Camp encourages young musicians
July 1, 2009
Lily Barlow, 11 years old and entering 6th grade at Bethel Elementary in the fall, came to Music Camp to learn “how music is made and how to play better.” Smiling from ear to ear, the young violinist explained her interaction with theory and intervals and string instruction at the program provided by the music department of Corban College & Graduate School.
Ninety-five students in grades 5-12 came from as far away as Medford, Damascus, and Redmond, and from all around the Mid-Valley to grow their musicianship at Music Camp 2009. Under the instruction of 16 professional music teachers and assisted by more than 25 additional caring adults, students improved their skills tremendously while on campus during their week of music-making.
Corban’s Director of Choral Activities and Music Education, Dr. Matthew Strauser, led the camp’s high-school choral activities. He expressed, “To see what these young people can do in a week is amazing!”
In its ninth season providing high quality instruction and activities, Corban’s camp is distinctive in that classes are offered for students of any performance medium. Campers selected courses, based on their interests, from each area: an ensemble group, a musicianship class, and an elective. Class options included chamber music, composing, piano, guitar, praise band, computer applications, and much more. Students then also contributed to either the Grand Choir or the Advanced Orchestra for a large ensemble experience.
Director of Music Camp 2009 was Brian Griffiths of Corban and West Salem High School. He said, “This is one of the most well-rounded camps I know of.”
Another distinctive, says Griffiths, is the emphasis on music as a means to give glory to God. All course offerings were taught by professionals who have a heart for kids and the Lord Jesus Christ. A daily worship session was also an important piece of the camping experience.
“I don’t really go to church or anything,” said Lily, “so I liked singing the hymns.”
The opportunity to perform in a group was also a draw to campers, especially to those who might otherwise miss an ensemble experience. Thirteen-year-olds Abby Janzen (cello) and Sara Segura (violin) from Dallas relayed that because they are homeschooled, playing in the orchestra was “so cool!”
Relationships formed between instructors and students seemed mutually impactful. Strauser said one of his highlights was that “some in my group have never sung before. Watching them gain confidence was rewarding.”
Freshman Aaron Klein, 14, who succumbed to a little “arm twisting” from his mom in choosing the choir elective, thoroughly enjoyed his first singing experience. He said, “It turned out fun. Dr. Strauser is really funny.”
Sisters Amanda, 18, and Vanessa Barnes, 16, of Silverton echoed Klein, “Dr. Strauser made choir fun.”
Six ensembles and then the combined Grand Orchestra and Chorus performed for more than 250 family members and guests at the finale concert on Friday, June 26. The campers’ enthusiasm was evident—and in Lily’s case, running over.
For, on the Saturday prior to Music Camp, Lily’s right hand and a door met in an unfortunate accident that broke her middle finger and left the others swollen and sore. Her injury didn’t keep her from fully investing at camp, though, said instructor Randy Gregory, elementary strings teacher for Salem-Keizer School District. Prior to the concert on Friday morning, Gregory said, “All week she’s been fingering along and learning all the notes with the group—so she’s well-prepared—but today was the first day she could bow.”
Knowing she’d be able to play in the concert had Lily beaming. “God has blessed me,” she said; “somehow it feels like that.”
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
503-375-7005 | email@example.com