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Continuing from our July edition, CMPI fellows share more experiences, wisdom and memorable moments from their summer camps in this article. They are sure to carry with them inspiration and learning from these camps as they embark into their school year or start their journey into college.

Fellow name: Noah Briones
Camp: Kinhaven
Instrument: Violin

I was looking forward to this past summer as much as anybody else who has been stuck in their room for most of the year, looking at the computer. I was ready to get out and play music with other people, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than the one I had at Kinhaven, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help of CMPI. It was such a refreshing experience getting to enjoy chamber and orchestral music performance opportunities every single week. With the rigorous music and the freedom to schedule your own practice, both the productivity and the enjoyment of camp was maximized. One thing that Kinhaven did really well — despite the intense music learning experience — was the staff would plan activities every week for students to participate in during the afternoons. There would be softball events, days where we walk to town, or we could take a trip to a waterfall, or a hike, and even more. These served as bonding moments and mental breaks between the long hours of practicing and rehearsals.

Another major benefit in Kinhaven was the ability to schedule multiple private lessons with your studio teacher every week. You weren’t bound by the “one lesson a week” standard. Quite the opposite. You were able, and encouraged, to schedule multiple lessons a week, with the flexibility to work around times that would be best for each student. For any future Kinhaven student, I highly recommend scheduling multiple lessons in a week. This will allow you to work on chamber music, orchestral, and solo repertoire with your assigned private teacher. Along with the private lessons, one of the opportunities I am most grateful for is the masterclasses students were invited to play in. Many students had the opportunity to play in masterclasses for guest teachers, and I was fortunate enough to play for Paul Kantor of Rice University, and Domenic Salerni of the Attacca Quartet. These masterclasses provided so much insight into musicality and performance that I am forever grateful for. All in all, Kinhaven was a wonderful experience that blended a rigorous musical learning program with a fun and enjoyable community. I wouldn’t trade my experience there for the world.

Fellow name: Aidan Daniels
Camp: NYO – National Youth Orchestra
Instrument: Violin

NYO was among the best orchestral experiences I’ve ever had; everyone was so intent on playing the music we were given at the highest level possible. I could feel the enthusiasm everyone brought to playing orchestral music from the very first day of rehearsal. There was a mandatory 10-day quarantine for everyone upon arrival to the Purchase SUNY campus (where NYO would take place 10 days later) and even then, the enthusiasm for playing music never waned. One of the most rewarding parts of NYO is the people you meet at the program. The friendships I’ve made there are truly lifelong.

Fellow name: Jaz Ríos
Camp: Interlochen
Instrument: Percussion

Interlochen was so much fun! I got to study under wonderful teachers and mentors, and learn new, exciting rep each week. The scenery was beautiful and made the learning environment that much better! The people I met really inspired me and I’m sure the connections I made in my short stay will last a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world!

Fellow name: Melissa Everson
Camp: Interlochen
Instrument: Clarinet

Reflecting a week after Interlochen Arts Camp, I realize I miss it so much. I feel that Interlochen has made a big step for the music community as we begin to move to more in-person events. I also feel very lucky and grateful to have taken part in this historical moment. The biggest things I loved about camp were the lessons I learned, the lifelong friends I made, and connections and resources it gave me. I improved not only musically, but through life skills as well. It was very monumental to realize it is possible to be productive while getting enough sleep. There is the preconceived myth that the hours we sleep are hours we could’ve spent working, but it’s all about how you use your time, and treating yourself with kindness afterwards.

Relating to music, I felt a great purpose at Interlochen to be a good role model, for I was one of the older campers. I always tried to be positive and offer a warm presence, because working on music with one concert a week, masterclasses, etc. can be very stressful if you don’t have people to let out your worries to. I used to think for myself that in order to relax I needed to isolate, but Interlochen gave me lifelong friends that made it so I wanted to be around them all the time because it was just happy times, or as we say “great times great lakes.”

