EDWARDSVILLE - On Tuesday afternoon, 109 fifth grade, middle and high school students arrived at Edwardsville High School to perform beautiful music with one another.

At the 2017 District 7 Orchestra Camp, led by Edwardsville High School orchestra director Victoria Voumard, students had the opportunity to dust off their instruments, sharpen their skills and meet with new and existing performers and orchestra directors within the district.

"This year was our biggest turnout yet," Voumard said. "This is our fourth year for summer camp and students really seem to enjoy it. It gives them a reason to practice over the summer and motivates them for orchestra classes when school starts."

Voumard appreciates that the students have amazing attitudes about learning to play music, fine-tune their techniques and performing.

"It is great to see so many students that are excited about playing their instrument and making music together," she said.

What excites Voumard most of all is how the high school students take the younger children under their wings."The older students help and encourage the younger ones. I love witnessing the comradery that grows between fellow musicians at such a young age. The camp gives students the chance to see friends in the summer and make new ones as well."

At the camp, younger students focus on sharpening their technique and play musical games. High school students take the time to work on music for their fall orchestra concert and Illinios Music Education Association (ILMEA) audition pieces.

Melissa Banker, Maggie Watts and Hannah Kehe assisted Voumard in the three-day camp.

"The teachers are all excellent in their field and they absolutely love what they do," she said. "It is wonderful to see the students so excited to see their orchestra teachers."

To contact Madelaine Gerard, contact madelaine@riverbender.com or call 618-465-9850 at ext. 235.

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