Weekends at music camp are special times – times when we depart from our regular schedule so that we can perform, clean the campus, and relax. This past weekend, we accomplished all of these things.
On Sunday, two big moments of FMC happened: our first big groups concert, and our yearly worship at Stillwater, the Quaker meeting that takes place on Olney’s campus.
The Stillwater meetinghouse is historic; Quakers have been worshiping here for a long time. Many of us can sense this legacy when we enter the meetinghouse, and it is part of what makes coming here special. Some campers and staff come to us steeped in Quakerism, and for some FMC is their first experience with Friends, but regardless of background, the fact that we sit in silence together makes this time meaningful. (If you would like to learn more about Quakerism in general, I recommend starting with the Quaker Information Center.)
Our big group concerts are important because every camper performs in them. The band, orchestra, and jazz band all perform, and often a number of smaller groups like the contradance band and the small vocal ensemble do as well. Not everyone is in one of these groups; however, everyone is in the chorus, which always closes the program. With eighty-some voices, the chorus makes a powerful sound, and their cohesiveness only grows as the month goes on. Many campers describe chorus as one of the highlights of their camp experience – even those who may not feel they sing well – and part of this is due to the strong leadership of choral director Brendan Cooney. Brendan has been with FMC for a very long time, growing from camper to teacher, and he is well-loved and respected by the campers.
As you can perhaps tell by the delay in this post, it was a busy weekend! Now our week has started. It’s been a little hot and a little rainy, and we’re looking forward to more fun and music.