Mississippi College

MC Music Campers Make Joyful Noise

July 13, 2009

Sixty talented students from the Magnolia State and neighboring Louisiana will soon spend a week at Mississippi College. They will practice on a pipe organ, study voice, perform in a talent show and brush up on music theater history.

It's all part of the 4th annual Music Camp at MC 2009 that runs from July 5-11 on the Clinton campus. MC music professors Robert Knupp and Carol Joy Sparkman are again teaming to serve as co-directors. The fabulous MC duo began the successful overnight camp with an enrollment of 32 students in 2005, and it's nearly doubled in size.

"The week is jam-packed with activities," Sparkman says. Many of the campers, she said, come to the camp with the idea of becoming music majors in college. In some cases, they later enroll as Mississippi College students.

The $375 cost per camper includes lodging, meals and other expenses. The Mississippi Federation of Music Clubs, the Mississippi Baptist Convention and MC music faculty provide most of the 12 to 15 scholarships awarded annually.

On another steamy day in late June, Sparkman is anxious to roll out the welcome mat to dozens of campers (grades 7-12) from public, private and home schools. Over the years, they've come to the Christian university in steady numbers from Brandon, Vicksburg, Tupelo and Jackson. Schools like Jackson Prep, Jackson Academy, Brandon High and East Rankin Academy typically send youngsters to MC Music Camp.

It's not only teens that get involved and put their musical talents in the spotlight. Each year, MC faculty put on an evening recital that sparks a hearty round of applause in Aven Hall. The MC camp faculty seeks to instill artistry and inspire creativity through private and group instruction.

For the students, the MC music camp "gives them a broad experience," Sparkman said. The Yazoo City native and MC graduate often serves as the piano accompanist for the award-winning MC Singers during concerts spanning the globe.

The busy arts camp is not enough for some MC visitors.

On last year's evaluation forms, some students said they wanted the MC Music Camp extended to two weeks!

For more information, email music@mc.edu or call Carol Joy Sparkman at 601.925.3449.

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