We just got back from round two of the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in Draper, Utah. Wow! What a week. It was great and worth every penny. I took the kids to this violin camp two years ago, and we had a beneficial, but rough first go at it. I was better prepared this time. I left the little kids home with Rinar for the week.
We drove to Utah Sunday and stayed with Jared and Melanie again. They were so gracious to be our personal hotel and the great thing is that their house is only a few miles from Juan Diego High School, where they hold the camp.
|Let the fun begin.|
The Suzuki camp is no joke. They get the very best teachers from around the world and fill every single room in that high school and the elementary school with classes: orchestra, technique, performance, chamber, fiddling, etc. The music fills the hallways, emanating from every nook, corner, stairwell. I think that Dr. Suzuki must smile down on this incredible string experience. It really is an experience. This year they had 750 students attend. Most of them were violinists. There was a healthy amount of cellists, and then the poor violists. There are not enough violists!
Zach did a fiddling class with Aaron Ashton. This was his second time in there and he loved it. Aaron even let him try out the electric violin. Zach was really happy about that.
One of the benefits of attending this camp is that you get to take a masters class, where you get one-on-one attention from a prominent teacher. Raef was assigned to Beth Stuen-Walker, a viola teacher from Washington. I don't have a picture of Zach's teacher, Rosalie Keddington, but I did get to see her work with him one day. She was great, also.
Here is something I was really excited about. Because Raef is far enough along in viola, he was able to play in a real string quartet, two violins, a cello, and his viola. They were taught by Rebecca McFaul, who is a member of the Fry Street Quartet. They played a Rondo by Mozart and named themselves "Wolfie's Gang". It was challenging, but fun and it really came together by the time they performed on Saturday.
Zach also played in a 6 violin string chamber group with Becca Moench and I think they named themselves "Table For Six".
This was definitely a highlight of the week, violin performance (V6) with Terry Durbin. If you ever get the chance to take a class from him, you do not want to miss it. The guy is so fun, funny, animated, and a little off-the-wall. The kids were cracking up the whole time. But he was able to pull the very best out of them for their number, Concerto in G Minor by Vivaldi.
Zach's technique class was taught by Wilfried van Gorp, from Belgium. He is very funny and tough. I think it makes a perfect combination for teaching violin.
Raef was mentored by David Becker two years ago in viola, and this go around he taught Zach in orchestra. That was pretty fun. He is a super-nice guy and both my kids really like him.
Here is Wolfie's Gang right after their successful chamber performance. Well done, kids.
Raef was in Orchestra 11 with Michael Bayless. He was place quite a ways ahead of Zach, but this is what happens when you play the viola and there aren't many violists. You get promoted quickly.
Our nights were filled with lots of fun stuff, but I will do another post for that. Camp was a huge success and I could see an incredible amount of growth in both of them. When the concert finished early Saturday afternoon, we hit the road for the long drive back to Reno. I hope we get to go again next year.