By Curt Yeomans
Local children soon will get an opportunity to sing composer Greg Gilpin's take on the tale of "This Ol' Man," who "played knick-knack," and later, "came rolling home," during a five-day summer camp hosted by officials at Clayton State University's Spivey Hall.
The first-ever Spivey Hall Summer Music Camp will be held Monday through Friday, June 8-12, at the concert hall, located on CSU's campus in Morrow.
Craig Hurley, director of the Spivey Hall Young Artists group, said he was inspired by a similar summer program utilized by the Indianapolis Children's Choir, a group he worked with last summer. The Young Artists group, which is part of the Spivey Hall Children's Choir, is composed of children in grades six through eight, and the summer camp will help other children get ready to join that group. Only those in grades four through six can participate in the camp.
Although the campers are not required to join the concert hall's choir, organizers of the summer program said they welcome new youths into the group. "We're targeting beginning young artists, and younger, to build them up and get them ready to eventually join the Young Artists group," Hurley said.
There are 10 spots left for local children who want to participate in the summer camp, said Spivey Hall Education Manager Amber Joy Dimkoff. The camp will have space for a maximum of 30 students, she said. The cost is $150, and Monday will be the last day to sign up for it, Hurley said.
Registration information and forms can be found on the camp's web site: www.spiveyhall.org/education/summercamp/.
Dimkoff said children will learn the best methods for singing, how to perform as part of an ensemble, how to play Orff (small percussion) instruments and tone chimes, and how to perform folk dances, such as the Square Dance.
On the last day of the camp, June 12, campers are scheduled to participate in a joint concert with the Charlotte (N.C.) Children's Choir, which is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m., Dimkoff said.
She said the campers and the Charlotte Children's Choir will perform for each other and audience members. Campers will also perform songs on the Orff instruments, and tone chimes, as well as perform a folk dance. The concert will end with a joint performance of two songs featuring the choir's members and the campers, Dimkoff said.
"They will take turns singing, and then they'll sing together," she said. The campers, she said, are scheduled to sing three selections, including Gilpin's take on "This Ol' Man."
A child who wishes to participate in the camp needs to include a letter written from an adult, such as a music teacher, along with the camp application, Dimkoff said. The adult should be someone who can attest that the child is well-behaved, and can attest to the level of the youth's musical talent, Dimkoff and Hurley said.
"To be able to enjoy singing and match pitch is all we're looking for, basically," Hurley said.
According to the camp's web site, parents are urged to make sure their children bring a sweater, or sweatshirt to camp each day, since temperatures in Spivey Hall are kept "quite cool." Children will also not be allowed to wear tank-tops, pajamas, flip-flops or clothes which display offensive language or pictures, according to the web site.
For more information, call (678) 466-4481.