Summer music camps can be a formative part of a young person’s life. Connections and networks that are created at a young age can follow one through life as a professional musician, or in any career path. But what about adult musicians who are looking for a venue to meet with people their age who share their passion for music in the same nurturing environment? Enter Lake Field Music.
Formerly the CAMMAC Ontario Music Centre, this organization in 2010 became Lake Field Music. An annual camp in operation under CAMMAC (Canadian Amateur Musicians/Musiciens Amateurs du Canada) since 1977, it found a permanent home in 2004 at Lakefield College School, where it has operated ever since.
Artistic director Andrew Wolf, a professional scientist and amateur musician who continues to play flute in small ensembles and sings in a choir, has been involved with the camp for more than two decades. “My music teacher recommended the camp,” says Wolf. Over time his participation in the camp increased more and more – “first as a participant, then a board member, which evolved into artistic director.”
“[Lakefield is] a collegial environment for developing skills and making music with others,” says Wolf. The adult summer camp offers a range of programs including ensembles ranging from a cappella and jazz choirs to cello choirs and Klezmer bands.
Located on the shore of Lake Katchewanooka, the camp occupies a 155-acre campus with amenities such as a theatre, chapel and music room. These boast grand pianos, and there are keyboards in all the classrooms. There are dormitories available in multiple configurations and all are air-conditioned.
“The faculty are all professionals,” says Wolf. “Many are performers and/or conductors, but most importantly, they are experienced teachers who understand adult learning.” The program is unique in that it’s geared for adult amateurs who still want to play at a high level and keep improving through lessons with their accomplished staff.
When asked how the faculty of the program are chosen, Wolf says: “Many of the coaches have been with the camp for a long time and are an excellent resource when a vacancy arises.” Proving again that networking pays off.
Apart from the idyllic surroundings of the Muskoka region, Lake Field Music is a special kind of program for “the diversity of music and the quality of the faculty.” Says Wolf: “Participants can focus on their particular interest but also have the opportunity to try something new and are exposed to a wonderful variety of music.”
Lake Field Music runs every summer. The next scheduled camp is slated for Aug. 11-18, 2019. Information can be found online at www.lakefieldmusic.ca