High schoolers thrive in RIC summer music program

(Photo: Hayden James)

(Photo: Hayden James)
Area high school students had an opportunity to collaborate with peers and expand their musical repertoire at RIC’s summer music program, held July 12–16 in the Nazarian Center.

Red Jello Woodwind Quintet performs as part of RIC's summer music
program on July 17.
RIC music professors offered master classes, faculty recitals, and special guest performances. The program was led by Robert Franzblau, RIC professor of music and director of bands. Students participated in daily rehearsals, chamber groups and full ensembles to prepare for the end-of-the-week public performance.

“A faculty coach helps them develop their own musical independence and leadership skills," Franzblau said. “The growth experienced by students in these chamber ensembles is truly amazing to see, but unfortunately, not many high school music programs emphasize this area of performance.”

With the chamber groups, and different musical activities and performances, the camp offers what a high school classroom can’t, said Zach Korpacz, a trumpet player from North Providence High School who participated in the program.

Korpacz and his friends Victoria Saber and Grady Martin have been playing their instruments extensively for years and agreed that the camp offered a much different experience than their high school bands could provide.

“My favorite part of the camp is that you’re not constantly playing music,” Korpacz said. “You go from band to a class, then to these small chamber groups and small ensembles. This experience has already made me a better musician.”

Percussionist Victoria Saber performs under the direction of RIC adjunct
faculty member Mike DeQuattro.
Saber, a percussionist from New Bedford High School said that she’s been playing since early childhood, taking after her father who is also a percussionist. She said that her favorite experience at the camp has been meeting people with the same passion for music she has.

Martin, a sophomore at Ponaganset High School, said that the camp has given him experience he otherwise wouldn’t have had from his school band.

According to Franzblau, the camp’s enrollment this year was at an all-time high, with 90 students attending. The program received $14,000 in grants from the Carter Family Charitable Trust, the Felicia Fund, and the C. Alexander Peloquin Memorial Fund, as well as funds from numerous individual donors.