Saturday, July 17, 2010


The Summer Youth Music School (SYMS) is a music camp run through the UNH music department. I have worked at SYMS every summer since my freshman year at UNH. It's a "sleep away" camp - 1 week for middle school students, and 2 weeks for high school students. We're currently finishing up week #1, the middle school week.

I have so much fun working at SYMS - especially
this year because I am directing the string orchestra at the middle school camp and having a blast in the process. I love working with the kids. They are all so dedicated!Although to be honest...

The best part of camp is not the kids.

The best part of working at SYMS is making the connections - and the reconnections.

For three weeks every summe
r, I get to reconnect with my college professors. I get to reconnect with my fellow UNH grads. I stay up until 1 am drinking beer while sight reading string quartets. I play music with some very talented people - for the sheer joy of painting the silence. I meet new musicians. Make new connections. I reconnect with myself and my instrument. The stresses of the school year have disappeared in the summer haze and I fall in love with music and the viola all over again.
The first day of camp is all smiles and hugs. There are lots of "How was your year?" "When's the faculty recital - want play something?" "Did you see the list? There are a lot of cellos!"

By the last few days of camp everyone is fried. We've been sleeping in dorm beds, eating dining hall food and teaching/making music in very hot classrooms. We're ready to go home and enjoy the rest of the summer before the leaves begin to change. The kids are starting to drive us nuts because they're a little too comfortable on the campus. The faculty has done some serious hanging out on "Jazz Night". The last Thursday of SYMS is the night of all the jazz ensemble performances. The faculty celebrates when it's all over by taking over a local restaurant/bar. We bring our instruments and play jazz. We reconnect. We relax. We stay out until after 2 am - only to get up at the crack of dawn to teach the last day of camp.

When it's all over we're ready for it to be.

...but not yet.

The Sunday Creative
I'm participating in "The Sunday Creative" in an attempt to stretch my creative wings.
This week's prompt...


  1. "Painting the silence"--that is an excellent turn of phrase! I love it.

  2. Lovely pictures...
    And it sounds like an incredible, much needed time. Connecting with your people :) There's nothing like a brilliant group of folks who have common ground, kindred spirits. Enjoy it.