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Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Musically inclined kids in the U.P. have the chance to try out for an unusual summer camp in the Keweenaw in July. PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp will start out with auditions July 7 and 8 at the Rozsa Center in Houghton, and 40 kids will go on to participate in an intense two-week program from August 6 to 17.
“Auditions are a must and a great way for PJ and the other instructors to get to know each prospective camper, and even better, it gives the kids a chance to really show off their musical mojo with PJ,” says Todd Brassard, the camp’s program director.
Olsson, a Houghton native, and Brassard founded the camp in 2010, after a 2009 collaboration with young local musicians at the Houghton Spring Art and Music Festival inspired Olsson to do something to better feature talented kids in the area.
“We had this crazy and wonderful imagining of an epic rock concert starring kids from around the Keweenaw. We just wanted to see if it could be done,” says Brassard. “We never expected the campers to completely floor us with their talent and drive. The final rock concert was out of this world.”
The camp is open to youth ages 11 to 19, and will help develop individual musicians into several bands, while the camp programs focus on self-exploration, rehearsal, collaboration, talent development and live performance. Applications are available online. Volunteers and sponsors are welcome to contact Brassard by email.
Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Todd Brassard, PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp
Story from Michigan Tech Today, June 12, 2012
After a year’s hiatus due to renovation work at the Rozsa Center, PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp, an intensive two-week musical program that involves up to 40 local youngsters, will be staged Monday, Aug. 6 through Friday, Aug. 17.
Auditions for youth, ages 11 to 19, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 7, and from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, July 8, at the Rozsa Center.
“Auditions are a great way for PJ and the other instructors to get to know each prospective camper,” says Todd Brassard ’93, cofounder and program director of the Rock Camp. “Even better, it gives the kids a chance to really show off their musical mojo with PJ.”
Campers, he adds, develop from independent musicians into tight-knit bands.
“In an age of video games, smart phones and social websites, kids are more likely to text than talk and Facebook than face-to-face.” says PJ Olsson, the program’s creative director. “The Rock Camp provides a unique opportunity to bring kids together in a positive, safe and cultivating environment.”
Rock Camp began in 2009, when Olsson brought 18 young musicians together to back his performance at the Houghton Spring Art and Music Festival. Brassard partnered with Olsson in 2010 to re-invent the music camp to better spotlight the young people’s talent. “We had this crazy and wonderful imagining of an epic rock concert starring kids from around the Keweenaw,” explains Brassard. “We just wanted to see if it could be done. We never expected the campers to completely floor us with their talent and drive. The final rock concert was out of this world.”
The 2012 Rock Camp is now accepting applications for campers, as well as volunteers and sponsors. Learn more about PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp at pjsrockcamp.com , or email Brassard at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Rozsa Center and Michigan Tech Dining Services are sponsors, as are several local businesses.