Summer 2012

Blue Lake announces its second annual Alumni Day taking place on Saturday, August 4

Gretchen Stansell – Guest of Honor

Gretchen Stansell is pictured in 1978 with Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf (left) and Dr. James Niblock, Blue Lake Board of Trustees Vice President and International Youth Symphony Orchestra conductor.

A special invitation is extended to past Blue Lake campers, staff and faculty for Alumni Day. Scheduled for Saturday, August 4, 2012, Alumni Day will provide the opportunity to renew old friendships, tour the camp’s new facilities, and show your support for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

The Alumni Day Guest of Honor will be Gretchen Stansell, Founder and Director Emeritus of the Blue Lake International Exchange Program.  Mrs. Stansell will be recognized during the Alumni Reception upon her retirement after more than 40 years of dedicated service.  Through her vision and herculean efforts, the Blue Lake International Exchange Program has impacted the lives of thousands of American and European students and contributed significantly to international understanding and goodwill through music and the arts.

Read the entire article here

Grand Rapids Symphony to present benefit concert for Blue Lake Public Radio on Saturday, July 14

Blue Lake’s Blodgett Recital Hall will be the site of a celebration of Blue Lake Public Radio’s 30th anniversary on Saturday, July 14, 2012.  At 7:30 p.m., the Grand Rapids Symphony, under the baton of its Music Director David Lockington, will present a program of works by Mozart, Johann Strauss II, Vivaldi, and Beethoven.  Members of Blue Lake Public Radio will be on hand for the event, the proceeds of which will benefit the radio station.

The program will open with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.  Johann Strauss II’s Blue Danube Waltz and the “Summer” movement from Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons will follow.  Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36, will conclude the concert.

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake’s 2012 Summer Arts Festival offers band and orchestra concerts and the Verdi Requiem

During the 2012 season, Blue Lake’s 47th, the 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 masterpiece of the choral/orchestral repertory, as well as major orchestral works, concertos, a wide variety of music for bands, and appearances by accomplished guest artists.

Read the entire article here

Don’t miss Experience Blue Lake, coming to Ann Arbor July 23-25, 2012

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s fourth annual Experience Blue Lake event will be held at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium July 23-25, 2012. This annual event will feature performances by the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra, International Choir, and International Jazz Orchestra, having recently returned from three-week goodwill tours of Europe. 

The centerpiece of Experience Blue Lake will be a performance on Tuesday, July 24, of Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem by the Blue Lake International Choir, Alumni Choir, and International Youth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Klaue.

Read the entire article here

Featured Alumnus: Michael Klaue
Ahrensburg, Germany

Music Director: Ahrensburg Youth Symphony Orchestra; Conducting Faculty, Hamburg Conservatory

Blue Lake affiliation: Visiting member of Ahrensburg Youth Symphony, 1973; Camp Counselor, 1974; International Program Counselor, 1975; Current member, Blue Lake European Advisory Committee; Music Director of 2012 Blue Lake International Choir and Alumni Choir

Major: Violin

On a cloudy and blustery Saturday afternoon this past April, German conductor Michael Klaue stands in front of the 2012 edition of the Blue Lake Alumni Choir on the Miller Theater stage.  This is his first rehearsal with the group as they begin the process of preparing Giuseppe Verdi’s towering Requiem for performances this summer.  He will stand for the entirety of the four-hour rehearsal.

Klaue began the rehearsal by warming up the choir for a full forty minutes, allowing him to both introduce the choir to how he will work with them and to get an idea of group’s sound.

Now, after sampling parts of the score of varying difficulty out of order, he comes to the exceedingly quiet opening “Requiem aeternam” movement.  Accompanist Seung-Youn Kim plays the introductory cello line and Klaue gives the choir the cue to enter. 

As carefully and as quietly as possible, the tenors and basses sing the first word, “Requiem,” followed by the sopranos and altos, an octave higher and two measures later.

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake’s Opera Department presents production of Puccini’s La Bohème during the 2012 Summer Arts Festival

Now in its seventh season, the Blue Lake Opera Department, under the direction of Dr. James Niblock, will present a production of Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera, La Bohème, during the 2012 season. The Stage Director for the production is David Little, a member of Blue Lake’s Theater faculty.  Two performances will be given at Blue Lake’s Miller Theater during each of the camp sessions by the professional singers and instrumentalists of Blue Lake’s accomplished faculty.  The opera will be sung in English. 

While other summer arts programs have opera departments that serve as training grounds for aspiring opera singers, Blue Lake’s program was devised as an educational tool for its campers.  One of the goals of the program is to show young musicians and artists that opera is a collaborative art form, involving not only vocal and orchestral music, but theatrical acting and training, scenic art, and technical considerations, such as lighting and sound design.  Students will see how all of these elements are combined to produce a unified theatrical experience in performance.

Read the entire article here

Becoming a Blue Lake counselor: an invaluable summer experience

There are many factors that help to determine the success of any summer camp.  However, when asked about what might be the top priority for those considering starting and running a successful arts camp, Blue Lake’s Founder and President Fritz Stansell has this advice:  “Make sure that a good, solid counseling program is in place first.”

In his book Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp: the Early Years, Mr. Stansell elaborates on the importance of a top-flight counseling staff.

“[T]he emphasis placed on. . . our counseling program by Camp Director, Heidi Stansell, and her talented staff leaders has led to a successful method of recruiting, screening, and training a dedicated counseling staff chosen from college and universities from all over the United States.  Through careful orientation and instruction, Blue Lake has now developed a counseling professionalism that is widely recognized and admired.  We have learned parents naturally value the security and safety provided by a good counseling program as much as the artistic program.  We’re proud of our outstanding counselors, who understand parents demand first and foremost a secure, well-regulated environment for learning.”

Read the entire article here

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp receives scholarship grant from the Gerber Foundation

Blue Lake has received a $4,000 grant from the West Michigan Grants Program of the Gerber Foundation.  The grant is to be used for financial-need scholarships for students from Newaygo, Muskegon, and Oceana counties in Michigan during the 2012 camp season.

The Gerber Foundation—based in Fremont, Michigan—created the West Michigan Grants Program to serve area youth up to age 18. According to the Foundation, “special emphasis is placed on projects focused on dental and health issues, early childhood education, parenting education, and Math, Science and Technology education.”

Blue Lake’s mission is to educate and motivate gifted young people interested in the arts, selected from a wide geographic area and a broad spectrum of socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.   Given the slow pace of Michigan’s economic recovery, Blue Lake is seeking to provide more opportunity for Michigan children with financial need to attend camp.  The generous $4,000 grant from the Gerber Foundation will assist the camp in its efforts to recruit more children from Newaygo, Muskegon, and Oceana counties.

Edith I. Blodgett
1916 – 2012

Our friend Edith Blodgett died on April 2, 2012.  She loved classical music and generously supported Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp for many years, making the Blodgett Recital Hall possible as well as annual concerts by the Grand Rapids Symphony.  She was a stalwart supporter of many organizations, including her beloved Grand Rapids Symphony, the New World Quartet, The Blodgett Artists series at Harvard, Camp Blodgett, D.A. Blodgett/Jones Home, piano scholarships at Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Blodgett Hospital Nursing School, and Planned Parenthood.

Her legacy and her philanthropy will live on through the Blodgett Foundation.  Nonetheless, we will miss her energy and enthusiasm for life, her joy of music, and her support of musicians of all ages.