1. How did you come to be the lead instructor for Le Moyne College’s Summer Arts Institute musical theater camp?
I went to school for musical theater at Nazareth College in Rochester. After college, I worked as the educational coordinator at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, which is now known as The REV Theatre. I was also directing and choreographing musicals at Westhill High School. After leaving that position is when I started to work for Le Moyne in their Visual Performing Arts Department. That’s where I got my connection with Le Moyne College and the chance to meet the managing director of the theatre. The current instructor for the summer arts camp was moving on. Because of my background, they asked me to step in and take over the role of artistic director of the program, and I said yes.
2. Can you share what the musical theatre camp is and how someone can get involved?
Absolutely. The musical theater camp is specifically designed for kids in high school, from ninth through 12th grade. The goal of the program is the training and building of a community. So, our focus is not to put on a musical; our focus is that every single student that walks through that door will be a better performer, be more knowledgeable in the world of musical theater, and have a new awesome support system.
Every single student is given an opportunity for solo and group moments, but most of the day is actually dedicated to training. We do vocal, dance, and acting training. The last two hours of every day are dedicated to rehearsals. We do put on an end show that features every single student. It’s not like your typical musical where there are two kids in the lead and then everybody else is in the background. That’s not what this is. Every single student gets their opportunity to shine and grow as an individual performer, as well as within the group.
3. What is the most rewarding part about being the lead instructor of the musical theatre camp?
There’s truly nothing like theater. I think anyone who’s been in it knows that it gives you a community unlike any other. If you’ve been part of a sports team, you know what it’s like to be part of a team. But being part of the theatre community is so different because you don’t have games along the way. You are working tirelessly and endlessly for this one performance. When you’re with that group of people, working on that show, you can never recreate it. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Getting to be a part of that is incredible. There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing a student start from day one to shining at the end of the week. You get to see their growth. You get to witness kids gain confidence and self-worth as a performer and as a person. The feeling that you get after performing is like no other. The applause they get is so well deserved.
4. What do you have in store for this summer at the musical theatre camp?
This summer, due to the fact that I haven’t heard the kids sing yet, which I usually have already, it’ll be 100% based on what they bring. Typically, the program consists of full ensemble numbers, so every single kid is in every number. The songs range from the golden age of musicals to the musicals on Broadway today.