I am very proud to announce our 20th season of Upbeat! String Camp!
When I first contemplated a day camp for string players, my original mission was to establish a camp where young students from various schools and backgrounds could come together in the summer and have a great learning experience that revolved around their love of playing their instrument. The most important step for me was in locating and hiring the very best orchestra directors in our areas!!! This is still the most important component, and our staff is 2nd to none!!! The next hurdle I faced was seeking a great sponsor – and I was incredibly lucky to have developed a wonderful relationship with Atlanta Violins over the years as they offered wonderful service and fantastic instruments, with a family atmosphere. Atlanta Violins has made Upbeat! possible. I am so proud to be associated with these wonderful individuals! They have always shared their love and passion for their music with campers and will continue to do so. The original camp was 2 weeks long and located in Fulton County. We offered playing in an orchestra, ear-training, music theory, composition (and performing the piece on our final concert), indoor and outdoor recreation, guest artists every day, solo day, painting violins (always under the direction of a great art director) and water day!! We have had a t-shirt design contest every year, with the design winner being granted a full scholarship to attend that year. The original camp had about 30 campers. Through the years, although we’ve gone through many changes, the mission remains the same. We of course are always striving to improve!
We now have 3 locations – 1 in Fulton, 1 in East Cobb, and 1 in West Cobb. Last year we had over 300 campers at our locations. Though each camp is slightly different, all 3 camps offer very similar experiences. I am the director of the West Cobb location at Kennesaw Mountain High School. Seth Gamba is the director at our original camp in North Fulton, and Ashley Culley is the Director of East Cobb at Dodgen Middle School.
Studying music, like many other pursuits in life, lays the foundation for so many of other wonderful things, some of them recognizable years later. I know we’ve been successful when our Upbeat! campers come back for five or six years! We love to watch the campers grow and mature. We really enjoy listening to their music-making skills, which reach new levels each year.
I know we’ve been successful when we look at the rosters for All-State, Honor’s Orchestra, Governor’s Honor’s Program and the incredible youth orchestra programs in the greater Atlanta area and spot many of our campers. I know we’ve been successful when we hear or read about the honors and scholarships our campers receive. We know we’ve been successful when we see our former campers go out into the world and then come back to visit and regale us with their accomplishments. The Upbeat! staff loves knowing that we played a very small part in the musical (and otherwise) development of your child.
We hope that you will choose to join the Upbeat! family.
Clare Mansell, Founder
Upbeat! String Camp