MAFAA offers four summer camps | Education
The school year is now over and summer has arrived.
Children have many opportunities to have fun in the summer: playing outside, swimming, camping, spending family vacations and much more. But students can add another exciting option to their to-do list this summer: music and theater summer camps.
Four exciting camps led by some of the region’s most talented musicians and teachers will take place at the Mineral Area Fine Arts Academy on the campus of Mineral Area College. Each camp has a weekend showcase on Friday night.
June 6-10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Catch A Wave” with this summer camp full of energy, choreography, lights, costumes and solo opportunities for eighth graders through middle school.
And the best news? There are still openings available for students to attend Show Choir Camp.
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The Little Surfers Show Choir is for students in grades three through seven. They will rehearse after the regular choir camp from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 1-3 p.m. Friday. A combined rehearsal will take place on Friday.
The cost of this camp is $40.
Sherry Francis led the first MAFAA show choir camp last year.
“The performers formed a special bond of friendship and it was an overall amazing experience,” she said. “It was something I will never forget.”
Francis said learning a set of music with harmonies and solos as well as challenging choreography and dance formation in just five days is no easy task.
“But these incredible students brought excellence and star qualities like no other,” she said, referring to last year’s camp. “Most importantly and amazingly, they felt like family almost immediately. The magic of music is beyond words.
Francis said this year’s choir camp was “super cool”.
“Imagine, school is out and what better way to start the summer than with a massive beach party,” she said. “You’re gonna want to ‘hang ten’ and ‘dive’ because ‘Surf’s Up!'”
The show choir camp for eighth graders through college will feature upbeat music from the Beach Boys at the Teen Beach Movie and more.
According to Francis, this week-long camp will be “the biggest beach party the Mineral Zone has ever seen!”
The two show choir groups will each perform on Friday night, then do a combined song.
June 13-17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Students are encouraged to “perform” in drama camp. From improv and reading theater to dance and musicals, there’s something for anyone interested in theatre. Students in grade seven through college age students are welcome to attend this camp. Participants will be grouped by age and experience. Each class will have its own schedule and activities, largely based on the age and attention span of the students.
“We do our best to break up the day by doing various activities, to make it feel less like work, and we try to make it a fun environment,” said Jason Carr, MAFAA’s theater manager.
He said 72 campers attended last year’s drama camp. This year, the goal is to exceed 100 participants.
“There is no experience required to attend this camp,” Carr said, “just a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and have fun.”
Students who participate in drama camp will not only learn to express themselves creatively, inspire confidence, and form new friendships.
“We just start with the absolute basics with the youngest age group and work on more advanced things with the older participants,” Carr said.
He said one of the most important things he will teach students is how to be heard. Projection, diction and articulation will all be covered for each age group. They will also focus on facial expressions, action and interaction, and how not to move from any scene. More advanced students will do improvisation, pantomime and character development.
Carr said with the growth of the academy and the overwhelming support from the community, they expect all summer camps to have larger numbers than last year.
Of all the skills he will teach kids, one thing is the most important they need to learn: new friendships.
“But for me, making friends is one of the most important aspects of fine art,” he said. “The bonds we forge in these adventures turn into lasting friendships. I also want the children to have fun. If they don’t appreciate that stuff, they won’t be able to get the most out of it. Once they’ve developed a love for acting, the other things start to fall into place.
June 27-July 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Seventh-grade college-level students who play trumpet, trombone, saxophone, guitar, bass, vibraphone, drums, or piano and have at least one year of instruction or who master their instrument are encouraged to participate in this camp. Students will be paired based on experience and spend the week gaining valuable training by being part of a big band. They will also learn about jazz history, improvisation, various styles of jazz and more.
“This camp was a huge success last year,” said MAFAA Director Amanda Dement, “and we hope to add many more students to the groups this year.”
Members of the Mineral Area Kicks Band, as well as other talented educators will lead the Big Band Camp.
Dement said she was excited to see what this year would bring with more students being able to attend. She added that students don’t have to have previous jazz experience to be part of this camp. As long as they master their instrument, they will learn the basics to the most advanced.
July 11 to 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This summer camp is specifically for students who have completed their first or second band year and will include small and large band rehearsals, master classes, music theory lessons, team building opportunities, and more. Students will be paired with peers of the same ability and experience to give them the best opportunity to grow and gain confidence with their instrument.
Dement said MAFAA’s summer camps are a great way to provide a sample of what the academy is all about: great experiences, inspiring connections, and education tailored to each student’s needs.
“We have an exciting, talented and passionate group of teachers for each camp who look forward to providing a memorable educational experience and inspiring young people to find new things to love or hone the talents they are already growing into” , she said.
Dement said the camp is an overall amazing experience for students and staff.
“No matter how emotional the students are on the first day of camp, it’s so rewarding to see them step out of their comfort zone and be touched by the arts,” she said. “Each learns so much, makes new relationships, and discovers more about who they are and how they can embrace what makes them unique.”
One of Dement’s favorite things about camps is “being a part of a student’s life to see them grow into what they love.”
Several local businesses sponsored lunch for one of the 15-day MAFAA camps last year, including El Tapatio, Bow Tie Catering, BOGO Sandwiches, SugarFire Smoke House Farmington, Coljacs, Pizza 101 South, East Missouri Action Agency, Park Hills Save A Lot, Jimmy John’s, Desloge Little Caesars, Pasta House and Subway.
Currently, EMAA provides lunch for three of the four camps. For companies wishing to sponsor a lunch for the remaining camp, contact Dement immediately at [email protected]
Registration for MAFAA Summer Camps must be completed at least three days prior to the first day of that camp. The cost is $95 per camp and includes a weekend show.
On the first day of each camp, parents should escort their students inside so they can finalize registration details.
More information can be found on the academy’s website at mafinearts.org. Call 573-518-2265 for more information.
Pam Clifton is an editor for the Daily Journal