Virtual Arts 2020

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Enjoy the United States Marine Band's social distancing rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever." On May 14, 1897, John Philip Sousa's iconic march, "The Stars and Stripes Forever," was first performed at Willow Grove Park, just outside Philadelphia.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Check out the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's YouTube page for performances, interviews with CSO musicians, and more!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Join curator David Bower in Blue Lake's Instrument Museum as he gives an overview of instrument technology throughout history.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Writing Wednesdays - American Sentences

Join Dr. Caitlin Cowan to learn how to write an "American Sentence".

Blue Lake's piano faculty, led by department coordinator Dr. Wan-Chin Chang, perform From Canterbury Lane.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Join Blue Lake voice faculty Dr. Courtney Piercey and Dr. Susan Ruggiero for a conversation about how to have a successful audition experience.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Join Blue Lake clarinet instructor Dr. David Cook for a lesson on the fundamentals of an effective clarinet embouchure.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Google, in cooperation with museums around the world, can take you on a jet setting tour through some of the top museums in the world, including MoMA in New York and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to name a few. Explore today!!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Enjoy violinist Igor Kalnin and the Rose Chamber Orchestra, in concert Session 4, 2018, performing Tzigane for Violin and Orchestra. Tzigane is a rhapsodic composition by the French composer Maurice Ravel. Originally written for violin and piano, the piece was commissioned in 1924 by and dedicated to Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi, great-niece of the influential violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Blake Morgan - Blue Lake Alumni Spotlight

What is your artistic specialty and how are you practicing it now?

I record, teach, and tour internationally with the British vocal octet, VOCES8, for whom I also write and arrange music. In my time away from the group, I have a solo folk music project called “Esto” where I keep up my instrumental chops, tracking and performing original tunes. Prior to VOCES8, I toured with full-time men’s ensembles Chanticleer and Cantus, and was a member of Austin-based Conspirare when the group won its 2015 GRAMMY for best choral performance.

What is your educational/training background?

I grew near Detroit listening to my father play drums in different Motown bands (he previously had a stint with Tina Turner) so I was behind the kit with him, learning at an early age. I took up piano lessons and also began playing several instruments in the band and orchestra throughout grade school. However, I picked up guitar in 9th grade with dreams of being the next Bon Jovi, started a rock band, and also got more seriously into jazz. 

I entered Western Michigan University as a jazz studies major, but enjoyed singing in “Gold Company” (the vocal jazz ensemble) so much that I decided to join the classical choir as well... then the opera chorus. I eventually decided to add both a music education degree and a classical voice degree.

When did you attend Blue Lake?

I attended Blue Lake a few times! My first visit as a camper was in 2007, playing drum kit in the jazz band. 

In 2008 I wanted to try out Blue Lake’s International program but was a little late applying for the jazz group — I was told there were a few tenor spots available in the International choir, so I sent in a recording of me singing really high with my rock band. Somehow I made the cut! It was the first choir with which I ever made music, and I absolutely drank-up the kool-aid; guess I’m still drinking it! 

I also returned to the summer camp to play jazz guitar later that summer (2008), served as an intensive week counsellor a few times, and reprised my role as a tenor in the International choir during the summer of 2012, this time as a staff member. Lots of great memories!

What was special about Blue Lake and do you have any particular experiences or memories that you would like to share?

BLFAC, particularly the International program, was the defining experience that made me want to pursue music as a career. I wasn’t ready for such a whirlwind of a summer, and any expectation I could have dreamed-up for my first experience abroad was absolutely shattered, in a profoundly positive way. Getting that first taste of travelling to a new world — soaking up so much exciting culture, making friends on the other side of the ocean, transcending language barriers with the power of song — it set me off on an inspiring chase to make a career out of moments like that. Blue Lake’s International program brought some of my most cherished memories, many of my best friends (still to this day), and a serious helping of indescribable magic, from which I still draw inspiration, even now.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Curator David Bower gives a virtual tour of Blue Lake's Instrument Museum.

