12th annual Prelude Chamber Music Camp slated for June

12th annual Prelude Chamber Music Camp slated for June

Musicians of all ages benefit from chamber music experience

By Nancy Lee Bethea
Resident Community News
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Rosin, valve oil and wooden reeds may not pop into most kids’ minds when they think of summer camp. For Jacksonville-area music students attending the 12th annual Prelude Chamber Music Camp, however, summertime and music go together like melody and
harmony.

The camp is scheduled for June 10-15 at Riverside Park United Methodist Church and June 17-22 at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church. Directed by Jacksonville Symphony violinist and Ortega resident Jeanne Majors, the Prelude Chamber Music Camp offers musicians of all ages three tracks of instruction: primary, prelude and intensive.
Primary track is for young, first-time campers. “We don’t even require a [minimum] age,” Majors said. Prelude track is for campers at least 8 years of age who can read music well at placement auditions. Intensive track is an invitation-only group for advanced musicians who desire to learn advanced chamber music.
Majors started Prelude Music Chamber Camp after growing up attending and then teaching music at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina for years. “I know what fun it was for everyone to be playing together, not just in big orchestras, but they also had that chamber music element in it,” Majors said.
Simply put, chamber music is suitable to be played in rooms or chambers because it is performed by small ensembles, not large orchestras. “The key element of chamber music is you don’t need a conductor,” Majors said.MusicCamp_01

Needing a less hectic playing and teaching schedule, Majors asked two colleagues from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Vernon Humbert and Chris Chappell, to help her start the local camp. Both Humbert and Chappell agreed, and the first camp took place at Hendricks Avenue Baptist, Humbert’s home church, in 2002.
Each year, Majors taps fellow symphony players and area music teachers to staff the camp. “They love doing it. They really believe in it,” she said. Both weeks of camp culminate in free finale concerts where teachers and students play together in ensembles.

MusicCamp_03While most campers play strings – violin, viola, cello and string bass – the camp offers instruction in every instrument.
Fees vary according to the track selected and whether a musician signs up for one or both weeks. Scholarship money is available and is awarded by merit or need. Students who make All-State Orchestra or All-State Band, for example, are able to apply for merit-based scholarships, Majors said. Need-based scholarships are reviewed and awarded by Majors and her staff.

For the past three years, Prelude Chamber Camp has received donations from the Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts as well as from other donors, Majors said.
“For many, this camp experience is their first chance to play melody and harmony parts together with others and to hear how great that more complicated music can sound,” Majors said.
For more information, visit http://preludechambermusic.org.

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