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Stamford music camp continues to grow

August 24, 2018

STAMFORD — The lobby of Government Center might be the place you expect to hear tunes more in line with the national anthem. But last week, the familiar thump of Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida” pounded through the room.

The cover, featuring guitars and violins was thanks to newly discovered musical skills of the 81 students at INTEMPO’s Summer Music Camp.

The students represented more than 30 schools throughout Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and Greenwich, making it the largest group in the camp’s four years. The weeklong camp gives students a chance to learn instruments and songs in the morning, specifically the violin, viola, guitar, bass, percussion, recorder, English/Spanish songs and the charango, a South American lute. Their afternoons are spent on field trips to places like museums, libraries and parks.

The camp culminated last week with students performing at the Government Center and at Edgehill Assisted Living Community to teach them the value of community. Their featured numbers also included a rendition of “Kumbaya” played with soft violins.

The violin has special significance to INTEMPO Executive Director Angelica Durrell, who began playing the instrument when she was 8 years old in a similar summer camp.

“I was hearing from parents and kids that they just stayed at home, playing video games and watching TV (in the summer),” Durrell said. “I wanted to do something because music camps changed my life...I feel there’s a need for summer music camps.”

Durrell said the camp has seen a 25 percent growth each year. Next year, she hopes to expand the camp to two weeks in August when many other programs have ended for the summer.

“Our mission is to make music education relevant, accessible and inclusive,” INTEMPO grants manager Robbin Juris said. “Our camp provides a full week of instructional engagement.”

erin.kayata@stamfordadvocate.com; (203) 964-2254; @erin_kayata

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