2013 – August 2 – “Thriving Musicians” – Delta Optimist

2013 – August 2 – “Thriving Musicians” – Delta Optimist
Thriving Musicians
Students given the chance to shine at annual boot camp

THE DELTA OPTIMIST  AUGUST 2, 2013

The Thrive City String Boot Camp, a program of the Delta Community Music School in Ladner, returns this summer for its third music camp and festival.

Next Monday around 25 violinists, violists and cellists of all ages and abilities will converge in Ladner for two weeks of intensive instruction, improvisation and concerts.

For most of the students in attendance, String Boot Camp is a chance to quickly improve on their instruments but for some, it’s a life changing experience.

“Canada is awesome! I love it!” exclaimed violinist A.J., who is an outreach student from an innercity community in the United States.

Attending last year’s boot camp was his first time flying and his first time in Canada. In addition to being pushed to the limit musically, he also fell in love with the multiculturalism of the Lower Mainland, leaving Canada with a solid month’s supply of seaweed snacks and Pocky.

Alongside A.J., 11 low-income students from the Saint James Music Academy, an outreach music program in the east side of Vancouver, attended the 2012 Boot Camp.

Their attendance was made possible by donations from the Saint James Music Academy and many individuals, including a number of generous Ladner citizens.

“After their time at String Boot Camp, I watched each student grow tremendously on their instruments throughout the next school year at Saint James Music Academy. It’s inspiring to watch them emerge as leaders among their peers,” notes boot camp director John Littlejohn, who is also the string coordinator at the Saint James Music Academy.

Each year, the camp’s faculty, advisors and supporters raise money to provide scholarships for low-income string players who are unable to afford the $750 camp fee.

Between four to six students from the Saint James Music Academy will be at this year’s boot camp, notes Littlejohn.

A few promising string players from Delta will be in attendance as well, including 20-year-old violinist Jeffrey Yamasaki. “I learned how to practice in detail and my rhythm was addressed and improved,” says Yamasaki, who will be attending university in the fall as a violin performance major.

Solarin Harding, a 34-year-old violinist from Sierra Leone, will be attending her third boot camp.

When asked about her camp experience, she replies, “It was difficult at first, but I got used to it.”

The boot camp participants will be presenting four community concerts.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 12 p.m., the boot camp’s award-winning faculty, with special guest violinist Herbert Greenberg, will perform a chamber music concert at All Saints Church (4755 Arthur Dr., Ladner), featuring Felix Mendelssohn’s famous string octet. The second concert, also at All Saints, takes place on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. and will feature the boot camp faculty in a solo concert, which includes music by Mozart, Bartok, Ysaÿe, Paganini and more.

Infinitus, the string trio in residence, will present the third concert at All Saints on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 12 p.m., which will feature the beat-boxing trio’s signature mash-up of classical, jazz and hip-hop.

The final concert features the headliners of the festival, the students. On Friday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Ladner Community Centre (4734-51st St.), the boot camp students will present a string extravaganza featuring string orchestra works by Corelli, Shostakovich, Vivaldi and more.

Admission is free to all concerts, although donations are encouraged.

For more information on the Thrive City String Boot Camp visit www.thrivecitymusic.com or the Delta Community Music School’s website at www.dcms.ca.

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