Singing their way through the summer
July 29, 2008
The next stars of "High School Musical," haven’t finished with middle school, but they’ll put on a production anyway this week at the Jim Santy Auditorium.
Children from the age of four to 14 years-old, will hone their song and dance skills as they meet this week at the Colby School for the Up With Kids! camp. The camp, in its first season in Park City, is an offshoot of the year-round program run at both the Colby School and in Salt Lake City.
A total of 80 talented singers and dancers are attending the camp, putting the group at capacity. Park City director Lacey Scott commented that the camp filled up only a few weeks after she announced that they would hold a session in Park City. She attributed the popularity of the camp both to their low price tag and the fashionable status of musicals as popular entertainment. The full-week camp runs $140 including food and costumes.
Up With Kids! began 22 years ago in Salt Lake as an after-school program designed to give children an added dimension to their musical education. Even with a good basic musical education, said Scott, schools can often neglect some of the finer details of music.
The Salt Lake and Colby School academic year programs meet regularly throughout the year to prepare a performance each May. Students in these groups and the concentrated and shortened summer camp, learn all the basic skills necessary for stage and film acting.
On their first day of the summer camp, students use group games to break out of their shell and practice their role-playing skills. One game, "Duck, Duck, Elephant," asks students to act out animals as they chase other students in this modified version of the classic.
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Throughout the rest of the day, these future musicians and actors develop their stage personas through rehearsals and practice with the various types of equipment that they may need to handle in their stage careers. Scott stressed their work with microphones as one of the major hurdles most of the students jump over to find some comfort on stage.
This year the camp will prepare all their students for a creative take on the Disney hit "High School Musical." Some of the younger students, for instance, will steer their parts toward another big Disney and Pixar seller, "Cars."
During this production, as with all other performances staged by Up With Kids!, students are all given speaking parts. Scott emphasized the fact that they tend to play down their leads and make all roles as equal as possible. The goal, she said, was to use equality to boost the self-esteem of all students. Scott’s fondest memory of the program is of one student who would talk to no one but his parents at the beginning of the year, but ultimately wound up being something of a ham on the stage.
The group will perform this Saturday at the Santy Auditorium at 10 a.m. For more information, visit http://www.upwithkids.com .
Scripts went to all students on Monday giving them only five days to memorize their lines and get ready for the performance on Saturday. According to Jenna Mosher, 13, getting the lines down is often the toughest part of the camp.
Her campmate, Morrison Haslock, said that she enjoyed the camp because "it’s really nice (that) everyone can do it."