KU Virtual Midwestern Music Camp draws nearly 2,000 students

LAWRENCE — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, the University of Kansas Midwestern Music Camp continued its 85-year-old tradition online and free of charge.

The camp brought together 1,930 virtual students, KU School of Music faculty and special guest artists, including Imani Pressley, George Shelby, Kat Rodriguez and Mads Tolling.

Music campers come from 44 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Switzerland, Mexico, Ukraine and Hungary for the event, which was June 15-17. School of Music faculty taught over 290 one-on-one lessons to seventh-graders through first-year college students and provided over 70 live Zoom sessions and YouTube videos.

Parents of campers shared praise for the opportunity the camp provided through the online format, including Kari Keller, of Chillicothe, Missouri.

“My daughter and son really enjoyed the sessions they selected today," she wrote. "I am very impressed at the information, sources and quality of this improvised format. Thank you.” 

Parents also noted the quality of instruction.

“My daughter has enjoyed the first day of camp. After watching Mads Tolling she really wants to learn to play the violin," said Samantha Worley, of Lebanon, Missouri. "So far she plays the clarinet and learning more every day on the keyboard and guitar."

Support from the Band of Angels program, Meyer Music, Yamaha and Fox 4 Kansas City helped make the camp experience possible.

The Midwestern Music Camp at KU is the second longest-running music camp in the United States. The KU MMC provides students with the opportunity to learn from KU Music faculty as well as established and emerging musical artists each summer. High school seniors participating in the camp are also able to audition for enrollment at the KU School of Music.

Updated on: 06/18/2020