Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Jamaica Music Camp ready for fourth year

Published:Sunday | April 2, 2017 | 4:00 AMShereita Grizzle

Registrations are now open for the annual Jamaica Music Camp (JMC). Set to take place from July 5-15 at the Tryall Club - Private Villa in Montego Bay, the summer camp will, this year, celebrate its fourth anniversary.

Leora O'Carroll Downer, founder and director of the Jamaica Music Camp, told The Sunday Gleaner that this year organisers of the camp will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that participants leave with the best experience to date.

Like in past years, Downer said, the music will stand out as lessons will be taught by a set of experienced and knowledgeable music professionals. She, however, pointed out that the programme for 2017 will be different as campers will get more one-on-one time with instructors.

"The Jamaica Music Camp offers a unique opportunity for kids to have a really fun sleep-away camp experience while receiving first-class musical instruction," she said. "Campers are immersed in music and they leave camp with a tremendous sense of accomplishment, a deepened knowledge of music and wonderful memories."

Although the JMC has seen a growth in the number of participants since its inception, Downer expressed a need to keep the camp at a number that will allow instructors to give each child as much individual attention as possible.

"Each year, the number of attendees has increased and we also have a number of return campers. However, it has always been my intention to keep the camp small so that every camper receives plenty of individual attention in their music instruction and to also maintain the wonderful family-like spirit that we've experienced each year."

 

CAMP SCHOLARSHIPS

 

The camp is comprised of paying campers as well as scholarship recipients, who are selected from The National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica and Musicians Without Borders Trench Town Project. Last year, 11 participants were scholarship recipients, and Downer is hoping to match or even exceed that number this year.

"Since it was launched in 2014, the Jamaica Music Camp has awarded 27 full scholarships to young Jamaican musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, Musicians Without Borders and winners of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. Competitions," she said. "Last year, the camp awarded 11 full scholarships, the highest number for one camp, and we hope to reach that goal again this year. Jamaica has an extraordinary amount of musical talent and it's vital that these young musicians have the opportunity to develop their talents. This is why it's important to the Jamaica Music Camp to be able to continue to provide scholarships, through the generosity of scholarship donors."

Aside from music lessons, activities at this year's 10-day camp will include dancing, beach visits, movie nights, pizza-making as well as a trip to Dolphin Cove.

Downer encouraged parents to register their children for the camp, pointing out that even if the child has no prior music experience, the camp will cater to their specific needs.

Details and online registration can be found at www.jamaicamusiccamp.com.