Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm Back From Music Camp

Music camp was wonderful! Though it is nice to be home, it was hard to leave all the new friends who it felt like I had just begun to really know. Two weeks seems like a long time until it begins and passes so quickly.

We left home on Sunday the 6th and arrived at our friends house around 4:30 p.m. It was wonderful to meet this family that we had not seen in about 6 years. After quickly reacquainting ourselves, we spent an enjoyable evening, talking and playing games. We stayed up until midnight, at which time everyone finally said goodnight. Monday morning found everyone slowly waking up (staying up late sometimes requires extra sleep). We started for PCC at 11:30 am, after first taking pictures of us kids.
We have all grown and gotten older (obviously) and for me it was a little different, for I remember when the oldest three and my older siblings were much younger and to see them now so much more mature (especially the boys), it was very neat.
I remember the two oldest boys, David and Matthew, teaming up with Micah and Joel and...well, acting like boys. Anyway, we didn't have near enough time to spend with them and I hope we can get together again soon.

Back: Caleb, Miriam, and David
Middle: Andrew, Esther, Elizabeth, and Matthew
Front: Anna and Josh

We entered Pensacola, FL at noon and went to eat lunch. Then we went to the college and checked in for camp. After that, it was all a rush to get our things put into the dorms and hurry to the CA (Communicative Arts Bldg.) for placement auditions. At the CA, we said goodbye to Daddy and Mother for two weeks (for me, this was a little weird as I've never spent more than three nights away from my family). We were soon too busy to even think about homesickness.
I warmed up my flute for a bit, then went a took a placement theory test. After my short audition, Esther and I walked back over to the dorms to unpack. Our roommates, Jae and Gini, were there and we soon got to know each other. Soon after unpacking and making up our beds, we were all called together to walk to the dining hall for supper. Next was evening devotion, then our first group rehearsals. For Esther, Caleb and I, this meant orchestra. For piano students, like Jae and Gini, this meant choir. After this was our Music Mania kickoff, during which the camp students were divided into four teams and we had to choose a name for our team that had something to do with music.

These were the four different team names chosen: The Fantastic Fortes, The Coca Codas, The Sustenuto Bemos, and my own team, The Flat Tires (please don't laugh!). As a result of our rather negative name, we ended up not winning any of the team activities. =) Part of team activities was coming up with a team cheer, composing a chorus with an original melody and words chosen from Psalm 100, making a team poster and doing community music. For community music, each team was given the hymn and we had to use all our instruments and everybody on the team to put music to it. We had to have at least two on each instrument. It was fun, but not my favorite part of camp.
As part of the theory placement test, there were two different groups for two different levels. Esther was put into Group A and Caleb and I were in Group B. In our first group rehearsal, I found out I got first chair in the orchestra. Yay! There were only four flutes at camp, so it was easier to get to know them.

On Thursday morning we were all herded together for the group picture.

The weekend was nice and pretty relaxed after our very busy week. Friday night, the girls dorms had a scavenger hunt, in which of all the girls there, at least one was bound to have what was on the list. It was fun, until I scraped my toe on something while running back to my room and after that I had to stop because it wouldn't stop bleeding. After the game was over, one of our counselors, Deanna, came back and helped put peroxide on it and bind band-aids tightly over it while Jae elevated my leg. Wonderful people. It was okay after that, except for the fact that I had to wear closed-toe shoes Sunday morning. Ouch!
On Sunday we went to the campus church for the morning and evening service. I was almost sorry for the brief break because it was so hard to start back on the routine the next Monday.

My private teacher was great. She was from Bulgaria and had the neatest accent. I learned quite a bit from her, especially my interesting breathing exercises (I go around the house hissing like a snake and the family is about ready to kick me out). =)

Oh, how could I forget! I can't imagine camp without the Brazilians! Mr. Barbosa, our orchestra director, came from Brazil and brought 12 or 13 of his students with him, as well as his wife and children. His wife was his translator as he only knew a little English. The students were great! Two of them spoke English pretty well and the rest knew a little. Many special and funny memories were made because they were there.

14 year old Andre was so funny! He pretended to like one of our counselors, Atoya, and during lunch he would take his knife and carve his cookie into a heart, then placing it on a napkin, he would take it over to Atoya and present it to her on his knee. She played along with him and would clasp her hands and say "Oh, thank you! It's so cute!". They were funny to watch. On chalkboards, you would find a heart with Atoya's name inside. Once, right before a music recital, Atoya went to the front to pray before starting and right before she began, Andre stood in the back and said "I love you!". While she looked for the culprit, the rest of us were laughing hard.

The other joker (aka. flirt, cheat at cards, etc.) was Marcelo. Playing a game of UNO with Marcelo was quite interesting. Marcelo was part of The Phone Call, which is too long to go into, but believe me, it was hilarious!

After two weeks of hard work and practice, I performed my flute piece Friday morning for one of the repertoires. I was quite thankful when it went well.

