Cool summer school

Believe it or not, summer school doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, it can be a whole lotta fun. Check out these cool options:


Omega offers dozens and dozens of workshops, classes and seminars down in Rhinebeck, and quite a few of them and musically centered.

The July 12-17 session, for example, includes “Dancing Cello, Dancing Tao” taught by former Paul Winter Consort cellist David Darling; “A Celebration of World Dance & Music” taught by Bill and Livia Drapkin Vanaver; and “Songwriting” by Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Not to mention “Writing the Unthinkable” by Lynda Barry.


In Schenectady, Proctors is hosting its fifth annual Proctors Summer Adventures Jazz Institute led by saxophone master, composer and recent Metroland cover boy Keith Pray and Arthur Falbush.

You can sign up for one or two weeks, and the institute is in session from 9am-3pm on Monday-Friday, July 13-24. The all-ages institute includes master classes by guest artists, a recording session and a wrap-up performance at Proctors GE Theatre.

More after the jump:


The Arts Center on the Capital Region in Troy hosts a big batch of arts-related classes throughout the summer. One of the special ones for teens – that’s ages 12-17 – is RockFest 2009!, which takes place from 9am-4pm on Monday -Friday, August 17-21.

Instructor Greg Speck (of Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers) leads the class that shows you what it’s like to be a rock musician and be in a rock band. Meet professional rock musicians, discover insider music industry secrets, learn how to record a CD. The class will conclude with a rock concert by the students.


Also on the jazz tip, Medeski Martin and Wood are once again hosting Camp MMW at the Full Moon Resort in the Catskills. The five-day sleep-away musical camp runs from Tuesday, August 4 thru Sunday, August 9 and is open to musicians (and listeners).

MMW describes the camp as “five days of intensive workshops and seminars, deep listening, musical exploration, and improvisation. No matter what instrument you play, you will expand your approach to music, improve your listening skills and interact with other musicians in a completely fresh, innovative way. You’ll break with convention, bust out of your safety zone, and dare to try new things. Think of it as musical cross training.”


Nashville-based surf ‘n’ twang guitar band Los Straitjackets will also take over the Full Moon Resort for their very own Los Straitjackets Rock and Roll Summer Camp from Tuesday, August 25 thru Friday, August 28.

In addition to Los Straitjackets – led by Nippertown’s own twangmaster Eddie Angel – the camp with feature special guest Dieslelbilly guitar great Bill Kirchen. The camp features three concerts, workshops, personal instruction on guitar and rock & roll showmanship and much more.

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