APU Helps Young Musicians Grow

by McKenzie Feitler '11

During July, Azusa Pacific University hosted its first Azusa Conservatory of Music Summer Camp. The camp allowed students to learn new musical skills from Azusa Unified School District and APU School of Music faculty.

The Azusa Conservatory of Music was created eight years ago as a way to support kids in Azusa who might not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their musical skills, while also allowing APU music students an opportunity to grow as future music teachers. This summer is the first year the Azusa Conservatory has held a summer program.

“Adding the summer program was always a dream of mine,” said Alexander Koops, DMA, director of the Azusa Conservatory of Music and director of undergraduate music education at APU. “The best way to develop musicianship is to continue practicing and studying year round. This summer program will give students the opportunity to make them much stronger musicians.”

More than 30 students participated in the program this summer. They were able to choose a class in an area of interest, such as band, orchestra, choir, hand bells, and music technology.

“My favorite part of band camp is playing new instruments,” said Janice Hinojosa, a seventh grader at Slauson Middle School. “I first learned how to play the clarinet at school. I am now learning the saxophone. I want to learn how to play the trumpet.”

This year’s summer program targeted middle school students who had at least one year of music training; however, in the future the program is looking to cater to a broader spectrum of students, including students with no experience.

“We are definitely going to continue this summer camp every year. I am very excited about the tremendous potential this program has to impact the young people of our surrounding communities,” said Koops.