The 15 kids onstage in the Psalm Center for the Performing arts on Friday morning were wearing matching red shirts, but their individuality showed through in their performance mannerisms. Some smiled. Others looked serious. Some kept beat with their feet, while others sat perfectly still except for the movement of their bows across their instruments.
One of five performance groups at Corban’s Music Camp, the string ensemble was the youngest group of violin, cello and bass players to practice and perform together through the week of June 25-29. And Friday morning’s practice was their last chance to unify their sound for the final performance.
“You job is to listen to the whole sound,” director Colleen Multop told them. “Listen to how we sound and try to play to the back of the room.”
For the string ensemble, unity could only be achieved by playing in tune, a big challenge for young players. For some of them, Multop marked with a pencil the location of difficult-to-find notes. For others, like first violinist Grace Holmes, who tuned up the group, finding even the toughest notes is second-nature.
From the newest to the most advanced performer, all 80 middle and high school students at Music Camp were looking to the camp’s 10 instructors to help them improve their musical abilities. These adult directors and instrumentalists spent the week running workshops, practice sessions and private lessons all over campus.
Every afternoon, students came to the Psalm Center to hear each other perform. Two levels of bands, two levels of string ensembles and a choir took turns onstage, as well as individual musicians and small groups that formed during the week. The final performance was June 29.
“There is such a positive attitude at this camp,” said Music Camp director Sharon Bartsch. “These students are so happy and cheerful, and they don’t get bent out of shape. They are wonderful to work with.”
Outside of their music training, attendees enjoyed each other’s company and were inspired by camp speakers including Corban’s campus pastor, Kent Kersey, and local evangelist Reid Saunders. Halfway through the week, seven students indicated that they received Christ.