Future performers explore music, theatre at 'Berg summer camp

The annual summer camp hosted by the Heidelberg School of Music & Theater is wrapping up on Friday. The residential camp teaches the fundamentals of the performing arts and has given 8th- through 12th-graders the opportunity to perform in a campus environment. Students were able to pick tracks that function like “majors” for the week-long camp. Students could focus on choral music, band, musical theater or musical technology and composition, and were able to split their time between tracks if they so chose. Instead of a commencement ceremony, the camp ends with a culminating performance at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Instruction is provided by favorite Heidelberg School of Music & Theatre faculty, Dr. Elizabeth Tracy, Dr. Carol Dusdieker and Dr. Greg Ramsdell. These faculty are leading rehearsals as campers prepare for their culminating performance. Beyond rehearsals, campers picked from a variety of elective courses. Budding songwriters are enjoying elective courses in composition with Dr. Mathew Kennedy. Steel drum instruction is being taught as an elective by jazz instructor Scott Kretzer. While they are taught by ’Berg faculty, they are also advised and entertained by their camp counselors, all current students in the School of Music & Theatre. Being surrounded by faculty, current ’Berg students and fellow performance-loving peers is giving campers a taste of the college experience.

The head camp counselor is rising senior Jayce Porter. Aside from their involvement in Jazz Band, Brass Choir and Chamber Singers, Jayce is the drum major for Heidelberg’s Marching Band, and was recently elected Choir president. “I am super stoked to be working as head counselor for our grand ‘reopening.’ With all of the stress of the past semester and the past three years, it’s wonderful to see students once again making music within our community!”

The camp will be celebrating the recent Disney hit movie, “Encanto.” New camp counselor Sophia Lee is excited for the references to the film. “There are different teams based on the members of the Madrigal family, and each team competes for points (kind of like Harry Potter,)” Sophia elaborated. “I've never been a camp counselor before, so I was really excited for this experience!”

Despite the pseudo-competition, campers receive individualized attention from faculty as well as their counselors. The goal of the camp is to allow students the space to learn, grow and explore as artists and performers. By making connections with Heidelberg students and faculty, students become better prepared should they decide to pursue music or theater after high school.

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