Now, post-Interlochen, I feel prepared and ready to major in music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Interlochen gave me a chance to rediscover who I am as a friend, musician, and overall what the arts means to me. The unforgettable moment that still rings within my heart today was the feeling after playing Copland’s Appalachian Spring in the first week’s concert. It reminded me that I play music not only for my own joy, but with the end goal to share it with others. I feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.

Lastly, the clarinet faculty was amazing, and I loved hearing and working with them. They helped me in unimaginable ways with practice techniques and wholesome encouragement that motivates me to work harder. The composers, too, were amazing, with a special friend of mine who used the contemporary style to communicate and bring awareness to his Hawaiian heritage. I was reminded again of why I pursue the arts.

I can’t thank CMPI enough for the email reminding me about the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp application, because in the end it genuinely was the best summer I’ve ever had.

Fellow name: Fabrizio Milcent
Camp: Kinhaven
Instrument: Bassoon

I attended the Kinhaven Music Camp over the summer, and I enjoyed both the music and the community aspect of the camp. The community there is great; you get to meet many new people, a lot of whom you’ll continue to talk to once the camp is over. I learned a lot of new repertoire for both chamber and orchestral pieces, which widened my understanding of classical music. We also did a lot of non-musical activities such as swimming, softball, or going on hikes. I highly recommend this camp to anyone who is interested in attending a music camp this summer because it’s both fun and a great learning experience.

Fellow name: Alejandro Acosta
Camp: Fulton Summer Music Academy
Instrument: Violin

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Fulton Summer Music Academy (FSMA), a four-week summer camp organized by violinist Addison Teng. FSMA was my first ever music-related summer camp and I had an amazing experience engaging in all sorts of activities ranging from private lessons to public masterclasses to social events. I made many friends and got to personally know the staff, and above all else, I greatly improved my violin playing. And I had a lot of fun! For any CMPI fellow who is unsure about attending a music summer camp, I highly encourage you to attend because not only will you become a better musician but you will also meet so many cool people that can make the camp experience one you will never forget.

Fellow name: Sophia Luong
Camp: Manhattan School of Music Percussion Summit, Interlochen
Instrument: Percussion

Over the summer I attended two summer programs, the first one being the Manhattan School of Music Percussion Summit and the second Interlochen Arts Camp. The Percussion Summit at Manhattan was online and it was packed with masterclasses and guest performances. Since it was over Zoom it allowed for people all over the world to participate and it was cool to learn from different people who played in these masterclasses. One of my favorite masterclasses would have to be the one that was taught by Rolando Morales-Matos, because the entire class was about playing Latin rhythms on congas and bongos, which is something that I’ve never done before.

After the Summit I went to Interlochen arts camp which was IN-PERSON. It felt so good to be able to play with real people and not over a screen. I got to meet and make friends with a lot of talented musicians, most of whom didn’t play percussion. Each day was a school day except the classes weren’t boring subjects like math or history, it was all music, and at the end of every week, there was a performance! Overall, this past summer was filled with lots of learning, laughs, and fun. I can genuinely say that this was the best summer I’ve ever had.

Fellow name: Anika Veda
Camp: Consummate Flutist, Orford Music Festival, Beyond the Masterclass
Instrument: Flute

Over summer, I attended The Consummate Flutist, Orford Music Festival, and Beyond the Masterclass. While they were online, I still had some memorable experiences and learned a lot throughout the five weeks! All of the festivals I attended were masterclass-based, and I got to play for numerous college professors that I greatly admire: Robert Langevin, Marina Piccinini, Jim Walker, and Alberto Almarza, just to name a few. Other than masterclasses, I also attended lectures and panel discussions on many varied topics, such as audition preparation, Baroque interpretation, orchestral excerpts, and alternate fingerings. I was able to practice performing college audition repertoire in masterclasses, and received a lot of different perspectives on my playing. My favorite memory from the summer was when I got to talk to Jeanne Baxtresser, who I have looked up to my whole life, at Beyond the Masterclass. She was kind and full of wisdom, and it was an amazing experience getting to talk to her, something that I’ll remember forever.

