians » Famous Alumni


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Photo of Sammy Adams
Sammy Adams

Adams is an American rapper from Boston, Massachusetts.

Photo of Max Bemis
Max Bemis
Singer in Say Anything Camp Ramah

Bemis is the lead singer, primary composer and primary lyricist of the band Say Anything. He is also co-singer alongside Chris Conley of the supergroup Two Tongues, which features members from Say Anything and Saves the Day.

Photo of Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin
Noah “Xaphoon Jones” Beresin

Beresin, one half of alternative hip hop duo Chiddy Bang, worked as a cook at Camp Galil in Ottsville, Pennsylvania.

Photo of Zac Brown
Zac Brown

Country star Zac Brown was a camp counselor at Camp Mikell in Toccoa, Ga. & Camp Glisson, a United Methodist summer camp and retreat center located in Dahlonega, GA. He also founded Camp Southern Ground.

Photo of Carrie Brownstein
Carrie Brownstein
Musician/Actress Camp Orkila, Washington

Brownstein is an American musician, writer and actress known for playing the bands Sleater-Kinney, Excuse 17 and Wild Flag and starring in the sketch comedy show Portlandia.

Photo of Dave Lil Dicky Burd
Dave Lil Dicky Burd

Burd, better known by his stage name Lil Dicky or LD, is an American rapper and comedian. He came to prominence with the release of the music video to his song “Ex-Boyfriend,” which went viral with more than one million views on YouTube in 24 hours.

Photo of Eddie Cantor
Eddie Cantor

Cantor is an American performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor and songwriter. A playhouse/theater at Surprise Lake Camp is named after him.

Photo of Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey

Carey has a summer camp in Fishkill, N.Y., named after her – Camp Mariah. The camp provided the setting for her music video “Always Be My Baby.”

Photo of Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen

Cohen, a Canadian singer/songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. attended Camp Hiawatha in the Laurentians north of Montreal as a kid and worked as a counselor at Pripstein’s Camp Mishmar in the Laurentians, Camp B’nai B’rith near Ottawa and Camp Sunshine.

Photo of Tré Cool
Tré Cool
Drummer for Green Day Camp Winnarainbow

Cool is an American drummer, best known as the drummer for Green Day. He replaced the group’s former drummer John Kiffmeyer in 1990. Cool has also played in The Lookouts, Samiam and the Green Day side-projects The Network and the Foxboro Hot Tubs.

Photo of Brett Dennen
Brett Dennen
Singer-Songwriter Camp Jack Hazard, California

Dennen is a folk/pop singer and songwriter from Northern California. He attended and worked at Camp Jack Hazard and has participated in benefit concerts for the camp.

Photo of Zoey Deschanel
Zoey Deschanel
Actress/Musician French Woods, New York

Deschanel is an American actress, musician, and singer-songwriter. In 1999, Deschanel made her film debut in Mumford, followed by her breakout role as Anita Miller in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 semi-autobiographical film Almost Famous. Deschanel soon became known for her deadpan and “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” supporting roles in films such as The Good Girl (2002), Elf (2003), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Failure to Launch (2006), Bridge to Terabithia (2007), The Happening (2008), Gigantic (2008), Yes Man (2008), and (500) Days of Summer (2009). She currently stars in the Fox series New Girl and is in the band She & Him with M. Ward.

Photo of Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond
Singer-Songwriter Surprise Lake Camp, New York

Diamond is an American singer-songwriter with a career that began in the 1960s. Diamond has sold over 125 million records worldwide

Photo of Sadie Dupuis
Sadie Dupuis
Guitarist and Singer in Speedy Ortiz Buck’s Rock Performing Arts Camp, Connecticut

Dupuis is the lead guitarist in the band Speedy Ortiz, which started as a solo project while she was teaching songwriting at Buck’s Rock.

Photo of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
Musician, Record Producer CYO Camp Rancho Framasa, Indiana

Babyface is a 10-time Grammy Award-winning American R&B musician, singer–songwriter and record producer.

