In Focus: 70th Annual Bemidji MusiCamp Hits All The Right Notes
For 70 years, students from all over the state have traveled to Bemidji State University for the Bemidji MusiCamp. The summer experience has always been a highlight for the young musicians.
“The camp continues to grow. The programming continues to grow as well. In 2014 we had only band, and we’ve added since then choir, piano and a director workshop, so we’re really excited,” says Matthew Marsolek, Bemidji MusiCamp camp director.
What used to be only 100 kids in 2014 has grown to more than 400 today. The classes are taught by some of the best in the business.
Marsolek says, “One of the best things about the camp not only are the campers but the faculty and staff. We have MCs, which are camp counselors, and they are college students and recent graduates from around the state and around the country who are looking to go into music as a career.”
“The campus itself is gorgeous. Bemidji’s a great town, but really, what’s made it the best is the students. They work really hard. They do what you ask them to do. They’ve come to rehearsal prepared,” adds Dean Sorenson, the director of jazz studies at the University of Minnesota who’s also helping out with the camp this year.
For the young virtuosos, it’s a chance to do what they love.
Theo, who plays French horn in the wind ensemble and also plays trombone in the Jazz band, says, “It’s nice to have an opportunity to play during the summer because most of my summer, I’m just kind of practicing when I remember to, but I don’t have any other ensembles.”
It’s also a chance to play with other kids just like them.
“I loved band camp the first year because I met so many friendly people, and they’re just so relatable and it’s fun to laugh and all the other people here are interested in the things that you are, too, and it’s great,” says Ellie, who also plays French horn in the wind ensemble and is also a part of the conducting class.
Bemidji MusiCamp will come to an end tomorrow with free concerts at 10 and 11:15. You can take a look at their whole schedule here. For the kids, the concerts are a chance to show off their skills.
“It really helps me improve and, like, last year, I saw that I improved a lot and I came back this year and I’m like, ‘wow, I’m better than I was before,’ and it’s great to have that development as well,“ says Ellie.