Sunday, August 7, 2016

5 Days of Musical Joy

For five days, from August 1st through the 5th, collaboration, passion, connection, energy, enthusiasm and joy permeated our little corner of the Sourland Mountains at Rambling Pines Day Camp.

 Week six of our 41st season commenced with a visit and performance from Bassoonist Michael Martin. Martin is a former camper and counselor, now a junior music major at Rutgers University.  He entertained our young campers with a beautiful piece on the  Bassoon, while accompanied by our talented music teacher Maura Tuffy on the piano.

On Tuesday afternoon youngsters from Miss Tuffy's music classes gathered to listen and learn about the beautiful sounds produced by the Bassoon. Immediately evident was the high interest level of the campers, as they listened attentively and asked intelligent questions, as each opportunity arose. Clearly Tuffy's passion for music has been absorbed by these campers, as a result of her tutlelage thus far this season. 

Martin started by providing a short tutorial on the history of the bassoon and its inner workings for his young audience. Then he and Tuffy performed an eloquent piece of music for the campers. Their synchronization throughout the performance was impressive, as each would wait for the other at various points of the piece, before continuing to play. Both patience and chemistry characterized the performance of these two young artists. Throughout the tutorial and performance Martin's passion for music was obvious, but most impressive was the patient and enthusiastic manner that he displayed while he interacted with the campers. It's not hard to imagine him one day guiding talented youngsters in a music classroom of his own.

On Wednesday we switched gears and it was time for our young vocalists to prepare for center stage. Rehearsals were well underway for the Karaoke performances that awaited us on Thursday and Friday.  Again our music teacher Maura Tuffy was in the center of it all, this time partnering with our inspiring Dance teacher Lindsey Sanford. Both were hard at work choreographing moves and advising the vocalists.  When showtime finally arrived Tuffy served as emcee and Sanford guided each group and their series of moves from the crowd. 

Some of the songs included "Buttercup", "Can't Stop this Feeling", "Here Comes the Sun" and many other choices that excited the performers and the audience. The energy from the performers and the obvious pride displayed by Tuffy and Sanford elevated the joy of the audiences to new heights. Especially thrilling was the rhythmic connections that were present with each group's performance.

As a parent I was overcome with pride as I watched both of my sons take an active role in this year's show. Peter stood proudly on the sidelines directing his group, while Scott performed and helped his group fulfill a unique rendition of the song " Sweatshirt". 

Music was in great supply all week long. Counselors, campers, our music  and dance specialists spent hours of preparation for what they hoped would cap off a special Karaoke program. The result was two days of memorable performances where music lifted the hearts of both the performers and the audience. When all was said and done our camp enjoyed an unprecedented five days of musical joy in August.