In summer 2021, the UW-Eau Claire Music and Theatre Arts department will begin offering new week-long, immersive summer-learning options for middle and high school students interested in varying areas of music and theatre.
New offerings will include musical theatre, choral, and classical singing camps. Vocal professor and summer program head Diana Cataldi says, “These sessions will give students an opportunity to have a collegiate learning experience at UWEC while working with our qualified professors and learn skills to create professional-quality music and theatre. These immersive programs will give them an idea of what it’s like to be a college student in the arts… delving into activities over the summer that will encourage that continued love of [and] engagement in the arts.”
Stepping Into the Spotlight, the UWEC Music and Theatre Institute, will focus on developing students’ performing skills and seeing what it takes to have a career in the arts. It will polish students’ “triple-threat” (singing, acting, and dancing) skills. This program will run June 20 - 27, 2021 for those entering grades 9 - 12.
Both the Middle School Choral Academy And the High School Choral Intensive will give students a week to participate in ensembles of different sizes and levels of complexity with our three choral directors. Each will culminate in a concert at the end of the week. Students will gain skills in team-building, healthy singing, and leadership mixed with fun down-time activities. The Middle School Intensive will run August 8 - 14, 2021 for those entering grades 6 - 8. The High School Intensive will run July 25 - August 1, 2021 for those entering grades 9 - 12.
The classical voice program, Bel Canto Academy, will include voice techniques with a wide variety of complementary subject-matter sessions and the option to participate in a masterclass in front of other students. Cataldi says that masterclasses “usually [have] a magical effect on participants in terms of bringing out skills they may have been too inhibited to do in another environment. Those watching can all learn vicariously and apply the tips for their own craft.” This academy will also culminate in a student performance and will run August 1 - 8, 2021 for those entering grades 9 - 12.
Cataldi hopes that these experiences will foster a love for the arts and the benefits of what engaging in the arts can do for young participants. “Not only if these individuals choose these disciplines as a profession,” she explains, “but even as an avocation. These activities are a vital outlet and an amazing way to express your feelings. It’s an amazing team work experience, comparable to athletic teams. As a side benefit, it is excellent for intellectual development.”
These new summer programs add on to the department’s current offerings of a double reed camp, percussion camp, and an adult chamber music workshop. New camps may be added as the program develops. The university has been intensively planning for all COVID contingencies to determine the safest protocols, and the department is prepared to offer the camps in-person and online, depending on the changes with COVID-19 risk in the area. “We want to be able to keep the halls ringing with music throughout the summer and enrich the services we can offer to the Chippewa Valley, by giving young participants a chance to have a really positive experience at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. Not only will students learn from our supportive and well-qualified faculty, they can also experience the great range of on-campus recreation activities, see performances at the Pablo, and take in the charm of downtown Eau Claire while learning about and engaging in the arts.” Cataldi says. “We want students to have an opportunity to get to know our faculty and our facilities, while enjoying themselves and gaining life-long skills.”