The Baldwin County Youth Orchestra works to bring music education to children all year long. This summer it hosted its eighth annual Summer Music Camp the week of June 17-21 at Fairhope Avenue Baptist Church.
The Baldwin County Youth Orchestra was founded in 2011 by co-directors Leroy Hughes and Linda Langham. They have been hosting the summer camp since 2012, bringing together elementary, middle and high school aged children of all levels and talents for a week during the summer to help them learn the basics of reading, composing, and performing music.
“This year we have 65 kids, that’s a big number for us. It’s growing every year” says Hughes.
Hughes says that this camp is important because the children learn an appreciation for music and performance that they might not experience otherwise. He hopes that the children will continue learning and join the Youth Orchestra or one of the smaller ensembles for the year.
Last year there were about 35 children that joined the advanced group of the orchestra, giving them the opportunity to perform in places all over Baldwin County like the Foley and Daphne Civic Centers.
Each day at camp the children are broken up into different sections depending on age, level in music, and instrument allowing each group to get more one-on-one time with teachers. A group rehearsal is also included in each day to prepare for the final performance that is held at the end of the week where family, community members, and teachers watch what the children have learned and prepared throughout the camp.
“There is a lot of emphasis on things like sports in our country, and we want to give kids an alternative,” says Hughes. “Performance time is important. The kids can play a three-note song and see their parents so proud. We’re giving them that satisfaction of getting in front of an audience and performing.”
The orchestra also provides other programs like after-school lessons for children during the school year that are taught at public schools around Baldwin County.
The Baldwin County Youth Orchestra has begun auditions for the Fall. If you are interested in joining the orchestra or any of the smaller ensembles please contact Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to bcyorchestra.com/fall-registration to register.