Thursday, August 7, 2008

My String Camp Post - Finally

OK, I do know that today is not Monday and it is most certainly not the tomorrow that was spoken of, but it is the day that I am finally getting to post about our wonderful week of String Camp.

When preparing for a String Camp, you would expect to find me practicing, but one of the other things I do to prepare each year is to sharpen a large percentage of the pencils we'll be putting in each of the campers' folders - a rather simple, but time consuming task.

For our family, since most of us are staff and/or faculty and we help to host the camp, it actually all begins on Saturday. We try to get all of the instructors, staff, and faculty in on Saturday so we can have a meeting to be sure that everybody is on the same page, give last minute details, give tours of the facilities (so everyone knows where they're going), start getting to know each other, and get time and opportunity to practice for the Faculty Recital on Monday night.

Some folks think it all begins Sunday. By Sunday afternoon, almost all of the campers are in, registered, and doing their seating auditions.

Here is one of this year's Advanced Orchestra audition judges....Dr. Brown!

And here are the Intermediate Orchestra judges...Mr. and Mrs. Probus!
Auditions really don't have to be scary things, folks! These are really, really nice people!

Others think that it all starts on Monday, with orientation at 8:00 A.M. After this, we have a full day of String Camp, ending at different times depending on which orchestra you are in. At 7:00 P.M. we had our Faculty Recital. I failed to pick out some pictures of this when I was sorting through all of the pictures and I don't think I really want to go through them all again unless somebody really, really wants some pictures of it. I would really have to put several of them up, else I'd miss many of the instructors. While I'm on the topic of faculty, I'd like to mention as many of them as I can remember by name here (if I miss somebody or get something wrong, please let me know and I'll fix it). Dr. David Brown (Advance Orchestra conductor, Theory III, plus), Mrs. Ruth Brown (pianist, Theory II, plus), Mr. Allen Probus (Intermediate Orchestra conductor, cello instructor, chamber group coach, plus), Mrs. Andrea Probus (violin instructor, chamber group coach, plus), Mr. Ben Culver (Beginner Orchestra conductor, chamber group coach, violin instructor, plus), Miss Esther Walker (Pre-Twinkles leader, chamber coach, plus), Miss Jessica Graf (Pre-Twinkles assistant, chamber coach, plus), Mr. Drostan Hall (Masterclass clinician, chamber coach, viola instructor, plus), Miss Kate Woodby (viola instructor, plus), Mr. Tim Hammond (cello instructor, chamber coach, plus), Mr. Tim Wampler (Music History, Theory I, Rythm, plus), Miss Katie Minion (sectionals instructor, plus), Miss Julie Mueller (Musical Mind instructor, harp soloist, plus), Mr. Charles Herring (elementary chapel speaker), Mr. Jeff Carrillo (secondary chapel speaker), and last, but most definately not least, Dr. Dwight Gustafson (guest conductor, plus)! Thanks to everybody who helped whether as faculty, or whether you helped house the campers and instructors, or worked kitchen, nursery, or maintenance, or if you were just available to help wherever there might be a need. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

This is a lot, but certainly not all of our camp staff and faculty.

(This picture was actually taken Wednesday, but I figure it really doesn't matter)

This might have been a wonderful picture if it weren't for these great things called music stands!

Monday morning, the Advanced Orchestra all figure out their Chamber Groups and receive their music - to have ready for the Friday Morning Recital!

On Tuesday, the Advanced Orchestra had a couple hours of Masterclass (the Intermediate Orchestra had the option of sitting in on this).

My Chamber Group got to have Mr. Hall for our instructor on Wednesday and he helped us all greatly.

We took a picture of all the campers on Wednesday.
This was between camp and the evening service, and yes, I was truly sleeping! During Sfz, I embrace almost every opportunity I can find to get some rest!
All three orchestras were involved in the Wednesday Evening service. The Advanced Orchestra played several sacred orchestral selections and accompanied a soloist. At the end of the service, the Intermediate and Beginner orchestras lined up around the sides and front of the auditorium, while the Advanced was still on the platform, and we all played a song that my brother, Joe, arranged - the real, true stereo effect.

This picture is only a tiny, tiny, little section of it all.
(Unfortunately, you will find that many of these pictures are of me - no it is not because I really like to show everybody my pictures {actually, I don't even really like my picture to be taken} but because, if the pictures is of me, nobody is going to come up to me and ask me why I put such a "terrible" picture of them on my blog - - - at least, I don't think they will :-) )

Since we knew Wednesday would be a late night, and everybody could use an extra hour of sleep by the middle of the week, we scheduled Thursday to begin one hour later than every other day of the week.

We flew Dr. Gustafson in on Thursday morning. He got to the church and came into the Theory III class in the midst of our lesson on modes and he got to explain how modes impacted his writing of the Fantasia for a Celebration (which was one of our pieces).
Later he came into my Chamber Group and we got to have him instruct us a bit - that was awesome! He also conducted his piece during the Advanced Orchestra practice. After camp was over for the day, we had all of the staff and faculty over to our house for a time of food, fun, and fellowship (or rest and relaxation, if you prefer). This is always an especially enjoyable time for our family.

Friday was the big day! In the morning recital all of the Pre-Twinkle kids got to show off what they had learned, and than we Advanced Orchestra people got to play our Chamber pieces. In the evening we had our Final Concert. This began with the Beginner Orchestra, followed by the Intermediate Orchestra. After these we recognized our staff and faculty as well as Dr. Gustafson, and then showed a DVD that Joe put together as a tribute to Dr. Gustafson. Then, after our "7 minute intermission", we, the Advanced Orchestra, played our pieces. We began with Handel's Harp Concerto, with Julie being our wonderful soloist, then continued on to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, after which Dr. Gustafson came up and conducted his Fantasia for a Celebration, and we ended with Strauss' Radetzky March (clapping and everything)! At the very end of the concert, all of the orchestras went up to the front and we sang this year's Sforzando String Camp theme song: To God Be The Glory. Believe it or not, Ries himself conducted this!

And that was the end of a wonderful, but very long and tiring week!

Actually, some of my family had to be back at church Saturday morning for a staff and faculty meeting to discuss how things had gone and what could be done to make it even better, should God lead that Sfz String Camp should continue again next year.

Miscellaneous Pictures

The Advanced Orchestra conductor - Dr. Brown.

Mr. Probus has been with Sfz all five of its years of existence and is a favorite with many of the campers. He is an awesome cellist as well as the excellent conductor of the Intermediate Orchestra.

There is a story behind these. In the Intermediate Orchestra the campers are allowed to challenge the chair in front of them. Since we only had one cellist, he was allowed to challenge the conductor and the whole orchestra voted for who did the better job. Although there was a conspiracy, the intermediate cellist won. As his reward, he got to conduct one of the pieces in the Final Concert.

The picture on the right was taken during a Chamber Group practice, and the one on the left, during an orchestra practice (Yes, my bow hand does look a little funny. The photographer must have caught me in the middle of stretching my fingers.).

Theory III with Dr. Brown.

My Chamber Group performing in the Morning Recital.

I like these shots looking down a row of cellists (No, we aren't as closely packed in there as these pictures make us look - we had sufficient space - I don't think I even poked or got poked by a bow once this year!). These were taken during the Final Concert.

A couple more...

I just thought this was kind of a neat picture.


Russ said...

Very cool, Heidi! It's neat to see photos and text...kind of like being there during the week, too! Good pictures and writing...keep it up!

rjb : )

Annette said...

I really have been enjoying reading your Blog. I hear that you and Valerie may have one too while you are in Canada! We (mom and I) would like this a lot! You are really a very good writer!
Annette Hesson