Band and Choir Camp to Be Held at Ramapo

Photo by Steve Fallon

This summer, Ramapo will be home to a new band and choir camp, a two-week session for ninth through 12th grade instrumentalists and singers, being held from July 13 to July 24

The day camp has been in the works for about a year and is the first music camp of its kind to be hosted on Ramapo's campus, according to Dr. Lisa Lutter, a professor, the conductor of Ramapo Chorale and one of the leaders of the camp. Band and choir lessons will take place in two different sets of courses, to give students the most personally useful information to their skill set.

According to a press release from the College about the program, pre-college music theory and music fundamental courses will be taught in small classes, intended to be “tailored to fit individual needs.” Electives are said to include music improvisation, technique for singers, percussion ensemble and Brazilian drumming, which will be led by Amarildo Costa, a native Brazilian and the leader of the Brazilian Percussion Ensemble at Ramapo.

The camp will be entirely staffed by Ramapo College faculty and adjuncts in the music program, with Lutter and Dr. Christian Wilhjelm, the conductor of the Ramapo College Concert Band, taking the lead. According to Lutter, a qualified music student may also be hired to help teach in areas of musicianship.

“Chris Wilhjelm, the band director, and myself, as choir director, both like to blend plenty of high quality current repertoire – living composers – with some greats from slightly earlier eras,” said Lutter in an email. “But we mostly focus on contemporary music. We'll also have a Brazilian Percussion Ensemble, as one of our elective courses that will, of course, focus on music from Brazil! That group is led by Amarildo Costa, who is a native Brazilian and leads that same ensemble for our college students.”

Information sessions, presented by the camp's faculty, will take place on March 16 in BC-301 and on April 21 in BC-142. Registration for the camp can be completed online or by calling 201-684-7370.

The two-week camp will end with a performance by the young musicians showcasing their polished talents. Lutter hopes that the camp will continue on annually.

“It is very exciting to see a new aspect of the music program take shape,” said Lutter. “Of course, the camp benefits the entire college – because many students who come to Ramapo, work with our music directors and teachers, will not necessarily be music majors. They may major in business, or communications, or history or just about anything and still love to play in band or sing in choir.”