Fall 2008
Blue Lake’s Theater named in honor of benefactors Jerome and Anne Miller

The Millers, both of whom retired from the faculty of Grand Rapids Community College, provided for a gift to Blue Lake as a bequest in their estate.  Their generous gift, totaling over $500,000 in cash and property, is the largest single donation from an individual in the camp’s history.  Anne Miller died in February 2003 and Jerome Miller passed away in May 2007.

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Rick Tuckett Tucson, AZ
Associate Professor of Theater,
University of Arizona
Blue Lake affiliation:  Camper, 1975;
International Choir, 1976 and 1977 
Major:  Choir
Rick Tuckett

Richard Tuckett is living proof that a life dedicated to the arts doesn’t mean a lifelong commitment to a single art form or having to stop activity in one area to pursue another.  Having arrived at a university-level teaching career by way of performing as a singer and dancer, receiving degrees in music education and theater, and being a professional costumer, Rick has gained a wealth of experience in the performing, technical, and academic areas of the arts. 

In 2003, Rick was honored with the University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Putnam Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award for the outstanding teacher out of a total faculty of 120 in the College of Fine Arts, which includes the schools of Theatre Arts, Music, Dance, Art, and Media Arts.  Mr. Tuckett received his M.F.A. degree in Costume Design from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana in 1992 and Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Michigan at Flint in 1981.

In addition to his academic position at the University of Arizona, Rick has been a professional costumer for a number of regional theaters and opera companies, including the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Virginia Opera, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Virginia State Company, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago), Arizona Opera, and the Arizona Theatre Company.

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French Conductor Led 2008
European Tour of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s
International Southern Winds

Maestro Michel LaCombe of St. Martin DeCaralp, France, led Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s International Southern Winds on their 2008 tour of Europe.  The group was one of six performing ensembles that toured France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Belgium, and Luxembourg this summer as a part of Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program.

While Blue Lake’s International Program has offered its participants the opportunity to work with countless European musicians over its 39-year history, this is the first time a Blue Lake touring group has been led by a European conductor.

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Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Receives Scholarship Grant from the Community Foundation for Oceana County for 2008 Camp Season

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp received additional assistance in its effort to provide scholarships for the 2008 camp season for students with financial need.  This effort was made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation for Oceana County which partnered with Blue Lake to benefit deserving and talented students from Oceana County who wished to enroll in the camp’s programs. The Oceana County Arts and Entertainment Fund, supported by an annual benefit concert at the Little Point Sable Association, provided the scholarship grant.

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Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Concludes 43rd Successful Season

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp concluded its 43rd season on August 17, 2008. As the nation’s largest summer camp of its type, Blue Lake experienced record enrollment during the past year, providing cultural enrichment to more than 5,100 children and youth during the 8 week principal season. Student campers came from 70 Michigan counties, 36 states, and 10 foreign countries, and received an average of five hours of instruction each day in their chosen majors of music, art, dance, and theater.

Blue Lake also presented over 150 concerts and recitals as a part of its Summer Arts Festival, the Blodgett Recital Series, and the 26th Annual Blue Lake Jazz Festival.  These concerts included appearances by the Grand Rapids Symphony; the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus; violinist Zachary De Pue; the Domkantorei St. Martin of Mainz, Germany; and the Apex Brass Quintet.  The Domkantorei St. Martin, the Blue Lake Festival Choir and Orchestra, and vocal soloists combined for a spirited and well-received performance of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony.”

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In other Blue Lake news. . . .

Since the mention of the horn-playing Hunsberger family from Wyoming, Michigan, in the Summer 2008 issue of “Upbeat” (see “Did you know?”), other families have sent in their accounts of participation in Blue Lake programs.  The stories of the Olsen Family of Livonia, Michigan, and the Hunt Family of Oscoda, Michigan, come from two different parts of the history of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

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