Photo of Black Francis
Black Francis

Black Francis (aka Frank Black and Charles Thompson by birth) attended a Christian summer camp, which was where he first encountered the music of Larry Norman, an early influence on the future Pixies frontman.

Photo of Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga

Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, is an American recording artist, record producer, businesswoman, fashion designer, philanthropist, and actress. She worked as a camp counselor at Camp Hi-Rock.

Photo of Philip Glass
Philip Glass

Glass is an American composer who is considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century. He went to a Quaker summer camp in Maine as a kid and worked as a lifeguard at a summer camp in Baltimore.

Photo of Julie Gold
Julie Gold
Singer-Songwriter URJ Camp Harlam, Pennsylvania

Gold is a New York singer-songwriter. She is best known for Bette Midler’s version of her musical composition “From a Distance” which won Gold the Grammy for Song of the Year in 1991.

Photo of Lesley Gore
Lesley Gore

Gore is an American singer. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit “It’s My Party.”

Photo of Ellen Greene
Ellen Greene
Actress/Singer Cejwin Camps, New York

Greene is an American singer and actress. Greene has had a long and varied career as a singer, particularly in cabaret, as an actor and singer in numerous stage productions, particularly musical theatre, as well as having performed in many films—notably Little Shop of Horrors—and television programs. She starred as Vivian Charles on the ABC series Pushing Daisies.

Photo of Tracii Gun
Tracii Gun

Gun is an American guitarist best known as the founder of glam metal group L.A. Guns as well as the supergroups Brides of Destruction and Contraband. He was also very briefly involved in the formation of the first lineup of Guns N’ Roses but eventually left the group and was replaced by guitarist Slash.

Photo of Arlo Guthrie
Arlo Guthrie

Guthrie is a folk singer known like his dad, Woody, for singing protest songs. Guthrie’s best-known work is “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” an 18-minute satirical talking blues song played on radio stations on Thanksgiving. Guthrie also attended Indian Hill Arts Camp in Massachusetts.

Photo of Brandon Heath
Brandon Heath

Award-winning contemporary Christian musician Brandon Heath first attended Malibu Club, a Young Life summer camp in British Columbia, when he was 16 in 1995 with his local Young Life club in Nashville.

Photo of Ed Helms
Ed Helms

Helms is an American actor, comedian and musician. He is best known for starring as Andy Bernard in The Office and Stuart Price in The Hangover trilogy and is a member of the bluegrass band The Lonesome Trio.

Photo of Norah Jones
Norah Jones

Jones is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and actress. She is the daughter of sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is Anoushka Shankar’s half-sister.

Photo of Jewel Kilcher
Jewel Kilcher

Kilcher, professionally known as Jewel, is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and has sold over 27 million albums worldwide.

Photo of Ezra Koenig
Ezra Koenig
Singer and Guitarist in Vampire Weekend Buck’s Rock Performing Arts Camp, Connecticut

Koenig is an American musician, singer and songwriter. He is the lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Vampire Weekend.

Photo of Damian Kulash
Damian Kulash
Lead guitarist for OK Go Interlochen Arts Camp, Michigan

Kulash is the lead singer and guitarist for Chicago-based rock band OK Go. He met bandmate Tim Nordwind at camp.

Photo of Drew Lachey
Drew Lachey
Actor/Singer Camp Joy, Ohio

Lachey is an American singer and actor. He is known as a member of 98 Degrees, the winner of the second season of Dancing with the Stars, and is the younger brother of Nick Lachey.

Photo of Amy Lee
Amy Lee
Lead Singer for Evanescence

Lee is an American singer-songwriter and classically trained pianist. She is co-founder and lead vocalist of the rock band Evanescence. She met band co-founder Ben Moody at summer camp.

Photo of Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer
Singer-Songwriter/Mathematician Camp Androscoggin, Maine

Lehrer is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. He has lectured onmathematics and musical theater. Lehrer is best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s.

Photo of alan Jay Lerner
alan Jay Lerner

Lerner was an American lyricist and librettist. In collaboration with Frederick Loewe, and laterBurton Lane, he created some of the world’s most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both the stage and on film. He won three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards, among other honors.

