MacPhail looking forward to summer camps

Published 6:43 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

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The MacPhail Center for Music is inviting youth to come camping with them this summer.

For the second year at its new location, MacPhail will be holding four camps for youth running at various times throughout the summer.

Percussion, piano, strings and ukulele camps will follow each other in late July and early August.

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“MacPhail has a long history of camps in all of our sites,” said MacPhail Site Director Cheryl Berglund. “Last summer we were able to hold four successful camps here at MacPhail and this summer we will continue on that.”

The camps themselves will be accommodating to youth from beginners to experienced musicians. Most importantly the camps offer a prime opportunity for those taking part to really dive into the music they are interested in.

“It gives any student the opportunity to explore music at a time when maybe they’re not as academically busy,” Berglund said. “For students who are not in school, it gives them a chance to explore outside of their regular band setting.”

The camps also provide a setting for those already in music the important opportunity to continue with their education, without the risk of losing those skills they’ve already learned.

“Obviously, you don’t want them to take off [the summer], particularly in the younger grades,” Berglund said. “You don’t want them to take off from the end of May to August because you lose a lot of what you’ve been focusing on.”

Alongside the skills the campers will be learning, each camp will end with student performances that will demonstrate to parents and family what they’ve learned throughout the process.

While the camps are important and fun for those taking part in them, it’s equally fun and important for the instructors who get to spend an entire week with their students, rather than once a week before sending them home to practice on their end.

Through this process, instructors get to see in real time the progress students are making.

“It’s one of my favorite weeks,” Berglund said, who will instruct the percussion camp. “Usually the structure of my individual lessons is that I see them once a week. Now I get to see them every day of the week and spend a little extra time with them. I get to learn more about their abilities without all of the activities..”

The dates, times and costs for this years summer camps include:

Piano camp: July 11-15, 9 a.m. to noon each day, with recital at 11:30 a.m. on July 15. Camp will include ensemble playing, composition, note reading, rhythm activities and more. Cost: $175.

Ukulele camp: July 25-29, 10:30 a.m. to noon, recital at 11:30 a.m. on July 29 at the Austin Learning Stair. Camp will feature the basics of the ukulele, which includes learning chords, strumming patterns, singing while playing, instrument care and instrument parts. Activities will be determined by student experience. Cost: $95.

Percussion camp: Aug. 1-5, 9 a.m. to noon, recital at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 5 at MacPhail Recital Hall. Camp will include orchestra participation and percussion ensemble experience. The camp will also explore music from movies and Broadway. Cost: $175

Strings camp: Aug. 1-5, 9 a.m. to noon each day, recital 11:30 a.m. in the MacPhail Recital Hall. Camp includes sectionals, orchestra, participation, small ensemble experience as well as exploring music from movies and Broadway.

When it’s all said and done, the MacPhail camps pair wonderfully with the mission of the music center.

“MacPhail’s mission is to transform lives and communities through musical experiences and learning,” Berglund said. “The camp experience is a way for them to come to our side and sort of find a home hub for all of their musical experiences. It’s a good opportunity for various ages to come together.”

MacPhail does offer financial aid for the camps and those interested are encouraged to contact MacPhail for more information.

For more information on the camps and to register, visit: