Sandpoint area children hit the high notes at free music camp » Sandpoint Reader

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By Rick Reed
Reader Contributor

Forty-two children enrolled for the free music camp run by the all-volunteer organization Music Bridges Borders and hosted July 17-20 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, featuring nine instrument options that students experienced and explored. Including violin (with three teachers), piano, percussion, tuba, trumpet, trombone, guitar, flute and cello, students took introductory lessons and those with beginning skills were able to improve and even play solos at the July 20 wrap-up performance. 

Along with the music lessons, attendees played games including musical chairs, line tag, dodgeball, skipping games and verbal/memory games in groups. Following lunch, participants attended a percussion workshop with Sandpoint Middle School teacher Ryan Dignan. The workshop included all of the children, as well as the camp instructors.

Students also enjoyed a piñata after the final performance, as well as a tie-dye workshop at the end of the day on Tuesday with elementary school art teacher Sharon Gunter. Each child made a scarf/bandana, which they wore during the Thursday performances. 

The core camp instructors were the seven students from Tijuana, Mexicali and Ensenada, Mexico. These are advanced music students from the large community orchestra program in Mexico. Music Bridges Borders thanked Daniel Octarula Yamada (percussion), Karla Victoria Montoya Lopez (cello), Miguel Angel Gonzalez Gastelum (trumpet/trombone), Mario Abraham Romero Alvarado (trumpet), Carlos Jamil Ayala Sanchez (violin) and Kathya Angelica Aviles Melgoza (flute).

Photo from the free music camp hosted by Music Bridges Borders and taken by Rick Reed.

Local instructors included Noelle Bastow for violin, Chris Paradis for guitar, Max Reed for violin and Loree Campbell for piano. 

Upon ending the camp, the young students came away with a better understanding of music, and often with a favorite instrument they want to learn more about. To capitalize on that, parents were informed of the Festival at Sandpoint’s free orchestra, and/or encouraged to utilize the music program at their local school or locate area teachers.

This is the eleventh year Elinor Reed has organized and brought students from Mexico. 

The Mexican students also had the opportunity to participate with their musical peers at  the Spokane Youth Symphony’s “Sensational Summer Music Camp” held July 24-28 at Whitworth University. They performed solo at the Jacklin Art and Cultural Center in Post Falls on July 27, as well as with the SYS for their final concert on July 28.

Eichardt’s Pub and Coffee House and Matchwood Brewery host the Cinco de Mayo event and the Local Artists Showcase event, respectively. The events are an example of community support fundraisers that benefit the nonprofit Music Bridges Borders, which funnels money raised back into the Sandpoint and Northwest community/economy. Music Bridges Borders is a 100% volunteer organization. There are no “salaried” members. 

Organizers thanked the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their various volunteers for warmly opening doors to the community and making the experience possible. Major cash sponsors of Music Bridges Borders include: The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force, Believe in Me Foundation, Ziply Fiber, Evans Brothers Coffee, Eichardt’s, Stacey McDermott and family, and Pam Lippi and family. Sandpoint Super 1 also contributed food.

Rick and Elinor Reed founded the nonprofit cultural exchange program Music Bridges Borders.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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