First Summer Music Camp and Concert

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The brass ensemble performs at the Suffield Schools’ first-ever summer music camp.

Photo by Rob Faber

The brass ensemble performs at the Suffield Schools’ first-ever summer music camp.

In the Suffield Public Schools we believe that the visual and performing arts are important in creating a school environment where children can flourish. Academics are important, but they aren’t everything. The first Suffield Summer Music Camp was held this summer with students entering grades five through nine. Sixty students benefited from the camp, and their concert on August 3 was remarkable!

With the talent and dedication of our staff and administration support we are enhancing the arts in the Suffield Public Schools. The summer music camp was financially supported by tuition. It’s not about spending more dollars; it’s about encouraging teachers to be creative, innovative, and resourceful in providing opportunities for children.

This awesome idea came from our talented music teachers Mr. Corey Killian and Ms. Amy Wilson. Corey is entering his third year as band teacher at Suffield Middle School and Amy is entering her second year of teaching instrumental music at Suffield Middle School and McAlister Intermediate School. They developed, organized, and ran the camp from start to finish. Five high school students volunteered their time to help make the camp a success. Thank you to Jack Flanagan, Jenna McCue, Shannon Frechette, Alexandria Yunis, and Nicolaos Peroulakis.

Corey and Amy recruited an extraordinary musical staff: Chris Latournes, local percussion specialist from Windsor Locks, David McCabe, brass specialist, Mike Raposo, woodwind specialist. Joy Tierney, ELA teacher and Suffield resident from SMS, directed the recreation portion of the program. Students received approximately three hours of musical instruction each day in large ensemble, small ensemble, and group lessons based on instrument. Of the 60 students, 14 were brand new to their instrument! The camp offered a beginning band, advanced band, clarinet ensemble, saxophone ensemble, flute/oboe ensemble, and brass ensemble.

Bravo, to the instructors and students alike. I look forward to our student performances throughout the year and invite the entire Suffield community, young and old. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”

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