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Archive for Monday, June 9, 1997

STUDENTS EXCITED ABOUT MUSIC CAMP

June 9, 1997

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More than 1,100 students are participating in KU's Midwestern Music Camp through July 5.

For some, it's an opportunity to learn new music and become better players. For others, it's a chance to meet new people and be away from home for the first time.

"The best part will be getting to stay in the dorms," said Amanda Peterson, 13, one of more than 1,100 junior and senior high school students participating in a music camp this week at Kansas University.

"We go to classes all day, and we have activities at night. And then you play on Saturday," said Amanda, who plays viola and French horn.

The 1997 Midwestern Music Camp is having different sessions through July 5 at KU.

Students from as far away as Alaska, California and Florida are attending the conference, in which they participate in intensive musical training in band, choir, orchestra, jazz, chamber ensemble playing, music appreciation and theory and conducting.

Participants are staying in KU residence halls while in camp.

"I'm really excited about it because I love to sing," said Leslie Cole, 12, Tahlequah, Okla. She's been singing in a school choir about three years.

Some parents said the best part of the music camp was the atmosphere.

"I think it's a concentrated effort to better the students in the whole area of music and to allow different students to be exposed to different musical styles," said Judy Billings of Topeka, whose daughter, Alexis Billings, 12, plays viola.

Philip Champion, 14, Lawrence, said he hoped to improve his playing at the camp.

"I was hoping to get better over the summer and learn how to play the saxophone," he said. "I heard (the camp) was pretty good."

On Sunday, the sounds of various instruments being tuned echoed in and out of Murphy Hall, where registration for the camp was being held.

Many students audition on registration day to determine where they will be placed in camp.

A steady stream of students, parents and camp staff members went in and out of the building.

David Bushouse, professor of horn and camp director, said registration day was usually fairly hectic.

"Sometime the parents get a little frustrated because of the long (audition) lines," he said. "But we get everyone through eventually.

"It's exciting to see if everybody is here," he said.

Bushouse also said a high point of the camp was instructors and conductors who were widely recognized as experts.

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