Press Release - July 6, 2010
BAY-ATLANTIC SYMPHONY WITH BLIND CHILDREN’S CAMP BRINGS STIMULATING MUSICAL CHALLENGES TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED
BRIDGETON, NJ—The Bay-Atlantic Symphony has embarked on its third year in a partnership with the Helen Diller Vacation Home for Blind Children in Avalon, NJ to bring the world of music to visually impaired children.
For this eight-week summer program, which runs from mid-June to the second week in August, a Bay-Atlantic Symphony musician meets each week with a new group of 20 to 25 children from the summer camp to explore the joy of music. The children, aged five to 12, learn music dynamics, and get to participate in creating an orchestra and performing.
For this summer’s program, Symphony flutist Beverly Pugh Corry is helping the campers create a “Hobo Band” or, as she prefers to call it, a “Recycled Orchestra.” Corry works with the campers and counselors to create and try out instruments representing the four sections of the orchestra—strings, wind, brass, and percussion.
“We use recycled bottles, strings, sticks, and rolls from toilet paper and gift wrap, as well as simple household items,” Corry said, noting that other musicians have donated used drum sticks and broken violin, guitar, and harp strings and buttons. Other items were obtained from dollar stores.
“With just ordinary plastic shoe boxes, strings, buttons, and a little duct tape, the kids have great fun making a string instrument that can actually play!,” she said. Drums can be made with a little cloth, duct tape, and a big upside-down plastic basket. Wind instruments are created from tuned plastic soda bottles or a cut garden hose with a funnel at the end.
“Sometimes the kids use their imaginations to hand-craft their own unique instruments,” Corry said. “In the end, they are so excited about being able to keep the instruments they made.”
Corry, a Hopewell Township resident and also a flute instructor at the Perkins Center for the Arts in Moorestown, has seen this partnership between the Bay-Atlantic Symphony and the blind camp grow over the past three years. “The first year, we concentrated on flute and percussion. The second year, the children played along with me on recorders that I brought. I also showed them Braille musical notation.”
The Bay-Atlantic Symphony’s outreach to visually impaired populations has also included a recent program at the John D. Young Lions Blind Center in Absecon—a program that received national recognition for its innovation.
“Our philosophy is to eliminate or lower barriers to attendances to concerts, programs, and educational experiences,” said Bay-Atlantic Symphony Music Director Jed Gaylin. “These outreach programs have helped to bring classical music to new audiences, and new audiences to classical music. They have brought the pleasure of a musical experience to those who cannot take such a thing for granted.”
Now entering its 27th season of providing classical music concerts, the Bay-Atlantic Symphony performs concerts and educational programs in Cumberland, Atlantic, Gloucester, and Cape May counties. In addition to being the orchestra-in-residence of Avalon’s “Symphony by the Sea” series, it has been the orchestra-in-residence of the Cape May Music Festival since 2003. It is also the resident orchestra of the Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center at Cumberland County College, Stockton College Performing Arts Center, and Pfleeger Concert Hall at Rowan University. It has received worldwide exposure through its appearance on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. The Symphony will open its 2010-11 season with “Classical Mystery Tour”—a gala symphonic tribute to The Beatles—on Sunday, September 26, at 3 p.m., at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, in Atlantic City.
For more information on the Bay-Atlantic Symphony, its programs, and concerts, please call (856) 451-1169 or visit their website at www.bayatlanticsymphony.org.