The annual Chautauqua Music Camps taking place throughout Week Eight have been sponsored by the Winifred Crawford Dibert Foundation for more than two decades. Founded in memory of Winnie Dibert of Jamestown, the foundation focuses its support on youth programs, education and the arts.
The Chautauqua Music Camps, a combination of these areas, allow students to improve their musical skills and be inspired by performances of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and other programming during their week-long experience.
The Music Camps are made up of three day-camp experiences, including the Chautauqua Orchestra Camp, Middle School Band Camp and Chautauqua Jazz Camp.
“We’ve been sponsoring for a number of years and there are several reasons why,” said Jane Becker, a board member of the Dibert Foundation. “First, Winnie loved Chautauqua; she had been a very active (community) member at Chautauqua. She loved to attend opera and other performances and she knew that she wanted to focus on youth and education. … She had a great love of music.”
Becker said one thing she likes about the Music Camps is the mix of students from Chautauqua County and students from all over the United States. It gives young artists the chance to experience the Institution and connect with one another through music and the camp.
“Often, 60% or more of the students who go to the camps are from the surrounding Chautauqua County area, and the remainder are made up of kids that are from other parts of the country who are staying at Chautauqua during the summer,” Becker said. “It was just a nice way to connect all of Dibert’s loves, if you will, into one project.”
The Dibert Foundation is impressed with the Music Camp’s success and programming. Becker said the board members are amazed at how the camp has expanded and now offers different forms of music for the students.
“Each summer, our board comes to Chautauqua and we meet with the leadership of the Band Camp, and we have been so impressed with how it has expanded, and obviously it has gone beyond just band,” she said. “There are other forms that they are focused on, including jazz.”
The Music Camps provide approximately 100 students in fifth through 12th grades with the opportunity to build longtime connections through Chautauqua — a large part of why the program is such a staple, according to Becker.
“It’s just beautiful, and it’s an opportunity for young people to come on the grounds and spend time here — which is so important, that access and becoming familiar with Chautauqua,” Becker said.
Chautauqua Music Camp students will perform in various concerts, including the Jazz Camp Concert at 2 p.m. Friday in Fletcher Music Hall, the Chamber Music Recitals at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday in McKnight Hall, the Orchestra Camp Concert at 10 a.m. Saturday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, and the Middle School Band Camp Concert at noon Saturday in Lenna Hall.
For more information on underwriting opportunities at Chautauqua, please contact Megan Sorenson, director of community engagement, at 716-357-6243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.