This summer the GC campus buzzed with activity as several summer camps drew students from around Elkhart County to engage in a variety of activities, from athletics to science to the arts. The Music Center played a major role in hosting summer programming, as the Community School of the Arts and GC Music Department sponsored three highly successful summer music camps.

2023 Piano and Strings Camps

The Summer 2023 Piano and Strings Camps were a huge success, with students rising to every occasion of solo and chamber playing at venues in the Goshen College Music Center and at Elkhart’s historical gem, the Ruthmere mansion! Especially exciting this past summer was the inclusion of Strings players for 2023—a start to what will quickly become a tradition!

The camp opened up with an exciting faculty recital, featuring pianists Dr. Matthew Hill and Drs. Luke and Mary Rose Norell, and violist Dr. Rosalyn Troiano. Guest Artist Kairy Koshoeva gave a phenomenal recital, wowing students with her virtuosity in “Mash Botoi”, a piano piece emulating the komuz, a Kyrgyz national instrument. Her masterclasses were full of interesting insights, which shed light on her personal approach to music learning and expression. Strings students were fortunate to have an opportunity to present polished solo pieces for violinist Hillary Harder of Goshen College and the CSA, and also were led in a large ensemble piece by Youth Honors Orchestra conductor Tori Petrak.

Throughout the course of the week, students immersed themselves in music classes, chamber rehearsals, recitals, and of course—practice time! In the midst of all of this, students enjoyed various other activities, including exploring Goshen College’s gamelan and experimenting on period instruments, as well as taking a field trip to perform at Elkhart’s beautiful historical home, Ruthmere! (The pianists were especially impressed to perform on an incredible instrument that had once belonged to famed pianist Arthur Rubinstein!) The pianists each brought polished solo pieces, and also were paired to learn and perform a duet during the course of the camp, and the string players teamed up in a variety of ensembles, including a large ensemble piece, which they performed at the final camp recital. All students had the opportunity to play solo pieces in masterclasses for guest and faculty artists. 

The camp faculty and guest artists were very impressed with all 21 campers, who ranged in age from rising 4th grade to recently graduated seniors–the campers presented themselves with maturity and artistic integrity, and inspired all with their collegiality, and their willingness and readiness to learn! It was hard to say goodbye at the final recital, but everyone is welcome back for 2024–and each returning 2023 camper is offered a $100 scholarship for 2024! For the 2024 Piano and Strings Camps, please put June 9-14 in your calendars, and watch for more news from the CSA newsletter and website.


Midwest Chamber Percussion Camp

2023 was the inaugural year of the Midwest Chamber Percussion Camp, another summer music camp held at GC that drew students form around the midwest to an exciting week of lessons, masterclasses, chamber music coaching, and performances with world-class guest faculty.

MCPC was spearheaded by Goshen College percussion instructor Micah Detweiler along with collaborator Tristan Swihart of pax duo. In addition to pax duo, the camp also featured guest quartet Excelsis Percussion as faculty. Both groups gave full-length concerts as part of the week’s activities.

Percussion campers were assigned to chamber groups and spent time rehearsing both independently and with faculty members. Students participated in masterclasses and engaged in independent practice time. Camp faculty also presented sessions for campers on various topics relevant to aspiring performers, such as preparing for college auditions and how to market your skills as a gigging musician.

During the camp students had plenty of opportunities for fun and community-building. Campers and faculty enjoyed a cookout at the Goshen College Cabin, trading mallets and sticks for frisbees. The night of First Fridays in downtown Goshen, the percussionists took their gear on the road and performed live for the crowds enjoying the festivities.

The camp culminated in a final concert featuring all of the chamber works the students had spent the week preparing. The first Midwest Chamber Percussion Camp was a resounding success and will be sure to continue growing in the coming years. MCPC will return in July of 2024 – stay tuned for more updates!