"Johnson Guest Conductor Arlington Echo String Camp"
SALISBURY, MD---Dr. Richard L. Johnson, associate professor of music and director of instrumental music at Salisbury University, served as guest conductor at the Arlington Echo String Camp recently, culminating in a capacity-crowd performance at Maryland Hall in Annapolis, MD recently.
Associated with Anne Arundel County, the Arlington Echo Camp offers county-wide programs for teachers, administrators, students and various county organizations. Musicians from area public and private schools, through audition, have the opportunity to participate in three intensive week-long camps for either choir, band or string orchestra during July and August each year.
Said Johnson, "While the initial emphasis is on summer recreation, the overall camp mentality emphasized high-caliber performance. Students from county middle and high schools are brought together for a week-long camp in which they receive instruction on their instruments, theory and hand bells, sectional rehearsals and approximately four hours of ensemble rehearsal per day. The camp also provides afternoon and early evening recreational activities where the students, staff and faculty interact outside of the musical venue."
The concert program for the Arlington Echo Camp Advanced String Orchestra--which performed in Maryland Hall in August-- included "St Paul’s Suite" by Gustav Holst, "Capriol Suite" by Peter Warlock, "Australian Folk Song Suite" by Ralph Hultgren, "Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon" and "Mock Morris" by Percy Grainger. Reading repertoire included "Brookline Suite" by Gustav Holst and "Harvest Hymn, Spoon River and Irish Tune from County Derry" by Percy Grainger.
"The programming reflects a British folk theme," said Johnson. "This is a particular penchant of mine that spans some 23 years of teaching and conducting. It is unfortunate that the repertoire is not always widely known or performed by most high school string programs. For example, most of the music for young orchestra by Percy Grainger is either out of print and hard to come by. The repertoire is technically and artistically challenging yet highly entertaining for the students and the listening audience. Their response to the music and the performance challenges was most impressive."
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