Photo of Adam Levine
Adam Levine
Lead Singer of Maroon 5 French Woods, New York

Levine is an American singer-songwriter and musician, widely known as the lead vocalist of pop rock band Maroon 5. Since 2011, Levine has served as a coach on NBC’s reality talent show The Voice.

Photo of Cody Linder
Cody Linder
Drummer in Say Anything Camp Ramah
Photo of Lisa Loeb
Lisa Loeb
Singer-Songwriter Camp Champions, Texas

Loeb is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She launched her career in 1994 with the song, “Stay (I Missed You)”, which was included in the film Reality Bites. She was the first artist to have a number one single in the United States while not signed to a recording contract.

Photo of Barry Manilow
Barry Manilow
Singer-Songwriter Camp Billings, Vermont

Manilow is an American singer-songwriter and producer. He is best known for such recordings as “Mandy”, “Can’t Smile Without You”, and “Copacabana (At the Copa).”

Photo of Steve Margoshes
Steve Margoshes

Margoshes is known for his work on Fame (1980), Everyday Heroes (1990) and The Who’s Tommy, the Amazing Journey (1993).

Photo of Matisyahu

Matisyahu, born Matthew Paul Miller, is an American reggae and alternative rock musician.

Photo of Erin McKeown
Erin McKeown
Singer-Songwriter Nature Camp, Virginia

McKeown was interested in science before she was ever interested in writing songs, but a summer camp focusing on biology she attended at age 12 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia was where she first learned to play the guitar.

Photo of Ben Moody
Ben Moody

Moody is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. He is best known as co-founder, lead guitarist, and songwriter of Grammy Award-winning rock band Evanescence from 1995 to October 2003. He met Evanescence co-founder Amy Lee at summer camp.

Photo of Mandy Moore
Mandy Moore
Singer/Actress/Fashion Designer Stagedoor Manor, New York

Moore is an American singer–songwriter, actress, and fashion designer. She attended Stagedoor Manor when she was 12.

Photo of Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz

Mraz is a singer-songwriter who has won two Grammy awards for the songs “Make It Mine” and “Lucky.” He went to Bible camp as a kid.

Photo of Marcus Mumford
Marcus Mumford

Mumford is an English musician, best known as the lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons. He also plays a number of instruments with the group, including guitar, drums and mandolin. He first met his wife, Carey Mulligan, and bandmate Winston “Country” Marshall at a Christian youth camp.

Photo of Terra Naomi
Terra Naomi

Naomi is an alternative, rock, and pop artist, who rose to fame through a performance of her song “Say It’s Possible” on the video sharing site YouTube. Naomi also attended Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

Photo of Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles
Lead Singer for Sugarland Rock Eagle 4-H Center, Georgia

Nettles is an American country music artist. She is known primarily for her role as lead vocalist of the duo Sugarland alongside Kristian Bush. She worked as a counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Georgia for three summers.


Photo of Tim Nordwind
Tim Nordwind

Nordwind is the bass player for the Chicago-based band OK Go. He met lead guitarist Damian Kulash at camp.

Photo of Julia Nunes
Julia Nunes

Nunes is a singer and songwriter from Fairport, New York. Her career has progressed online through her videos of pop songs on YouTube in which she sings harmony with herself and plays acoustic instruments, primarily the ukulele, guitar, melodica and piano.

Photo of Katy Perry
Katy Perry

Perry, who was Katy Hudson before she took on the stage name Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter and actress.

Photo of Joshua Radin
Joshua Radin
Singer-Songwriter North Star Camp, Wisconsin

Radin is an American recording artist, songwriter and actor.

Photo of Bonnie Raitt
Bonnie Raitt

Raitt is an American blues singer-songwriter and slide guitar player. She attended camp from 1961 to 1969 and recorded her first album at an abandoned summer camp on Enchanted Island in Minnesota.

Photo of Maggie Rogers
Maggie Rogers
Singer/Songwriter Wohelo Camps, Maine

Rogers is a New York City-based singer/songwriter known for her hit song “Alaska.”

