CMS Jazz Camp returns to MSU
As students, professors and locals walk through the hallways of MSU’s College of Music, drums, saxophones, pianos, guitars and other instruments echo off the walls.
Instrumentalists and vocalists began their first day of rehearsal Monday as part of the annual Community Music School, or CMS, Jazz Camp at MSU.
This year will be the second year the CMS Jazz Camp returned to MSU, with day and night programs available to high schoolers throughout Michigan.
The camp is being held during the week, with an ending concert Friday from camp attendees.
The camp features a number of programs for people who are interested in expanding their skills in playing jazz instruments.
There are ensemble and combo rehearsals for groups of students and small studio sessions for a small number of students.
The Community Music School offers a wide variety of musical camps both on and off campus, CMS spokeswoman Amanda Darche said.
Darche said the camp provides a different opportunity than other camps — the opportunity to experience what it’s like to live at a college, as well as learn and be educated at a university such as MSU.
“We absolutely hope the jazz campers are future Spartans,” Darche said in an e-mail. “We bring the students to campus to familiarize them with MSU, and hope the experience encourages the campers to attend college, any college, although we do hope they choose MSU. The camp helps them envision themselves as college students.”
Vocalist Kelley Frake will be a freshman at MSU in the fall, and said the camp gives her a head start on getting to know campus. Frake has participated in ensemble and combo rehearsals, as well as the smaller studio sessions, to practice her singing.
After being introduced to the program this year, Frake said she decided to check it out, and in her second day she already has learned many new vocal styles.
“I learned that there are different ways and different styles of doing jazz,” Frake said. “I didn’t know that you can interpret one song in so many different ways. It’s just interesting to see that.”
Randy Gelispie, a professor in the College of Music and an instructor on jazz drums in the camp, has been playing drums since he was a child and now wants to offer his experience to interested musicians, he said.
“Ever since I can remember being in the world, I wanted to play the drums,” Gelispie said. “It’s important that we get the youngsters involved with this great music called jazz.”
Gelispie said he enjoys instructing the campers on new techniques and skills to play the drums.
“I teach it because I love the music and I like to pass it on to the youngsters that want to learn this music,” he said. “This is incredible music.”