Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Posted in General on August 21, 2017

From Richard Allington, Choir Camp Latin Teacher

This camp is unique in the opportunities it offers participants to share in the musical tradition of the Church as part of their formation as Christian men and women. All aspects of the camp, from the stunning location, to the deportment expected of the students, and especially the music they sing, are designed to instill in them a desire to cherish beauty and a recognition that this beauty is most surely found in the life of the Church.

The campers learn that participation in beauty requires dedication. The camp’s program is rigorous, including eight hours each day of classes and rehearsals. After dinner and recreation, the choristers reconvene in the chapel to chant the litany of the Sacred Heart and pray the rosary in procession through the tranquil stillness of the Kentucky countryside.

Many students come to choir camp with significant singing experience, while others have next to none, yet, embracing this program, all make remarkable improvement throughout the week. Their reward, in this life, is the joy of joining their voices together in praise of God and forging truly enduring friendships based on this shared love of beauty and Holy Mother Church.

From Hannah Serafino, Choir Camp Counselor

It has been thought that beauty is nothing of itself, and has purpose only when it reflects that True Beauty which is our destiny. The music, camp experiences, and relationships formed at choir camp were beautiful, especially as they aspired to that heavenly beauty sought and attained by so few in our times. As a first time choir camp counselor, I was amazed at the balance of spirituality, social time, hard work, and good music through the entire week. There were many activities, clearly spiritual by nature, such as Mass, talks, confessions, and Rosary walks daily. However, the activities not so visibly spiritual were all the more impressive. The classes, which amazed this college-graduate in their high quality of education and participation, were taught so that the children would understand the words and purpose of what they were singing, the ways to sing better, and how to be better musicians in order to glorify God. Even the normal activities one experiences at a camp, full of fun and excitement, were carried out with a joy and energy that was truly beautiful. This camp is a hidden gem, and if more people knew its value, there would be no way to keep them away from the adventures of Choir Camp.

From Henry Shikles, camper from Kansas City

I have been attending the Choir Camp for 8 years, and though each camp has been very beautiful and engaging, every year seems to be even better than the last.  Choir Camp 2017 was no exception: the repertoire was incredible and the classes were so fruitful in helping all of the choristers to sing their very best for Our Lord!  I have learned many things about singing and music at the camp this year, as well as in previous years, that I attribute the vast majority of my knowledge of sacred music, and practically everything I know about singing properly, to the teachers at the choir camps.  I have been able to use what I have learned from the camps in the choir at the Oratory in Kansas City, as well as at home.  I hope to continue learning and improving this beautiful art at the camps in years to come.

This year, we learned many beautiful pieces that were sung at the High Mass on the last day of camp.  The polyphony was absolutely magnificent: Mr. Botkins always selects the most beautiful music for the choristers to sing, and he has such a gift for bringing out the best voice in everyone!  Mr. Murphy and Abbé Juneau instructed the choristers in the proper singing of Gregorian chant: their hard work was evident.  The chant propers, which were for the votive Mass of the Holy Cross, were truly uplifting!  The entire repertoire for this year was marvelous, and it was surely one of my favorites.   And to be able to sing all of this wonderful music with friends, for the glory of God is something to look forward to at every camp!

The Choir Camp is such a joy for me, and I often find myself counting the weeks until the next camp.  Every year, I meet so many wonderful people, and get to know them and form friendships throughout the week.  I have learned so much about music, singing, chant and latin, and I use what I have learned almost every day.  The Choir Camp is to me, a nearly perfect balance of singing, prayer, learning and recreation, in the spirituality of the Institute of Christ the King.  Everything we learn and do at camp is ultimately for the glory of God.  That is the beauty of Choir Camp, and that is why I hope to attend as long as I am able.

 


Choir sings "Cantate Domino" during the Offertory of the Mass

 

From Mary Luke, camper from Milwaukee

Every year that I go to Choir Camp, I am always amazed at how much music we learn, and memorize in just four and a half days. Most of the music I learned this year, I now have memorized. Even though I have been going for many years, I am still able to learn something new every year. This year I learned a lot about how to sing well when singing high, and how to obtain good volume.

To me, Choir Camp is not just about learning to sing the music we are given. It’s about learning to sing prayerfully and giving our best to God when we are singing. Latin class helps me to understand and appreciate the texts I sing, and the classes in vocal technique help me to sing my best so I can give our Lord my best.

Outside of classes and rehearsals, it’s nothing but fun. Spending time with our friends and making new ones is all mixed up in morning walks, games of Capture the Flag, and Extreme-Ninja Dodgeball. I keep in touch with all the friends I make at camp the entire year. Choir Camp is the highlight of my summer, and I look forward to it every year.

Click the images below to enlarge them.

Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017
Songs and Stories from Choir Camp 2017