Friday night was the Gala Concert which was the Music Academy camp and Speech/Drama Camp combined. Speech/Drama camp had also been there for two weeks working hard. Friday afternoon was full of dress rehearsal and practicing getting everything set up behind the curtains in time while being quiet at the same time. Finally, all that the orchestra had worked on was ready to be performed. Mr. Barbosa was the best director I have ever met. He is just so alive and full of love for music and it shows in every sweep of his hand with the baton and in every feature of his face.

After all the rehearsing, we had 30 minutes to eat supper and 20 minutes to get dressed for the concert. Being girls, we wanted a little bit more than 20 minutes to get ready for a concert, so we ate extremely fast and ran to the dorms. Mother and Dad had come earlier, and Mother had put our dresses in our room. My dress had been made only two weeks earlier right before we left, but alas! it had some problems, so I had to leave it and left Mom fix it. The improvements were wonderful and I really enjoyed wearing my new black dress. Then it was back to the orchestra room to talk to Mr. Barbosa and then wait for our call to go get our part of the stage ready. There were some tears as this was the last day of camp and some of us were leaving that night (our family included). Though I missed home, I didn't want to leave so soon. Being immersed in musical activities every day was amazing and many good friends were made, as well. was time. We hurried to the back of the stage and as soon as we heard the choir sing their last song, their curtain came down and the one behind them came up and the boys rolled away the stands and started setting our chairs. Thankfully, it was all done quickly and quietly and we all sat in our chairs waiting for the Reader's Theatre to finish.

As the curtain rose, the lights were turned completely off and we sat in darkness while the all you could hear was the low, vibrating hum of our five bass violins beginning our first piece, Also Sprach Zarathustra. Upon reaching the first climax, the lights came on. It was really neat.
Our other pieces were really good, too. My personal favorite was Hoe-Down from Rodeo. Mr. Barbosa asked Caleb to stand for his one big part and loving how neat that looked, he asked the trumpets to stand, as well. It was lots of fun.

The concert went well without problems or messups. A truly wonderful ending for camp. All the hard work was definitely worth it in the end!

Then it was over. I cleaned and put my flute up and started saying goodbye to all my new friends. After many hugs and "Hope to see you next year!", I walked to the dorm and after changing my clothes, packed the rest of my things up and took them down to the car, Esther doing the same. Caleb's stuff was already picked up and we practically threw our stuff in the van and started for our uncle's house, where we would stay the night before heading home. We chatted for awhile, but I was tired and soon went to bed.

Many of the students had purchased camp t-shirts for everyone to sign, but instead of that, I pulled out a notebook I brought but didn't use, and asked everyone I could to sign or write something in it. All the notes I have in that notebook are wonderful momentos of camp memories. More can be written in a book than on a shirt and I prefered the more personal notes, anyway. I certainly hope that I will be able to return next year for my last year.

I feel like I haven't done justice to the two weeks, but I also know that this has got to be the longest post I have ever written (oh dear, my fingers are trembling with the effort I have put into it). =)

Hm, I wonder if I should post my team cheer. It's rather funny. Maybe later...


Noelle said...

The part about Andre was soo funny! and acurate, he spelt Atoya wrong in history when he put her name in a heart on the chalk board... Reading this brought back so many memorys. "Miriam I like you, I love you, I need you, your in my heart. Pleeeeaaaase let me talk to Noelle."


Ella said...

Miriam!!! A long post from you!!!! I love it! (Can you tell?!) It sounds like you had a great time. I love finding out all that happened. Though you should have posted a picture of you in your dress!

You aren't supposed to be flat in music you know =)

Gini said...

Hey girlfriend,
That was awesome!
Hey, you and me both. I didnt buy a t-shirt either. Mostly because I was too cheap too, but also because I don't like t-shirts.....:) hahaha

Its a good thing you didnt mention Theory B, because I was lost in there....:) I know the stuff, I just don't know how I know it, if that made any sense.!!!!!:) haha

eliasboudinotismyfriend said...

Yes! Post your team cheer! :)

Great post... and wonderfully long... :)

The other Miriam Rebekah

Anna Naomi said...

It was great fun reading your post and getting more details about your time there! I think this is the longest post you've ever written - good job! =) Now you know how hard it can be to describe two weeks in one post... I always had trouble in summer's past trying to do things justice. Thanks for sharing about your fun camp! I'm really glad you enjoyed it!

It's neat that they combined Speech/Drama Camp and Music Camp for the final presentation. When I went to Drama Camp, it was separate but at the same time, so I didn't get to see the music concert.

Maria Pauline said...

So much fun to hear about your week at music camp! I'm rather certain you are a talent flautist.

By the way, I've rather missed your writing since your week in feminine dress, and hope you will be posting more... :D

Mardi said...

Miriam! I am glad you had a great time!! Sounds like a lot of fun!!