July 25, 2005 -- This summer, a few kids from Bethune Transitional School for Homeless got an opportunity they will cherish for many years to come, the gift of music!
“ Music seems to help them cope with their past experiences and channels them into something positive. ”
Presented by Excelsus Music Collaborators, three children from Bethune Transitional School got the chance to learn
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the fundamentals of music at the group’s annual summer music camp
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and Jazz Institute. Over 50 children are enrolled in the Excelsus program at the historic Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach which carries a long tradition of providing music to the community since 1913.
The Excelsus Summer Music Camp series is designed to showcase a wide range of activities and further demonstrates the key benefits of children being exposed to music. The summer music camp culminates on July 30, with a special music festival open to the public from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach: 5450 Atherton Street, Long Beach, CA.
“Some of the kids at Bethune Transitional School have experienced a very hostile home environment,” says Amy Angel, lead teacher at Bethune. “Music seems to help them cope with their past experiences and channels them into something positive.” Each student from Bethune was given their own clarinet through the generous support of Excelsus donors. At camp, they obtain private instruction and are encouraged to work together on their music once they return to Bethune each afternoon.
Excelsus Music Collaborators is very proud to be offering the community top-rated programming. Each day, the students spend four solid hours studying theory, history, form, Jazz and composition. “We want to give each of the students a thorough experience,” says Barry Cogert, Director of Programs. “As an instructor, it’s really important for each student to understand the fundamentals so they can apply them to any other instrument down the road; we teach the principles.”
In its second year, Exclesus has managed to create quite a presence in the community with after school programs and exciting opera field trips offered to Long Beach school children. This past spring, Excelsus was awarded funding to start an award-winning Jazz program. From there, the idea of providing a summer music camp emerged and the group keeps growing.
The Excelsus Summer Music Camp & Jazz Institute “A Musical Feast,” is comprised of campers in grades 4 through 9. There are many wonderful volunteers which help with programming such as high school mentors who provide guidance and 20 faculty members who strive to teach each child how to become the best to their ability. Additionally, the camp gives youth a chance to become young composers and this year there are nine hopefuls that will be premiering their compositions with a professional chamber orchestra.
Join Excelsus for a special Music Festival on Saturday, July 30, from 1-5 p.m. featuring live performances by all student ensembles playing side-by-side with their mentors and teachers. Located at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach: 5450 Atherton Street, Long Beach, CA. For more information call Excelsus at (562) 439-8442 or visit www.excelsus.org.
Excelsus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing music education
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in schools and igniting a passion about music through various programming. Through collaboration with mentors, children gain one-on-one instruction that leads to building self-esteem. The Excelsus experience helps inspire greatness, teaching kids that they can become great musicians at any age.