Music and Magic with Glass Engineering

Below is information from our 2022 Music and Magic Institute. Please use the navigation to see our current 2023 offerings.

Coinciding with United Nations International Year of Glass 2022 we are excited to offer high school students a deep dive into all things glass engineering science with our Music and Magic with Glass Engineering Institute.

Session I (rising 9th & 10th graders): Sunday July 10th - Friday July 15th
Session II (rising 11th & 12th graders): Sunday July 17th - Friday July 22nd

The Application Deadline Has Been Extended!


Cost of Institute:
$1080 Residential; $790 Commuters. $100 deposit required.

The Program:
Coinciding with United Nations International Year of Glass 2022, Alfred University, the New York State College of Ceramics and the Inamori School of Engineering are excited to offer high school students a deep dive into all things glass engineering science with our Music and Magic with Glass Engineering Institute!

Some of the planned activities for participants include:

  • Make’em and Take’em Home . . . Glass Musical Instruments!
  • Your picture made from pure gold inside glass will never fade. Make a personalized glass paperweight or medal with an image of YOU (or your dog, or your crocodile, or...?) This is real glass science magic.
  • Prince Rupert’s Drops: "exploding glass." You won’t forget this one!
  • Fractured Glass Art: if you like hammers, breaking glass, and you think you are an artist, this one is for you.
  • Make "Almost Unbreakable" glass mugs. Then, sell one to your parents for $50!
  • Make your own BioGlass: take it home and watch it “magically” change to bone. We will study how this happens using an electron microscope and other research tools.

When not in class, participants enjoy planned activities on campus as well as free time for relaxation. Living, dining and learning together provides participants ample opportunity to get to know each other and develop lasting friendships. The emphasis is on having fun and enjoying our beautiful natural surroundings while learning!

With our dynamic, engaging, talented and caring faculty; terrific facilities; and lovely campus, the Alfred University Music and Magic with Glass Institute could make this your best summer ever!

Alix and Bill

Students in the Music and Magic with Glass Engineering summer institute can expect to be educated and entertained by two leading experts in the fields of glass and materials science: Alexis Clare and Bill LaCourse. With decades upon decades (nearly 90 years!) of combined teaching experience and personalities to match, there won't be a single dull moment in this five-day institute.

Professor Alexis Clare, PhD

  • PhD University of Reading (UK), Physics
  • expert in fiber optics and optical properties of glass
  • guest researcher at Corning Inc., developing glass fiber, laser amplifiers
  • researcher on specialty glass manufacture in space
  • interests include new and unusual glasses for optical, magnetic and even biological responses, novel ways of processing glasses, 3D printing and spark plasma sintering
  • winner of several student voted teaching awards

Professor William LaCourse, PhD

  • PhD Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Materials Science
  • 12 patents and over 100 publications on Glass Science and Engineering
  • major research interests in "unbreakable glass" and novel uses for recycled glass
  • SUNY Award for Research
  • American Ceramic Society Glass Division Morey Award for Research on Glass
  • plays 4th trumpet in the AU Jazz Ensemble
  • has only 5 fewer teaching awards than Alexis!

Participants must arrive between 2:00 and 4:00 PM on Sunday for registration and will leave after lunch on Friday. During the week they will attend classes during the day and have fun participating in planned recreational activities on and off campus in the evening.

Further information, including a detailed program schedule and driving directions to campus, will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

Tuition, Room and Board:
$1080 ($790 for commuters) - $100 deposit required.

This covers tuition, supervision, materials, room and board from dinner on the first day through lunch on the last day and recreational activities. The deposit must be submitted with the application.

Financial Aid:
We're sorry. Financial aid is not available for this summer institute.

How to Apply:
To apply, you must complete and submit the online registration form (We support the current and previous major releases of Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari on a rolling basis.).

Camp Registration Portal (CampDoc)
CampDoc Registration Instructions

Cancellation Policy:
Refunds, less the $100 non-refundable deposit, will be made for cancellations received by June 15th. 50% refunds will be made for cancellations received from June 16th through 24th. Sorry, no refunds can be issued after June 24th.

For further general information contact the Office of Summer Programs at 607-871-2122. For specific information concerning class content contact Dr. William LaCourse, Program Director.

Institute Directors will review all completed applications and determine which participants are accepted. Acceptance/non-acceptance notification will be provided via email. If you require an earlier decision, please indicate this by including a note with your application form. Applications will be considered as space allows.

Once participants are accepted they will be reminded by email from CampDocs to complete the required documents (parental permissions to attend as well as health records). Updated immunization information (including dates) is also required at that time. (If you do not have updated immunization information on hand, you may want to acquire this from your physician now to avoid processing delays.)

When students are not in class, they are supervised by our wonderful team of Counselors who are specially trained to serve as positive role models, mentors and friends. In order to ensure everyone has a safe, healthy and enjoyable time on campus, summer students are expected to abide by the University's summer programs rules and regulations.

Examples of Evening Activities:

  • Ice-breaker games on the first day to help everyone get acquainted
  • Movies in AU's Nevins Theater
  • Visits to a nearby lake for picnics and campfires
  • Outdoor games such as "Capture the Flag" and "Ultimate Frisbee"
  • Indoor games such as "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," ping pong, board games, basketball, etc.
  • Social gatherings with refreshments & music in the "Knight Club"
  • Relaxing and socializing at a local coffee house
  • Farewell party on the last night

Participants stay in secure University residence halls dedicated to summer institutes (2 per room) and must bring their own pillows and blankets. Bed/bath linens will be provided, but they can also bring their own (bed linens must fit the extra-long twin residence hall beds). Laundry facilities are available in each hall at no charge. Males and females are housed on separate floors. Our Counselors will be on-site in the residence halls at all times.

Delicious, all-you-can-eat, cafeteria-style meals are served in our campus dining hall. Our Dining Services chefs do an excellent job in accommodating participants with food allergies and other special requirements.

Participants living locally who wish to attend as commuters may do so. The commuter rate, which includes tuition, program materials and lunch is $790 (deposit: $100). Participants who wish to commute must check in at registration on Sunday and arrive on campus by 8:45 AM for classes Monday-Friday. They must be picked up no later than 5:00 PM Monday-Thursday unless they will be participating in evening activities (please make arrangements with Summer Programs Coordinator for pick-up times). The last day of the institute (Friday) pick-up time is 1:00 PM. Please be sure to check the "Commuter" box on the application form.

Alfred University is located in the peaceful village of Alfred in Western New York State, where summer days are warm and nights are cool and comfortable. Surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful meadows and valleys, Alfred University is the perfect place to spend an enjoyable week learning more about your favorite subject and meeting other students who share your passion for astronomy!

The campus, a 6-hour drive from New York City, 2 hours from Buffalo and 1 1/4 hours from Rochester, is easily accessible by car or bus from all directions and is located just five miles south of Interstate 86. The nearest major airport is the Rochester International Airport (about 65 miles north). Transportation to and from that airport can be provided for an additional charge if we receive your request by the date indicated in your acceptance notification. After that date students must make their own arrangements with an airport limo service.

The University may cancel any course or activity at any time because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is canceled or postponed, the University will refund registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for other costs, charges, or expenses, including cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines or travel agencies.

Whether considering candidates for admission or financial aid, applicants for employment or the management of its policies and school-administered programs, Alfred University does not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, or disability. Alfred University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.