HAYS, Kan. -- The 65th
annual High Plains Music Camp kicked off its first day of classes and
activities with a new name and a third emphasis for its young musicians.
The camp was originally known as the
High Plains Band Camp. After the addition of two concentrations, the name was
changed to High Plains Music camp to cover the spectrum of musical
"The camp used to be just
band," said camp counselor and FHSU graduate Krista Connelly. "Then
they added orchestra a few years back. Now, there's choir."
The camp has also seen an increase
"We have over 300 students this
year, almost 350," said Connelly. "The camp has been steadily growing
for the past few years."
Students from all over the state are
attending. Some are returning campers, while others are experiencing the camp
for the first time.
Elizabeth Tobald, a college freshman
from Glasco, has attended for four years. The opportunity to work with
different people each year keeps Tobald coming back.
"I enjoy new experiences and
new music," said Tobald. "I love meeting new people and working with
In her four years, Tobald, who plays
oboe and viola, says working with the string quartet during her first year
was an experience that sticks out in her
"I really liked the people I
worked with, and we got to work with a famous violinist," she said.
First-year attendee Dakota Smith, a
bassoonist and junior from Chapman, said he decided to attend because he
"was told about how amazing it was." He is particularly enjoying his
class focused on bass skills.
"We're playing 'Come Together'
by Paul McCartney. It's fun," he said.
Fellow first-year camper Joseph
Balderrama, a junior from Junction City, came because he was awarded a
scholarship. Balderrama plays baritone saxophone. He said he is enjoying
interacting with the saxophone instructor.
Brenna Johnson, a percussionist and
junior from Baldwin City, is in her third year. She is particularly enjoying
the Drum-line Fundamentals class. The class "teaches me so much and gives
me ideas for our own drumline," said Johnson. She said she is most looking
forward to the faculty concerts because they serve as examples of how good a
musician's skills can be. Johnson says the information she has obtained at the
High Plains Music Camp is invaluable.
"I have learned more at camp in
three weeks than in three years in band. It's an incredible experience,"
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