Superior music camp tries to preserve UWS ties
Bob Greenberg describes himself as someone who doesn't take "no" for an answer. With the life of the Northland Youth Music Program he started more than a decade ago on the line, Greenberg set out to draw some attention to the annual music educati...
Bob Greenberg describes himself as someone who doesn't take "no" for an answer.
With the life of the Northland Youth Music Program he started more than a decade ago on the line, Greenberg set out to draw some attention to the annual music education camp in Superior.
The camp, geared toward junior high and high school-aged musicians, includes one-on-one tutorials, small ensembles, listening classes and instruction in music theory. Greenberg's nonprofit organization has paired with the University of Wisconsin-Superior to provide housing and food services, which cost a bit more for out-of-town students. On Tuesday, Greenberg said, he received an e-mail indicating that the university's chancellor cabinet had decided to sever its ties with NYMP.
"If we don't have (food and housing), 40 percent of these kids are locked out," Greenberg said on Thursday at Superior High School, while a jazz ensemble performed. Greenberg responded with an e-mail asking them to reconsider. Maybe even stop by and listen.
The university seems willing to work with Greenberg, a tuba player who started the camp in 1999 as an inexpensive option for local musicians who weren't able to afford other camps. Since then, he has drawn students from Michigan, Florida and Indiana.
Logistics need to be worked out, but UWS still plans to partner with the camp, said Lynn Williams, director of marketing and communication.
"We're working with them right now to do their housing and food service," she said.
The camp was at its apex in 2006 when more than 500 musicians attended one or more of the three week-long sessions. This year, NYMP has just two sessions: One for concert musicians earlier this summer and another for jazz musicians -- which has its finale at 7 p.m. today in the auditorium at Superior Senior High School. Between the two weeks, about 150 musicians attended.
Zach Sather, a trombone player who will be a junior at Superior High School, has been attending the camp since he was in sixth grade. He likes the intensive instruction he receives from the staff of musicians from local universities and high schools.
"I get to play harder music and learn more about jazz theory," Sather said. "Listening exposes us to different types of jazz, and we get an idea of what we're trying to play."
For the jazz camp, students received room and board from the university, but classes were moved to the nearby high school.
For next year, Greenberg said he is hoping they will again be able to use the classrooms and auditorium space at the high school. As for the university's change of heart on providing housing, Greenberg hadn't received word of this on Thursday evening.
Madi Molina, a tenor sax player from Chisago Lakes, Minn., is one student who wouldn't be able to attend without student housing and food. She's the third member of her family to attend the camp, and likes the way the other musicians are serious about what they're doing.
"It's changed a lot of my views about playing music," she said. "I was forced to come here, and now I enjoy it."