By CALEB CALHOUN
11:55 PM EDT, July 20, 2012
Hagerstown resident Connor Buckley said he wanted to learn more about the technique of playing the piano, which is why he attended Piano Academy camp at the Barbara Ingram Summer Arts Academy.
“I wanted to learn a little more than just playing notes written on a page,” he said. “There were certain things I wanted to improve on.”
Connor, 13, will be going into the eighth grade at E. Russell Hicks Middle School this fall. He took part in the camp’s piano recital Thursday, playing a solo piece and a duet.
“This camp has added a lot,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot about dynamics.”
This is the first year piano has been included in the Barbara Ingram Summer Arts Academy, which is in its second year.
The program, held at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, has nine different four-day camps dealing with different areas of performance arts. All area students can attend.
Melissa Mackley, the piano teacher at the school, also was the piano instructor at the academy, and worked with seven different students ranging from fifth to ninth grades this week on their piano skills. The camp was held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.
“It’s been wonderful to see these students blossom and learn more about what they’re playing,” Mackley said. “They’ve come to me with a wide range of musical background.”
The recital was Thursday morning in the dance room, and the students sometimes played solo pieces and other times played in duets, reflecting what they have learned over the week.
“This camp has helped me a lot, and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Olivia Schmidt, a 13-year-old who is going into the eighth grade at Boonsboro Middle School. “I’ve learned a lot about dynamics and crescendos, and they taught us a lot of scales.”
Also happening this week was the Vocal Academy camp, lasting from 9 a.m. to noon for seventh- through ninth-graders, and from 1 to 4 p.m. for 10th- through 12th-graders.
Although there was no recital, the students in the vocal camp said they were preparing for their auditions for Maryland all-state choir.
Boonsboro resident Alyssa Selin, 15, is going into the 10th grade at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, and is required to audition for the all-state choir. She said she attended the camp to avoid forgetting everything she had learned.
“I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable in performing in front of other people,” she said. “I understand different techniques more, and I’ve gotten to practice with other students and teachers.”
Caitlin Lee-Hendricks, 13, of Germantown, Md., attended the camp because she said she eventually wants to audition for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.
“I’ve learned a lot of techniques on how to project and how to read music more,” she said. “I’m definitely way more confident having to be forced to sing in front of everyone.”
The next camp will begin Monday and go through Thursday. It will be music theater for students in grades seven to 12, and it costs $300.
The next week, the visual arts camp will be held from Monday, July 30, through Thursday, Aug. 2, and it costs $150.
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