Abide with music

By Rosaleen Leslie Dickson
Contributing Editor
(also published in the CAMMAC Newsletter)

Last year, after my first adventure at the CAMMAC Music Camp, I wrote: "Music will save the world," and it will, eventually.

In the meantime, with faith and energy, we can help to make it happen.

My second summer holiday with CAMMAC supports this belief.

Those who have attended these lake side camp sessions over the years know how it works, and those who have not yet enjoyed this unique experience have a truly heartening treat to discover.

Engulfed in divisive disputes over language, religion, international and intergenerational discordent customs, the world can still come together through music, and here is where it starts.

Young and old sharing interests, comfortable rooms, good and ample food and friendship, on the Lakeside College campus, and the opportunity to learn from the most qualified experts, and from one another, are just a few of the innumerable joys that await the people who discover this seven-day wonder that is available each year. When it's all over for another year, "à la prochaine" in any language takes on a special meaning. It's a wish to return for another magical week, in 2010.

The magic comes from strings, reeds, percussion and the whole gamut of methods to bring music into our lives, excluding anything else that might tend to draw people apart. Renowned professional musicians making their talents, advice and encouragement available to all the campers, bring everyone's performance to its peak.

With impressive, world-wide credentials, talented professionals capture everyone into their individual worlds of music. The indefatigable on-site musical director, multi-talented Colin Clarke, empowers everyone with musical expression through percussion. Cape Breton's inspiring Barry Peters, brings choir for all, enhancing everyone's appreciation of sight singing. Mentioning only two is massively insufficient, but the whole gamut of talented value added to the CAMMAC summer music camp can be reviewed on their Web site at makemusicthissummer.ca.

Even people who have no present interest and no previous contact with music are thrilled to discover the medium which, in my humble opinion, can and will save the world.

Through the collaborative strength of music, whether singing an opera or beating a tom tom, our differences will melt, yielding living space for all humanity. That's the engaging philosophy I see at the CAMMAC summer music camps. Anyone who tries it can not but agree.

October 9, 2009 — Return to cover.