Ithaca College Summer Music Academy

Service Hours: 3

Action Hours: 19

Creativity Hours: 192

This summer, I attended the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy. For two weeks on the Ithaca College Campus, I attended workshops and rehearsals for both opera scenes and musical theatre numbers, as well as classes on music, music theory, film scoring, acting, and dance. I joined this not only for the experience of getting to work in such a demanding environment, but for the chance to meet other people from other countries and cultures. My intended learning outcomes were Undertaking new challenges, Working collaboratively with others, Show perseverance and commitment, Engaged with issues of global importance, and Develop new skills.

My goals for this event were to improve my musical knowledge and technique and to work with the other students to create our production numbers. Each day we spent a few hours in rehearsals, with classes, practice, and other activities planned around that. Due to the nature of what we were doing, it was imperative that we were working together, helping each other with music and choreography. As well, because of the long working hours, it was important that we were supporting each other and keeping each other energized.

Being able to meet new students from all over the world was really eye opening, because it allowed me to understand more how life is different if other parts of the world. In particular, there were a few girls there from an IB school in Greece, and having that connection allowed us to consider the differences in our lives. For example, I participate in school events and the like for my CAS, however, one of them was volunteering at a shelter to help Syrian Refugees. That really demonstrated just how close these events are, that they aren’t just something that happen on the news, but real issues that effect real people.

One of the low points was the mid-week performance, where the stress was really starting to wear on us, and tensions were high. Just as we were about to go on stage for an acapella performance, there was a disagreement between two of the students. Because of that, our performance really suffered, as so much of that style relies on unspoken communication, and there was a huge cloud over the group. I never realized until that moment just how much communication is shadowed when there are unresolved disagreements, and how detrimental that is to everyone who is even peripherally involved.

One of the high points was the final rehearsal before the parent showcase. That was a grueling rehearsal that went on well into the small hours of the morning, but having that experience, and being able to see everything that we had worked for and how hard everyone was working despite the exhaustion, was really something amazing and inspiring to see. It is something I think about whenever the going gets tough and the workload is high.

My goals were successfully achieved in the end, and the experience really changed me for the better. If I had to start over again, I would really prepare myself more for the mental stamina the program required, as there was so much information and emotion coming at you from every angle all the time that if you weren’t prepared, it would roll off of you like rain. By the end of the second day, I had taken to serious note taking a journaling to try and retain everything, but even then, I feel if I had been mentally prepared, I would have retained more. This was a program that demanded everything I had to give as an artist, and a person, and I enjoyed every second of it.

Final Performances:

Supervisor Review:

At the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy, students are welcomed to show there individual creative qualities that make them unique. What is so great about this program, is that the students meet other campers across the world, from numerous and diverse cultures, who all share a passion for music. Peggy truly shined through her two weeks at the Summer Music Academy. Our group of girls entering their senior year of high school, were from all over the world representing Greece to Canada. Peggy developed her music skills throughout each rehearsal for her opera/musical theatre performance, as well as her leadership skills. Anytime there was an audition for a solo, she would give her best shot with a huge smile on her face. Peggy treated every opportunity in a professional manner. That being said, she received a solo with her professional manner and musical talent. Peggy knew how to be both a leader and follower inside and outside of the rehearsals. She was loved amongst the campers, and a great friend to all the girls in her division; she was a model camper.

Counsellor Erin O’Rourke


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