'Music Academy' gives youths music, singing, and crafts tips
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Kylie Barrett, left, and Natalie Morris, sing and dance during third annual Music Academy staged for school children this week at Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton.
The third annual "Music Academy, a week-long, free music camp held this week at Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton, had a lot of variation.
The pre-schoolers made music with all sorts of recycled objects: toilet paper rolls, paper plates, water bottles. The middle school students enjoyed vocal selections, with some of the youngsters not only singing but dancing to the tunes.
Some attendees who played musical instruments formed a band.
The music camp was directed by Brad Cressley, music director at the church.
About 50 people attended, which included youngsters from pre-school age to recent high school graduates. It was open not only to students in the Lehighton Area School District, but also from any Carbon County or nearby district. "This is the most attended to date," said Cressley.
The event is sponsored by the church. It is being funded by church volunteers.
The program for the young children is called "Recycled Rhythm."
Cressley explained that the youths make percussion as well as other instruments from objects found around the house.
He said one of the most popular such items is a harmonica made from tongue depressors and rubber bands. Another was maracas made from water bottles and sticks.
There were instruments made with paper plates and toilet paper rolls.
For the children who enjoy singing, there was a special class which included popular songs for younger and older children.
The "junior band" that was put together worked on songs in a group setting, said Cressley. Music teachers were on hand to help the students with any difficulties they might have, as well as encourage them to play in a group situation.
Cressley said purchased this year was a piece of music for the band called "Great Movie Adventures," which is a medley of songs from "Star Wars," "Jurassic Park," and "E.T." This will be performed Thursday on the closing night of the Academy.
A special part of the music camp was a recorder class, in which youngsters were taught to play this clarinet-type instrument. About nine children enrolled.
Refreshments were offered to the attendees by church volunteers.
The volunteer teachers at the Academy are:
• Recorder - Laura Cressley and Adam Reichard.
• Vocal - Evy Heckman, Nicolai Kabana, and Elyse Kistler.
• Crafts - Martha Cox, Beth Cressley, Dolly Sywenki, Jamie Walck, Barry Fisher, and Julie Fisher.
• Junior Band - Elyssa Schoch.
• Helpers - Sharon Berger and Cleo Balliet.