The tiny town of Marysburg was ringing with the sounds of young singers last week.Twenty-four young singers and five voice teachers involved in the Three Lakes and District Performing Arts Summer Choir Camp, which found a home in Marysburg from August 23-27, were the ones making all the noise. Sharon Carter was the ring-leader for the camp and was joined by fellow teachers Allison Sarauer, Rita Frank, Sharon Guina and Anne Marie Moellenbeck in giving the youngsters between the ages of eight and 18 further experience in singing choir music.The Three Lakes and District Performing Arts association is a recently formed non-profit group whose purpose is to promote the performing arts, especially with young people in the area, Carter explained while standing on the steps of Assumption Church in Marysburg. Inside, the students were getting ready for an afternoon of rehearsing.The idea for this camp germinated in Carter's brain this past spring, when the Saskatchewan Choral Federation, which usually runs a camp in Muenster, cancelled it for this year."So we decided to have our own," Carter said.
The camp was advertised through voice teachers and posters, and gained a great response from the area. As a day camp, it was perfectly geared to attract kids from the surrounding communities, and that's exactly what it did. Singers came from Englefeld, Middle Lake, Humboldt, St. Benedict, Annaheim, and Muenster, just to name a few communities, to attend this camp.Marysburg was a perfect fit, location-wise. As none of the camp attendees live in the village, it meant everyone had to travel a fairly equal distance to get there. And with both the community hall and Assumption Church available for use, the camp sessions were split up and used both facilities to showcase different kinds of music."It worked out really well," said Carter. During the camp sessions, the young singers were able to try out several styles of music, Carter noted - traditional choral music, including singing in different languages like Latin, contemporary Christian music, some Broadway musical numbers, and pop music.The church was where they practised and performed the traditional choral and contemporary Christian music - selections like "Ave verum Corpus" by Mozart and "My Life Is In You, Lord," by Daniel Garden.In the hall is where music combined with choreography for the Broadway "Grease Medley" and the Pop selection, "Sixties Partytime."All of these numbers and more were performed in a special concert held at the end of the week.The interest shown in the camp by the young singers in the area was one thing that made it successful; another was the teachers."(T)here are so many teachers in the area willing to come together to help," Carter said. The five teachers and two choreographers - Paulette Puetz and Dayna Keller - all dedicated time and effort to help the kids at the camp gain more experience. "Everybody is working together with the goal being what benefits the kids," Carter said. The teachers helped the students with everything from sight reading notes to ear training to how to hold their music correctly when performing.