Lights! Cameras! Action! Coming July 17–30, the Arts Adventure Northwest summer camp will combine classical music sounds with the art of film. Offered by the Peterson Conservatory of Music and Arts in partnership with Cascadia Film Workshop, this summer camp is dedicated to teaching students about music, art, and culture.
Students will experience “an explosion of creativity and improvement in skill on whatever instrument or film expression they choose,” said Sharyn Peterson, the conservatory founder and director. She began the conservatory in 2005 with the goal of increasing and enhancing the artistic culture in Skagit, Island, Whatcom, and Snohomish counties. “A vital part of our mission is to teach appreciation and understanding of other cultures from around the world.” Students learn and perform music from other parts of the world. The youth orchestra has had the opportunity to tour in China twice, and will be visiting Prague and Vienna this year. Another way to achieve this multicultural goal is giving international students the opportunity to learn music here. Each year international students are accepted into programs such as the summer camp. This year several Chinese students are expected to attend the camp. The summer camp provides students with a variety of different artistic experiences. This year it will be split up into two sections. “One of [the sections] is a continuation of 23 years of our Sounds of Summer Music Festival, and the other is the Cascadia Film Workshop led by Mel Damski,” Peterson said. Students ages 10–21 are accepted at the camp, and may choose to attend as a day or overnight camp.
During the morning students will rehearse and learn symphonic music masterworks. Some classes include jazz band, vocal ensemble, and festival orchestra. The afternoon focus will be on arts, emphasizing all things film. Classes offered include directing, acting, visual effects, and cell phone cinema. The emphasis for this section is personal development of a film. Other afternoon art classes offered include Chinese calligraphy, and theatre performance.
Each evening will wrap the day up with fun social activities including summer chorale, fiddle class, campfires, and dancing. Students will have the opportunity to show off what they learned on the Saturday after each week and will perform at the finale gala at the end of the camp. Film students will showcase their work at McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon during the event.
On top of being the founder and director of the conservatory, Peterson also plays and teaches violin lesson. “I’ve been a professional freelance musician my entire career, and teaching and performing are my way of life,” she said. Peterson hopes that her students will discover a deep appreciation for music and visual arts while making new friends with others who share their interests during the summer camp.