Music Camp – Director Feedback

Music Camp Feedback

Another year, another camp. Or should I say; another bi-annual, another camp?  Awkward, yes, but an appropriate foreshadowing of ventures tabled to exotic climes, and the delights that await the MEP class of 2013, perhaps… but I digress. Or perhaps not! For so successful was this year’s camp that there was some exuberant talk of trying to do it all again next year AND an overseas tour!! But curbing my enthusiasm for now, I return to the job at hand; a true and accurate assessment of camp 2012; That left us all a little wiser, a good deal tireder and in the case of the timpani a great deal more battered and bruised.??

As the first major test of my stewardship, I will confess to suffering some mild, but not disabling, concerns on the route south. At least, I consoled myself, the food will be good, the lodgings favourable and the views spectacular, as indeed they all were. What I had not expected was the extremely pleasant, dare I say collegiate, atmosphere that infused the place. What charming students attend our college, what fine examples of consideration, scholarship and verve tread purposefully along our halls and corridors!??

Over here; the rock band coming to grips with multi-track recording on the new desk: Over there; a workshop with the legendary John Morrison taking us deep into the lore of the Yoruba and the ancient rights of the bembe: Betwixt and between; the Choir, the Vocal Group, the Concert Bands, a symphony of singers, pipers and fiddles, and all the while the Percussion Ensemble negotiating the twists and turns of a fiendish Rondo in groupings of arcane and abstract quavers.

Of highlights? Well there were many, but for me, it was the apples. Or should I say, a small vignette about the apples; or more specifically a brief exchange I had about the apples, with a student, whose name I don’t know and whose age was indeterminate.
As I walked towards the conclusion of another morning tea with a loose affiliation of students, he remarked, unsolicited, upon the pleasantness of the apples. Yes, I agreed, very pleasant, and rare to find these days we agreed, and so on, as we chatted amiably across the lawn. And it was only afterwards, on consideration of what a remarkably unremarkable moment this would be with a colleague or adult, that I figured it to be that rare thing in a child (or young-adult I should say, to show my age less); strength of character. Or conviction, or pluck, or whatever it is that is just this side of moral-fibre and it’s dubious connotations, that describes the quality that impresses me so much in so many of the Rose Bay students; self assurance.? ?

I didn’t get to see the Cope St Parade, but I believe they made an impression, nor did I get to see the Talent quest, which I’m sure was dazzling. But I had a good time, and so did the tutors (which hardly ever happens at these things) and most of the student too, I believe, which is the most important thing. So overall, a success, to my relief, and in the settling of debts and the reckoning of ledgers, I would like to say a big thank you to all the students, to Donna, John, Hailey, Helen, Ben, Dan, Lidia,  Eamon, Justin, Martin, Sean, Danny, Ali, Stephan, Romano and all the parents who helped out as well as the staff at the Tops for making this camp a good one. Also, we all owe a massive thank you to the School and Mr Linton for the ongoing financial and moral support- we could not do any of it without them.

Murray Jackson – Program Director

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