The Salvation Army summer music campers showcase skills at the Kroc Center

More than 80 summer campers attended Music Camp at The Salvation Army Camp Homelani last week. The final day of camp ends with a concert for the campers’ parents and loved ones; it’s a chance for them to showcase what they have learned over the week. Each performance was formally introduced by a Music Camper, a task that helps them build on public speaking and business skills they would need in the future.

The goal of Music Camp is to help keiki in need discover or develop their musical talents. Each child willingly practices guitar, percussion, brass, piano, singing, hula, acting, or visual arts for hours each day. “I’m overwhelmed by their dedication and ability to express themselves through music,” said Divisional Music Director, Crystal Nakamaejo, who spearheads Music Camp each year at The Salvation Army Camp Homelani campus on the North Shore. Many of the children discover creative outlets and are mentored by a staff of professional musicians. “The Salvation Army is blessed to invite local musicians and artists to mentor and teach our music campers. They donate a week of their time to share their talents with local youth,” said Crystal.

Brass and music theory instructor, Susan Pierce, taught music campers how to read and write music.”There was one child that was already writing his own music. He was so advanced. We taught children and teens at different skill levels and it was rewarding to see their progress in a week,” said Susan. “Music Camp is a way for The Salvation Army to provide healthy arts that children may be missing in school or communities. The great thing about this camp is not only the arts, but the spiritual component. These children are given the space to grow in creativity and moral values…they really thrive on that.”

14-year-old Music Camper Noelle worked especially hard this summer. “This is my second time at The Salvation Army Music Camp. I worked harder to improve to show my family how important music means to me,” said Noelle. “I’m glad they came to our Music Camp concert and saw my performance.”

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