For two decades, the annual Chautauqua Music Camps have been sponsored by the Winifred Crawford Dibert Foundation. This week, 99 students in fifth through 12th grades are participating in a variety of camps to enhance their musical education and growth as instrumentalists, as well as enjoying performances from Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and other programming.
“(The Chautauqua Music Camps) is a rich and diverse program that continues to grow and change,” said Jane Becker, board member for the Dibert Foundation. “We’re just so impressed with the quality of the opportunities that are provided (to the students).”
The Dibert Foundation was founded in memory of Winnie Dibert of Jamestown. With a focus on youth, education and the arts, the foundation awards grants to local organizations and programs like the Chautauqua Music Camps every year.
“Winnie loved children,” Becker said. “That was a primary focus for her: children and education. It has been our absolute pleasure to be connected with the band camp at Chautauqua.”
The Music Camps are structured as three camps in one.
The middle school band camp includes woodwind, brass and percussion students in fifth through eighth grade. The orchestra camp is offered to advanced middle school students and high school students in string orchestra, chamber ensemble for strings, woodwinds, brass or percussionists and mixed orchestra. The high school jazz camp encompasses high school students who play saxophone, trombone, trumpet and percussion.
Of the 99 students who participated in this season’s programs, between 60 and 70 percent of them do not stay on the grounds all summer, according to Peter Lindblom, director of the annual Music Camps. A large amount of students come from Chautauqua County, yet many of them are from all over the United States.
“We love the fact that there are so many students from Chautauqua County who participate in the band camps,” Becker said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to be on the grounds for a week to interact with students from many different schools and geographic locations.”
This year, the jazz band will perform at 2 p.m. Friday in Fletcher Music Hall, followed by the string chamber concert in McKnight Hall.
The orchestra camp and middle school band camp will hold their final concerts at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., respectively, on Saturday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.
For more information on underwriting opportunities at Chautauqua, please contact Tina Downey, director of the Chautauqua Fund, at 716-357-6404 or firstname.lastname@example.org.