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Summer Camp Wrap Up!

Hip Hop, Guitar & Jazz Workshops

Hip Hop Workshop. McNally Smith’s first ever Hip Hop Workshop recently  finished with 22 students (including kids from Maryland, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota) taking part in the five-day summer camp. Led by Sean McPherson, bassist and bandleader of Twin Cities Hip Hop heroes, Heiruspecs. Sean (a/k/a Twinkie Jiggles), the Hip Hop camp connected campers with prominent Twin Cities’ emcees, producers, graphic artists and others to cover the essentials – and more. Highlights included a tour of  Hip Hop landmarks like Juxtaposition Arts in north Minneapolis and 5th Element in Uptown (the all-things Hip Hop store created in 1999 by independent record label Rhymesayers Entertainment). Inside the college classrooms, instructors led demonstrations and held Q&A discussions, along with hands-on sessions in the recording studios. The week ended with a final performance and a CD documenting each participant’s work. Designed for the inexperienced to the most def, ages 13 and up, the workshop was a hit as you can see by the photos and video posted by Sean McPherson or visit the Facebook Page.

Guitar Workshop. An in-depth Guitar Workshop for players 13 to 17 wrapped up its summer camp July 2 and featured a wide variety of guitar music styles under the direction of Jerry Kosak, head of McNally Smith’s Guitar Department. The workshop focused on guitar technique, reading music for guitar, recording in a studio, and performing live with a band. The program provided a well-rounded look at the role of guitar in contemporary music — plus some amazing highlights! Students toured Savage Audio, one of the hottest amp brands in the biz, hung out for a soundcheck with the Hendrix-like guitar legend, Robin Trower, at the Fitzgerald Theater and throughout the camp were well schooled in the finer points of creating  a career in the music industry. It all came together with participants recording in studio and performing in concert on the final day of the workshop. The quick course also netted students high school arts credits. For more information, contact Jerry Kosak  or visit the Facebook Page.

Jazz Workshop. The largest and most popular summer camp at McNally Smith proved itself again this season. Now in its ninth year, the Jazz camp (formerly known as The Summer Jazz Workshop), saw some 41 students participating, coming from as far away as Tennessee, California, Ohio, Illinois and the nearby states of Wisconsin and South Dakota. Voice Teachers Lori Dokken and Judi Donaghy,  along with Terry Burns (Bass Department Head) and trombonist Scott Agster and others immersed musicians of all skill levels in jazz music and improvisation. Top musicians from the region, whose credits include touring experience with everyone from the Artie Shaw Orchestra to Prince, were also on hand to work with students. The workshop included ensemble training, improvisational theory and technique, master classes, jazz history and more. The highly lauded course culminated in a live student concert, recorded for CD. For more information, contact Scott Agster or visit the Facebook Page.

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