SPECIALIZING IN FUTURES
July 23, 2010 vol xvi, number 7
UVI Summer Music Camp Grows Every Year
It is Wednesday morning and
UVI's St. Thomas campus
Music Building is bustling with
activity. Everyone in the build-
ing is dressed in green tops
- students in green t-shirts and
counselor and directors in green
polo shirts. Downstairs, the par-
ticipants in the UVI Summer
Music Camp are doing their fi- S
nal rehearsal before they leave
the campus and head to Eman- Niels Gooding directsperfor
cipation Garden, where they will as they rehearse before one
perform one of their free weekly certs at Emancipation Gar
concerts. Upstairs, UVI Profes-
sor and Camp Director Austin
A. Venzen ensures that the camp
counselors make final prepara-
tions before they leave.
"It's a very intense program,"
Venzen said of the annual camp,
which has seen its enrollment
mushroom from just nine stu-
dents when it began five years
ago, to 50 students now. "We enrich the kids to make
them better. It's a very good program for young musi-
cians," he said.
The camp serves students ages 12 to 17. This year's
participants are from St. Thomas, St. Croix, Virgin Gor-
da and Antigua. The first requirement is that applicants
know how to play an instrument. Often music teachers
recommend students who they think will benefit from the
program. Students have a choice
of joining one of the camp's three
tracts opera, jazz ensemble or
concert band. A typical day in-
volves music theory, rehearsals
and lessons. Additionally, each
student is given a 30-minute,
one-on-one lesson per week
p el with one of the seasoned coun-
selors who serve as instructors.
"I hire nothing but the best,"
ers of the UVI Music Camp Venzen said. Many of the senior
their fee weekly music con- counselors are UVI graduates
n. Below students perform. who came up under Venzen's
leadership and are already mak-
ing their mark in the community.
The junior counselors must be
college music majors, like Omari
Williams. The Jazz Studies ma-
Sjor at the University of Denver
has been a counselor with the
camp since its inception.
Venzen said the camp is
the only summer music camp
that provides continuous performances. In addition to
performing weekly at the Emancipation Garden, the stu-
dents also perform each Sunday at various churches on
St. Thomas. They also perform at community events on
request. Venzen said he has already seen the impact the
camp has had on participants. Many of them return to
their schools and sit in first chair of their schools' bands.
Discipline is as much part of the camp as the mu-
sic. "Excuse me Mr.," Venzen said, addressing a student
by his last name, as he does with all students. "You want
to put your shirt in your pants," he asked rhetorically.
The young man obliges. Venzen explained that once they
leave the building, each student must be neatly dressed
and have their UVI-issued ID visible. With his apparent
open-door policy, students and counselors pop in and out
of his office. "I knew you could do it," Venzen congratu-
lated a student who turned in a one-page report. Scholar-
ship recipients are required to turn in a one-page essay
See Music Camp on next page
The monthly n e of Te U rsi of te V i I
VI Writina Proiect HelDs Teachers Find Themselves Throuah Writina
T he 14 teachers in the Vir-
gin Islands Writing Proj-
ect (VIWP) St. Thomas campus
Summer Institute are as varied
as they come. They teach various
grade levels and different sub-
jects, have various backgrounds
and are at different points of their
career. But they all had one thing
in common the desire to learn
how to improve their students' Participants of the Virgin
writing abilities. Thomas campus Summer I
The VIWP is part of the Na- on the last day of class.
tional Writing Project, a nation-
wide network of educators working together to improve
the teaching of writing in the nation's schools. This year,
for the first time, the VIWP held two Summer Institutes,
one on UVI's St. Thomas campus and one on the St.
"We learned so much information. It would be im-
possible if we go back to the classroom and not use some-
thing we learned," said Dalton CartyJr., a participant and
English teacher at the Bertha Boschulte Middle School.
Music Camp Continued
and a thank you letter, he said.
Venzen hopes to get additional sponsors so that the
program can continue to grow. He is thankful for support
from sponsors Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, the Law
Enforcement Planning Commission, the Prior family and
American Legion Post No. 90. With more sponsorship all
participants may be housed in the residence halls, not just
those from off-island.
The UVI Summer Music Camp will hold its final
Islands Writing Project St.
nstitutepose for a group photo
For computer teacher Nina
Farrell, the venture was more
personal. She attended the in-
stitute for "personal professional
development." Farrell said that
she has been on a quest to find
herself, "doing things for the
betterment of me, that will help
me do my job and help me be a
better person." Farrell said that
in addition to helping her tap
into her creative spirit, the insti-
tute has taught her simple ways
to incorporate writing in the
Carty said one simple way he learned to get students
writing is offering writing prompts an open ended sug-
gestion or question and giving them five minutes to
write their thought or feelings.
Expressing his feelings is something that CAHS sub-
stitute English teacher Cadwell Turnbull learned to do at
the institute. Being around other teachers, he said, gave
him the courage to write his own feelings and thoughts.
Emancipation Garden performance from 11 a.m. to
12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28. The camp will mark
its conclusion with a performance of the children's opera
"Hansel and Gretel" at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, at
UVI's Reichhold Center for the Arts.
I Ate4: UVI is a production of the UVI Public Rela-
tions Office. Contact us by telephone at 340-693-1056 or by
fax at 340-693-1055.
2 John Brewer's Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802
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