Summer 2010
Second Annual Experience Blue Lake
Set for July 26 – 28 in Ann Arbor

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is presenting a special student showcase at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium July 26 – 28, 2010. Entitled Experience Blue Lake, the annual event will feature performances by the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra and International Choir, both having recently returned from three-week goodwill tours of Europe.  In addition, an exhibition of specially selected art by Blue Lake students will be presented in the Michigan Union’s Art Lounge.

The centerpiece of Experience Blue Lake will be a performance on Tuesday, July 27, of Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah by the Blue Lake International Choir, Alumni Choir, and International Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Christoph von Kuczewski-Poray.  The concert will be broadcast live on Blue Lake Public Radio. 

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake completes its Elizabethan theater,
The Rose

As a part of its continuing effort to provide new and unique opportunities for its students, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp will inaugurate a major in Shakespeare performance within its Theater Program.  An intrinsic part of this program was the construction of an authentic performing space.

The result is the Rose, named in honor of one of London’s first theaters of this type, located adjacent to the Miller Theater in Camp Gershwin.  Blue Lake’s theater is approximately half the size of Shakespeare’s own Globe Theater in London.  Designed by Muskegon architect Richard Borgeson, the theater will feature a traditional thrust stage, a Juliet balcony, seating for nearly 600 in two galleries, and a “groundling” area for an additional 150 attendees in the yard.  Borgeson’s design synthesized elements of a number of theaters from this period and made use of many surviving sketches and documents.  The theater is completely authentic with no electricity or indoor plumbing.  The only concession to the twenty-first century is the installation of a sprinkler system.

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp honors its distinguished faculty with gallery in Student Arts Center

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp has instituted a Distinguished Faculty Gallery to acknowledge and honor the work of the many dedicated individuals who have contributed to the success of the camp through the years.  The first profiles have been installed in the Student Arts Center outside of the Blodgett Recital Hall.

Says Blue Lake’s President, Fritz Stansell, “We are so grateful to these talented people who have demonstrated great idealism, loyalty, and leadership for the benefit of our students.  They are largely responsible for the continuity and high standards of the curriculum over the years.  Their dedication is shown by their return to camp year after year.

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp announces highlights of its 2010 Summer Arts Festival

During the 2010 season, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s Summer Arts Festival will present more than 175 performances to its public and camper audiences.  Highlights of the upcoming season include performances of a favorite work for chorus and orchestra by participants in Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program, as well as appearances by accomplished guest artists and world-renowned soloists.

Read the entire article here

“This Always Was a Beautiful Part of the World”
100 Years of Camping on Little Blue Lake

Piano students participating in a class at the Arens Piano Studio, once a building in the central part of Camp Hardy, the previous camp on the site now occupied by Blue Lake’s Art Colony.

In 1963, Fritz and Gretchen Stansell began a search for a suitable site to establish a fine arts camp.  They were motivated by two factors.  First, they perceived a need to provide intensive instruction in the arts for children who would not otherwise get it.  In addition, the Stansell family nurtured a dream to revive the ideals of the Arens Arts Colony, a summer camp owned and operated by Mr. Stansell’s maternal grandfather, Ludolph Arens.  The Arens Art Colony operated for 28 seasons from 1922 until 1948.  This desire was to come to fruition in the founding of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

After searching for some time, the Stansells-and a number of friends who shared their vision-came across 186 acres of available land on the north shore of Little Blue Lake in the Manistee National Forest.  The land was owned by the Lawrence Hall School for Boys, then a Chicago orphanage operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.  Lawrence Hall-now serving both boys and girls and known as Lawrence Hall Youth Services-operated a summer camp, called Camp Hardy, for its residents here from 1910 until 1962.  Therefore, 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of children’s camps on this site. 

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp receives scholarship grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Blue Lake has received a $5,000 grant from the Mary I. and David D. Hunting Family Fund of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.  The grant is to be used for financial-need scholarships for students from the Grand Rapids Public Schools and the wider Kent County area during the 2010 camp season.

Read the entire article here

Featured Alumni: 

The 1975 International Youth Symphony Orchestra

Thirty-five years ago this summer, with Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program fewer than five years old, the International Youth Symphony Orchestra embarked on a tour of Scandinavia, led by the camp’s Founder and President, Fritz Stansell.  Through the years, the members of that group, as well as the Blue Lake faculty and staff members who observed and participated, have come to recall it with special fondness.

“One of my all time favorite Blue Lake tour experiences was of touring with the 1975 International Youth Symphony Orchestra in Europe,” said Fritz Stansell in his book Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp:  The Early Years. 

Mr. Stansell recently recalled that “the program was still relatively new, but we managed to attract many talented kids.  They kept the whole tour light and fun.”

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake Faculty Winds July 7 Fremont concert
honored Ray and Phyllis Jansma

The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Faculty Winds, a 30-piece concert band, performed at the Dogwood Center in Fremont, Michigan, on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. 

The performance honored Fremont residents Ray and Phyllis Jansma.  The Jansmas have been affiliated with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp since its inception and have assisted in the creation and administration of several successful programs, including the very popular adult programs, Chamber Music for Fun and the Stewart Piano Workshop.

Read the entire article here