Idyllwild music camp storyline gets encore performance in ‘The Fosters’

“I thought this was a camp, not a competition.” -Brandon Foster

The Idyllwild Crest School for Music summer camp comes to a close with a final concert on the “Idyllwild” episode of The Fosters (Season 3, Episode 9).

Brandon (David Lambert) gets to go last with his piece and makes the gutsy move to perform it himself with the help of a pedal loop system Mat (Jordan Rodrigues) helps him rig up. It’s not quite the twist of the prepared piano piece his frenemy Tom (Keean Johnson) performs with the piano player they were supposed to share, but it helps him overcome an injured hand and get a standing ovation.

Tom looks smug and arrogant watching over the performance of his piece and even though he assumes he will win, it’s not really that much of a spoiler to say the judges don’t reward him for his underhanded behavior (which he always passed off with his faux surfer “bro” charm). Remember: the winning piece gets to perform it at Disney Hall so despite Brandon’s speechifying to Mat and to the whole audience about how Idyllwild is supposed to be a camp and not a competition, he does what he needs to do to win.

“I had a hard time this summer because I got all caught up in trying to prove that I belonged here that I lost the joy of making music,” he tells the crowd. “I’d like to reclaim that now and do what I love most, perform.”

The whole family makes it out for the performance minus Jude, who is away at an unnamed summer camp, and Jesus, who hasn’t been on the show this season. After the performance, a number of other storylines play out for the family before the adults leave the campers unattended for another camp-wide beer party.



Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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