Music department hosting annual music camp

Sam Fishel, Staff Reporter

Eastern Music Camp is taking place on Eastern’s campus this week, with students from across the state taking part in training and clinics to improve their music skills.

From July 17-23, 288 junior high and high school-aged students will be on campus to hone their skills in several different areas, including general band, choir, jazz, piano and strings.

Founded in 1947 by music department chair Leo J. Dvorak, Eastern Music Camp seeks to build student musicianship by engaging students with their peers as well as Eastern’s music faculty.

“EMC is first and foremost about music education and helping students grow as musicians while having fun doing it,” Andrew Cheetham, director of Eastern Music Camp, said.

Cheetham, in his first year as director, said that EMC provides a high-quality music camp experience at a reasonable price, with much of the faculty being comprised of professional musicians.

In addition to professional musicians, much of EMC’s counseling staff is made up of current Eastern students and Eastern alumni.

Cheetham also said the camp provides an excellent opportunity to show the “top-notch” facilities at the Doudna Fine Arts Center. He believes the music department has been growing over the past several years due to the exposure to Eastern’s facilities that students receive.

“[The Music Department] is growing and thriving, in part because EMC campers have great experiences over the summer that often help them make the decision to become EIU students,” Cheetham noted.

In addition to taking classes on musicianship, students stay in the dorms throughout the week and take part in special evening activities, including a talent show, a dance and a private pool party. Cheetham joked students have also been partaking in “quite a lot of Pokémon Go.”

Cheetham said he hopes students will take home many rich memories to share with their peers in addition to their new music skills.

“I know that campers will have a fond memory of these experiences for many years, and that knowledge is a big reward for our EMC staff and faculty,” Cheetham said.


Sam Fishel can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]