Blanka Bednarz traveled a long way to participate in this year's Midwestern Music Camp at Kansas University.
Bednarz, a 16-year-old student from Poznan, Poland, joined about 370 students at the camp this week. She's in Lawrence to attend the high school music session, but because of the distance, she's staying for the long haul six weeks.
The violinist and singer said she's having a good time at KU.
"I'm here at the kind invitation of Mr. Bushouse," Bednarz said, referring to the camp director, David Bushouse.
She's been playing the violin for about 10 years and attended an international music camp last summer in North Dakota.
At KU, she's received her first private singing lessons. At this time, Bednarz isn't sure which talent she'll pursue as a profession.
"It will turn out in the next few years," she said.
SHE'S AMONG more than 1,000 students who will fine-tune their musical skills this summer at the 55th Midwestern Music Camp.
Director Bushouse, also a professor of french horn, said enrollment is up slightly from a year ago. There are two one-week junior high sessions and two two-week senior high sessions.
Some students have opted to stay for four weeks. A few, like Bednarz, will stay the entire six weeks.
Michelle Forbes, a Sand Springs, Okla., sophomore, is returning home today. Camp attendance runs in Forbes' family: Her father went six times, and his twin brother and two sisters also studied at the camp.
Forbes, who plays the alto saxophone, made first chair in the symphonic band, which was scheduled to perform this morning. She also gave support to the jazz band. The finale to the jazz band's week was a concert Friday night.
SHE SAID the quality of the instructors professors from KU as well as professional guests have been the best part of camp, aside from making first chair.
"They're good," Forbes said. "We like them. They know what they're doing."
With three rehearsals a day, the students' days are long, said Forbes' best friend, Jammie Adams, who also is a sophomore from Sand Springs, Okla.
"It's a full day," she said. "When we go to bed, we sleep."
Other Midwestern camps scheduled this summer are two debate sessions, open to senior high school students; one journalism camp, also open to senior high school students; and one computer camp, open to students from eighth to 12th grade.