Photo of Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins
Musician, actor, writer, spoken word artist Camp Wekeela, Maine

Rollins, born Henry Garfield, is an American musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, motivational speaker, television and radio host, spoken word artist, comedian, and activist. He also attended summer camp in North Carolina.

Photo of Carol Bayer Sager
Carol Bayer Sager
Songwriter/Artist Camp Scatico, New York

Sager is an American lyricist, songwriter, singer, and painter best known for co-writing the hit pop song “A Groovy Kind of Love.”

Photo of Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz

Schwartz is an American musical theatre lyricist and composer. In a career spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003).

Photo of Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger

Seeger is an American folk singer. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene”, which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950.

Photo of Caleb Shapiro
Caleb Shapiro
One half of the musical duo Timeflies Camps Kenwood & Evergreen, N.H.
Photo of Allan Sherman
Allan Sherman
Comedy Writer/TV Producer Camp Ojibwa, Wisconsin

Sherman was an American comedy writer and television producer who became famous as a song parodist in the early 1960s. His first album, My Son, the Folk Singer (1962), became the fastest-selling record album up to that time. His biggest hit single was “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”, a comic novelty in which a boy describes his summer camp experiences to the tune of Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours.

Photo of Howard Shore
Howard Shore

Shore is a Canadian composer, notable for his film scores. He has composed the scores for over 80 films, most notably the scores for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, for which he won three Academy Awards. He is also a consistent collaborator with director David Cronenberg, having scored all but one of his films since 1979.

Photo of Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons

Simmons is an Israeli-born American rock bass guitarist, singer-songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and actor. Known by his stage persona The Demon, he is the bass guitarist/co-lead vocalist of Kiss, a heavy metal band he co-founded in the early 1970s. With Kiss, Simmons has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

Photo of Carly Simon
Carly Simon

Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children’s author. She first rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records; her 13 Top 40 U.S. hits include “Anticipation”, “Nobody Does It Better”, “You Belong To Me”, “Coming Around Again”, and the legendary “You’re So Vain”.

Photo of Paul Simon
Paul Simon

Simon is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Simon’s fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. He worked at Camp Starlight as a counselor in 1959.

Photo of Amy Sky
Amy Sky
Singer-Songwriter Camp Tamakwa, Ontario

Sky is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer, theatre actress, and television host.

Photo of Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Composer/Lyricist Camp Androscoggin, Maine

Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for his immense contributions to musical theatre for over 50 years. He is the winner of an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards (more than any other composer) including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award.

Photo of Jon Spencer
Jon Spencer

Spencer is an American vocalist, composer and guitarist. He has been involved in multiple musical acts, such as Pussy GaloreBoss Hog and The Blues Explosion.

Photo of Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens

Stevens is an American singer-songwriter and musician born in Detroit, Michigan. Stevens first began releasing his music on Asthmatic Kitty, a label co-founded with his stepfather, beginning with the 1999 release, A Sun Came. He is best known for his 2005 album, Illinois, which hit number one in the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and for the song “Chicago.” He attended a Methodist summer camp in Michigan.

Photo of Suzanne Vega
Suzanne Vega
Singer-Songwriter Camp Che-Na-Wah, New York

Vega was a music counselor at Camp Che-Na-Wah for a summer.

Photo of Verbal
Hip-Hop MC

Verbal  is a Japanese third generation Zainichi Korean hip-hop MC, who debuted in 1998 as a member of the J-Pop hip-hop duo m-flo. He was first exposed to hip-hop music at YMCA summer camp, in the form of Run–D.M.C.‘s “It’s Tricky” when the other children sung the song on the bus for the camp.

Photo of Ben Weinman
Ben Weinman
Guitarist in Dillinger Escape Plan French Woods, New York

Weinman is an American musician, most notable for being the lead guitarist for the band The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Photo of Pete Wentz
Pete Wentz
Lead Singer in Fall Out Boy Camp Chippewa, Minnesota

Wentz is an American musician best known for being the bassist and primary lyricist for the American rock band Fall Out Boy. Since the announcement of Fall Out Boy’s temporary hiatus in 2009, Wentz has formed the experimentalelectropop/dubstep group Black Cards.