By Amanda Smith Roberts
With the cold weather we’ve been experiencing, I long for the warm months of summer, when there’s an abundance of outdoor camps and performances taking place in the Jane Carr Amphitheater at South Shore Conservatory (SSC). During these cold winter months, however, summer planning is in full swing, which for me means I am now planning for American Music Camp (AMC) for Strings 2018!
It is hard to explain the unique AMC experience in words, so we are offering a FREE preview of the camp for string students to experience the fun firsthand! AMC for Strings began at SSC in the summer of 2015 with the goal of providing students with fun classes and creative opportunities to boost their playing skills, introduce them to new musical styles, improvisational skills, various techniques for their instruments, all of which help them enjoy creating and sharing music with each other. Since its inception, AMC has inspired the majority of its faculty members and student campers to return each summer!
Our March 3 preview event allows violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, mandolin and ukulele students, ages 3-18, to bring their instrument and explore new areas of string playing, with fun offerings such as Old Time Radio Show, reminiscent of Prairie Home Companion, where students learn to write a script and run a variety show that hosts the daily student recitals, or Movie and Pop Music and Arranging, where students create their own renditions of their favorite film scores and pop tunes. Noodle Bands, rock bands that write and perform songs about pasta, tend to pop up here and there during the event. Students are placed in classes geared to their interests, playing level, and age group.
Other preview classes include: Irish Fiddling, Improvisation, Musical Story Telling, Foot Percussion, Pop/Movie Music Arranging, Cool Cello Techniques, and Baroque Ensembles. Participants can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a mandolin and other exciting prizes! Joining me for the preview are faculty members Joy Adams (cello), Andy Reiner (5-string fiddle), Hazel Ketchum (guitar), Erik Caldarone (electric guitar), and Emily Hale (Baroque ensembles).
AMC for Strings, which runs from June 24-29, gives students a unique taste for what is possible on their instruments. Additionally, it helps them find their individual musical voices through inspiring creativity. The camp provides opportunities for all string students, regardless of experience or musical background. One of our favorite activities is the daily all-camp jam session and student performances in the amphitheater. Some of our younger students, who attend the half-day camp, return at the end of the day just for this fun activity. One would have to fly all over the nation to accumulate such an expansive variety of experiences that they will gather in five days!
South Shore Conservatory’s AMC Preview event takes place on Saturday, March 3 from 2-5 pm at One Conservatory Drive in Hingham. To register, visit https://goo.gl/forms/XKqSnCkMUgqNCk872. For more information about the camp or the preview event, visit www.sscmusic.org, find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook, or contact Amanda Roberts at email@example.com.
Amanda Roberts is the chair of South Shore Conservatory’s string department.