Bravo for SMT bootcamp and teas, in the name of arts education

This summer brought some awesome opportunities for current School of Music & Theatre students and alumni to practice their craft while interacting with live audiences.

The SMT group participated in a pair of educational programming activities – Broadway Bootcamp and Character Teas – as part of an expanding collaboration with Lakeside Chautauqua.

“This partnership is providing professional opportunities for our students while furthering arts education in Ohio,” said SMT Director Dr. Carol Dusdieker, who organized the activities.

Broadway Bootcamp a big hit

Broadway Bootcamp, held in July, was a four-day music and theatre camp for children ages 10-18. “Our 30 outstanding campers sang, danced, explored theatre improvisation and coached small scenes and monologues,” Carol explained. 

As part of the camp, the participants – aided by Heidelberg camp counselors Jacob Reuter, Cole Miller, Sarah Jewell and Rebecca Eppard – performed twice for the Lakeside community, featuring soloists and small ensembles and a grand finale as part of the Lakeside Talent Show.

Jacob enjoyed his leadership role with Broadway Bootcamp, especially seeing the growth among kids who had never before performed on stage.

“My fondest memory was working with the wonderful students that we had at our Broadway Bootcamp, especially the ones who had little to no previous performance experience,” he said. “Helping them to step into the spotlight and find their voices was a real highlight for me.”

Additionally, he had a key role with the ensemble during the finale talent show. “I was given the opportunity to teach and conduct a piece, and I appreciated the opportunity to work directly with an ensemble and to have some podium time before my student teaching placement next year,” he added.

Fellow Bootcamp leader Cole, who enjoyed his first-ever visit to Lakeside, was excited to see the young performers experience the joy of music and theatre. “These kids showed who they are and how music and dancing helped them with that process,” he said. 

The ultimate goal, Carol added, was to “build confidence, compassion and community.” The campers learned numbers such as “Raise You Up,” “Beautiful City and “This is Me.” Bootcamp faculty also included Michael Shirtz, musical director; Pam Shirtz, choreographer; and Morgan Noon, collaborative pianist.

Princes, princesses and evil villains

The SMT kicked off the summer partnership with a series of Character Teas, featuring stories, songs, dances and crafts uplifting beloved characters from Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and a multitude of princes, princesses and evil villains.

Lakeside participants of all ages enjoyed the interactive performance, joining the ‘Berg students in character on stage. The Mad Hatter Tea concluded with a fashion show showcasing newly constructed top hats. The Princess and Prince Tea ended with everyone dancing and singing to Cinderella’s waltz.

The teas were written by Carol with assistance from an amazing team of SMT students, who assisted with costume designs, music selections and choreography. SMT participants included Riley Ameel, Elizabeth Bowman, Gavin Buurma, Brianne Clark, Rebeca Eppard, Sarah Jewell, Payton Luikart, Cole Miller and Emma Barber.

Partnership continues with HU Marching Band

The SMT’s Lakeside collaboration continues this weekend, on Sunday, with a performance by the Heidelberg Marching Band to celebrate Labor Day weekend.

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