Tuscarawas Philharmonic to sponsor camp for student singers, musicians

The Tuscarawas Philharmonic will host its sixth annual Performing Arts Camp this June at the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center. Registration forms are now being accepted for the string and chorus programs scheduled for June 11-14.

Mary Cooper, cellist with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, coordinates the string program held from 9 a.m. to noon. The program is open to all string players through 12th grade and will be divided into two groups—a beginning orchestra for students who have beginning music reading skills and an advanced orchestra for those students who have good reading skills and who want to be challenged to play more advanced repertoire. “We want all students to progress on their musical skills, no matter what their level is,” said Cooper.

This year’s string camp will welcome a special guest, Kathryn Griesinger, orchestra editor for sheet music retailer J. W. Pepper, who will serve as composer-in-residence. Griesinger is a cellist, composer and music educator; and she will help teach and direct throughout the week, with students performing some of her original compositions.

The children’s chorus camp is designed for all children ages 7 to 14 with no auditions required. Laura Barkett, educator and director of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children’s Chorus, will coordinate this camp and will be joined by John Warner, choral director at Claymont City Schools and assistant director of the Muskingum Choral Society.

“Students will get a full immersion experience in singing, movement and the fundamentals in music making,” said Barkett. “We hope each child leaves with a better understanding of his or her own voice, musicianship and identity as a performer.”

Eric Benjamin, music director of the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, will be on staff for both camps. “The Tuscarawas Philharmonic camps are wonderful retreats with eager students and skilled teachers,” he said. All programs will perform a free concert on stage at the end of the camp experience, and Benjamin is particularly excited to hear the children demonstrate for friends and family all they have learned.

The camp program will be staffed by professional music educators and performing members of the Philharmonic serving as instrument specialists, providing each student with personalized instruction on his or her instrument. Each program will include sectionals, sight-reading experience, fun activities and a dinner party; and participants will receive a customized T-shirt to commemorate their time at camp.

The cost of the four-day event is $95, and the deadline for registering is May 7. Parents who register their students by April 15 will receive a $10 discount.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a scholarship for students with financial needs should contact Executive Director Sallie Stroup at sallie.d.stroup@gmail.com.

To enroll, contact the coordinators directly. Mary Cooper can be reached by phone at 330-243-4122 or via email marypatrice-cooper@gmail.com. Laura Barkett can be emailed at LauraRBarkett@gmail.com