The Detroit Temple, Mich., Corps hosted the Detroit Crescendo Summer Music & Arts Camp. Crescendo is a nonprofit that offers youth, ages 5-18, extracurricular programs centered on instrumental music and dance.
The new collaboration immersed 75 children three days each week in the arts, providing lessons in band, orchestra, choir, music composition, jazz improvisation and musical theater. They also participated in arts and crafts, recreational activities and devotions, in addition to receiving a breakfast and lunch. The 10-week camp included an outing to the opera and a jazz concert.
“They were so focused and busy, you could hardly tell our building was full of children,” said Envoy Esther Lewis, who leads Detroit Temple with her husband, Envoy Artee Lewis.
The corps’ central location made participation possible for many families in the neighborhood with limited finances who don’t own cars, and children were encouraged to also attend day camp the other two days a week.
“It’s been great as they’re not only teaching our corps kids music, but it’s brought new kids into the corps,” said Envoy Esther. “We’re hopeful they’ll bridge to our regular programming.”
Envoy Esther says she is excited about the possibilities the music and arts camp has opened up especially for young men who often focus on sports. She also is pleased by the possibilities it has opened up for the corps in terms of music.
“For our corps, the territory’s goal of live music by 2020 has been a struggle, but now it feels possible,” she concluded. “The summer music and arts camp has been a real blessing.”