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Jamaica Music Camp concludes on a high note

Published:Saturday | July 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Participants in the recently held Jamaica Music Camp, which was held at the Good Hope Estate in Trelawny.-Contributed

Music filled the air at Good Hope Estate in Trelawny recently, as parents and well-wishers were treated to a memorable concert performed by campers and staff of the Jamaica Music Camp (JMC).

The first and only one of its kind in Jamaica, the week-long residential camp gave young musicians, ages nine to 16, an opportunity to learn music and have fun.

"The kids worked hard - doing four hours of music classes a day, and then had a load of fun with a wide variety of recreational activities," said founder and director of JMC, Leora O'Carroll Downer.

Held at the Treehouse Villa at Good Hope, the camp featured singing, drumming, music theory, music appreciation and performance masterclasses.

Participants also received tutorial sessions with their individual instruments. Recreational activities included swimming, football, karaoke, making piƱatas, nature walks, origami, as well as beach and bonfire activities.

impromptu music

"What I especially loved about JMC was all of the impromptu music being played. Kids were making music and singing so much of the time, which means they felt inspired and that was one of the goals in doing this camp," O'Carroll Downer said.

O'Carroll Downer was able to raise five full scholarships valued at US$895 each, to enable budding musicians to attend the camp. As a result, the event hosted five upcoming musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica and the Musicians Without Borders Trench Town Project.

Terrific concert

A total of 13 children attended the camp and worked together to produce what many persons in attendance described as a "terrific concert". The end-of-camp concert featured several songs directed by prominent Los Angeles-based music educator, Katherine Williamson; drumming circles with the inspiring Calbert Brooks, and many other solo and ensemble performances covering several genres of music, including classical, jazz, pop, folk and African.

"Many of the campers asked about coming back next year, so we're planning it already," she said.