Here is a recording of me playing the Chaminade Concertino that I made for Orford.

Fellow name: Amarin Sharma
Camp: Credo Music Camp
Instrument: Violin

This summer, I attended Credo Music Camp, an all virtual two week music camp. Credo would typically take place in Oberlin, Ohio. Credo Music Festival included activities and classes such as music theory, private lessons, interpretation classes, chamber music, masterclasses, and evening classes. I had many opportunities to get to know other fellow musicians and meet new people! I really enjoyed the music theory classes with Professor Jan Miyake, and the interpretation classes with members of the Callisto Quartet. I really learned a lot from the music theory classes. I learned about a canon, binary form, different time signatures that we usually wouldn’t see, and many more! It was really interesting for me and I enjoyed learning more about music. In the interpretation classes, I got to explore different versions of a piece and compare the similarities and differences of each version. I also studied the background and history of each piece, and the meaning of the pieces that we played. It was a wonderful opportunity studying chamber music with Paul Aguilar (from the Callisto Quartet), studying music theory with professor Jan Miyake, having private lessons with Thomas Cooper, and many others! I’m grateful for the financial support that CMPI provided and ultimately I had a great experience at Credo Music Festival!

Fellow name: Andrew Pahadi
Camp: Interlochen
Instrument: Oboe

I really never knew how much I would miss playing for mentors and peers until I wasn’t able to do it for over a year. This summer I had one of the most fun and challenging weeks in a long time at Interlochen’s Advanced Oboe Intensive. The week was filled with masterclasses, lessons, chamber rehearsals, practice and of course playing cards until the lights were off! Going into my first summer camp made me very nervous in the weeks leading up. That anxiety was for nothing; it ended up being the best week of my summer. Getting to work with players like Titus Underwood, Martin Schuring, and Dane Philipson was incredible. Seeing such tireless artistry every day was so inspiring.

One of my favorite memories of this week was finally getting to play the first movement of the Marcello Oboe Concerto live with piano in a masterclass. I had been preparing and listening to that piece since I had started the oboe in 8th grade. I clearly remember after finishing my initial play through getting a feeling of satisfaction in knowing that I was able to finally perform my favorite piece. Martin Schuring gave me great advice about how to phrase it even better than I had been. That was my favorite masterclass of the week. I never thought I would be so sad leaving cold Northern Michigan, camp food, and waking up at 6:30am everyday, but I was. It was an amazing week with great friends, great teachers, and great music!

Fellow name: Aleo Esparza
Camp: Interlochen
Instrument: Percussion

My summer at Interlochen Arts Camp was unforgettable. Whether it was masterclasses, private lessons, rehearsals, theory classes, or just hanging out with my cabin mates, the summer was nothing short of great. I learned more in those three weeks than in what feels like my whole life. With COVID restricting our ability to perform music in person, being able to just have rehearsals was a luxury. My biggest takeaway from all this was the satisfaction I got from performing awesome pieces for people and hearing roaring screams after the piece finishes. In the World Youth Wind Symphony, or WYWS, we played a variety of genres of music such as some Latin pieces, including Vientos y Tangos and Danzón No. 2. We also played some classics such as the First Suite in Eb by Holst and some newer repertoire such as Omar Thomas’s Come Sunday. It had been nearly two years since I had experienced playing with others, so my time at Interlochen helped remind me of why I picked up music and percussion. The pure joy I experienced from hitting that last note in the First Suite in Eb, or feeling the groove in Come Sunday, or the connection with my chamber group was the thing I needed to reignite the fire inside.

More Camp Photos!

TOP: Infographic for CMPI Summer Camps 2021
ALL KINHAVEN PHOTOS: Photo credit by Kinhaven and Rob Davidson

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