Students give their all on violin during an orchestra camp this past week. (Photo by Madelaine Gerard)

Edwardsville High School orchestra director led a camp for students this past week at the high school. (Photo by Madelaine Gerard)

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On June 24, Edwardsville High School’s orchestra director Victoria Voumard hosted the 2015 Summer Orchestra Camp for students entering 4-11 grades from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. who play the violin, viola, cello, and bass.

The students, who all came from surrounding schools in District 7, were proud to wipe some of the dust that may have accumulated on their instruments since the beginning of summer vacation for a chance to play with the distinguished director.

With the help of Kelly Honda, Melissa O’Neal, Karen Bratton, and some of EHS’s graduated orchestra students, Voumard instructed the students through numerous exercises including scales, rhythm studies, proper articulation, and fine-tuning their listening skills. Improvisation was also used to get students to think outside of the box and to play to their hearts’ content.

Several pieces of music were on display at the camp, which was held until June 25. The 9-11 grade musicians took on a solemn piece, titled “Nocturne,” which was reminiscent of “Claire De Lune.” The same group played a piece with a little Latin flavor, entitled “Libertango.” The younger, middle school-aged kids were faced with an Irish jig, titled “Fiddle O’Finnigan” which had their toes tapping.

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“These pieces were chosen in consideration for Illinois Music Education Association All-District Orchestra, which the middleschoolers and highschoolers participate at in the fall,” Vormard said.

The elementary students were separated from the larger group to learn some music theory and composition techniques. “We have some fun music activities planned for them this week, as well as proper bow technique and posture,” Voumard said.

The cost of the camp was $30.

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