UCA Community School of Music’s fifth Annual Summer Strings Camp ended Saturday at UCA. The camp is a comprehensive week-long program for violin, viola, cello and double bass players at the early, intermediate and more advanced levels of instruction.
According to Jann Bryant, director of the UCA CSM, any student who had completed a year or more of public school orchestra was eligible to attend.
"We had more than 100 students from all over the state participating this year, and I believe it was the best year yet for making beautiful music," Bryant said.
Classes and workshops, as well as orchestra rehearsals and performances for string students in grades 6-12 and fun activities in the evenings, made this an excellent opportunity for developing string students.
Activities during the day included rehearsals, an Irish music masterclass, a Rock Music Videoconference, music theory games and a talent show. Night activities included swim night, movie/game night, ultimate frisbee and a camp dance.
Mike and Susan Burkepile were the director and assistant director, respectively, of the camp.
They directed the UCA Suzuki violin program for several years until moving to Fort Smith, where Mr. Burkepile teaches in the Fort Smith Public School Orchestras program and is an active performer. Burkepile continues to teach private violin.
Jesse Collett, guest conductor, is currently a conductor for the Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and has been the head director of the Bentonville Orchestra program since 2009. He is an active member of the Tulsa Symphony and the Fort Smith Symphony and is principal violist of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas.
Other staff members were activities and dorm life director, Roshell Cobb, and cello teacher, Casey Buck, both orchestra directors in the Conway Public Schools; Sam Trawick, violin teacher; Anna Bass, viola teacher; and Barron Weir, bass teacher.
Also assisting were UCA faculty professors Stephen Feldman, Linda Hsu and Kater Reynolds. Logan Smith, Catherine Stain and Ashley Wofford were dorm counselors, and selected students, making up two string quartets served as additional student counselors.
Shelly Vangsnes was the commuter counselor, Teresa Bumgarner was the CSM camp coordinator, and Jann Bryant was the CSM camp administrator.
Music activities began in UCA’s Fine Arts Center at 8:15 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. each day.
The final concerts were July 27 in Ida Waldron Auditorium in Old Main. Two quartets and two orchestras performed.
Bryant served as camp administrator.