Herricks students shine in Summer Music Program

Herricks students shine in Summer Music Program
Students musicians make music and friends while honing their craft and expanding their appreciation for diverse musical styles at Herricks Summer Music Program, a unique four-week immersive experience that is held at Herricks Middle School. (Photo courtesy of Herricks School District)

Herricks Summer Music Program completed another successful summer with 100 student musicians entering grades four through nine joining together for four weeks of fun, friendship building and phenomenal music-making. The program, which is held at Herricks Middle School, is overseen by the district’s music teachers with support from the high school’s Tri-M Honor Society who serve as counselors and mentors to the campers.

During the program, participants were introduced to a variety of musical styles with the option to join band or orchestra ensembles, perform with a chorus and engage in unique electives, including ukulele classes. They also were able to focus on their instruments of choice in small group lessons with the volunteer counselors.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for musicians to stay engaged over the summer,” said music teacher Jesse Torres. “It gives students a different perspective and encourages them to hone their skills and express their creativity in a fun, low pressure environment.”

Herricks graduate Alannah Egan who joined in 2016 as a student and is now a head counselor said, “The camp definitely provides a unique experience giving students the chance to explore music in a nontraditional setting.” She is proud that the program inspires student musicians to create their own music by ear, improvise solos and experience a variety of instruments.

With the support of the Herricks Music Boosters, the campers were treated to a variety of special guests who entertained and engaged while opening young minds and ears to their unique musical styles. “The North Folk” introduced the students to Bluegrass with their fun and uplifting performance. Brooklyn-based Rock and Roll band “Friendly Company” performed original songs and highlighted their catchy melodies, inspiring the students to clap along. Finally, Darius from “Sounds of Earth” gave students an up-close look at a variety of unique instruments, including bagpipes which were a camper favorite.

The summer concluded with two concert performances. The first was small ensemble groups and the second was the full band, orchestra and chorus along with featured performances from the ukulele groups.

“I continue to be proud of our young musicians and am thrilled we were able to provide another successful Summer Music Program for our students,” Director of Fine and Performing Arts Anissa Arnold said. “Students were able to enrich what they have learned during the school year, but most importantly, they are making music together while having fun with fellow musicians from the Herricks music community.”

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