Meet Blue Lake's Harp Department Coordinator, Jacqueline Pollauf. Her YouTube channel has many informational and entertaining videos - check out her playlists for repertoire recommendations, technique demonstrations, and even maintenance and repair tips!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Writing Wednesday June 24 2020

Join Dr. Caitlin Cowan for Writing Wednesday as she presents a creative writing lesson about the beau present.

Hi there! My name is Caitlin Cowan, and I’m the Director of International Tours at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. I’m also a published writer who has taught creative writing in universities, summer camps, and communities around the country, and I’m so excited to be talking to you about writing every week this summer for #WritingWednesdays from VirtualArts at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Are you feeling a little stir-crazy staying home all the time? Has it been tough on you having your choices limited when it comes to how you spend your time? I definitely understand. I can’t wait to see all my favorite people and visit my favorite places again! But did you know that having limited options, media, or choices (what we call “constraints”) can actually increase your creativity? One form of creative writing you can use to try out this idea is what’s known as a beau present (French for “beautiful gift”), which is a poem that is traditionally given to the person whose name appears in the title. But you can use any word, or the name of a place (like I have) to get started. Let’s think about how such a limiting form can make us consider new possibilities!

For this exercise, you’ll choose a name, word, or phrase to serve as your title. Try your own name! Then, write a poem about that person, place, or thing using only the letters that appear in those words. This means you’ll need to find anagrams in the title of your poem itself. 

Need a refresher? An anagram is a word that is made from the letters in another word. For example, the word “post” contains the word “stop,” “pot,” “to,” etc. Feel free to use an online anagram generator to find usable words, or stretch your brain and sniff out the anagrams yourself on paper. 

Here’s an example of a beau present I wrote for BLFAC! (This is also written in a poetic form called a tanka… I’ll talk about that more in a future #WritingWednesday exercise!)


In silent sun: pine.
Mute trees are leafier, calm—
all music, in time.
Rest till later—craft peaceful tunes
fine as maple sap, a balm. 

Every word in the poem is a word whose letters appear in the phrase “Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.” Cool, right? Are you digging this poetic form? If so, research the following poems and books for more inspiration!

Chen Chen, “Chen [No Middle Name] Chen”
Dave Drayton, “A Toast to a Saint: Beau Present for Martin Harrison”
Sidney Wade, Straits & Narrows (2013)

Feel free to post your experiments and results in the comments or on social media with the hashtags #WritingWednesdays, #BlueLakeFineArtsCamp, and #VirtualArts

Thanks for reading this VirtualArts post brought to you by Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp!

Blue Lake Co-Director of Art, Geo Rutherford shows us how to create an Artist's Book from unwanted artwork. If a piece doesn't work for you, turn it into an Accordion Fold Artist's Book!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Join Blue Lake voice faculty Dr. Courtney Piercey and Dr. Susan Ruggiero as they share tips for a successful practice session for singers.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Blue Lake flute instructor Dr. Danilo Mezzadri explains his interleaved practice system, called the Spider Log, which he uses in his own practice. Watch and learn how to organize and improve your practice!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Classics in the Classroom Jazz

Join Blue Lake Public Radio this Saturday morning for “Classics in the Jazzroom,” a virtual opportunity for learning. This Saturday’s jazz classic is Miles Davis’s recording of Kurt Weil’s composition My Ship from Miles Ahead, Miles Davis + 19

This week’s work was chosen by Blue Lake faculty member Gregory Dudzienski, who writes:

Miles Davis +19 is not a traditional “big band “ recording, but is very important in setting the direction for the future. My Ship is a beautifully minimal setting of the melody that allows Miles to shine.  Of particular interest is the subtle changes in harmonization as each “A” section comes around.  Of course, Gil’s orchestrations are sublime…notice how he makes non-traditional choices with regard to instrumental pairings and usage (especially that bass clarinet!), mixed mutes in the brass to achieve very impressionistic colors, and a very virtuosic use of woodwinds.  When listening to this it is easy to hear the many artists that were influenced, like Maria Schneider for one.

Jazz From Blue Lake airs every Saturday morning from 7-10 eastern time, with the “Classics in the Jazzroom” segment heard between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Streaming live from

June 17, 2020

It's Wednesday after lunch

June 17, 2020

It's Wednesday morning. The Current time is Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:09 am

June 16, 2020