(The seventh annual GRAMMY Camp, produced by the GRAMMY Foundation, is a residential summer camp for high school students with a focus on providing hands-on instruction about careers in the music industry. GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles took place July 9–18 and, for the first time ever, GRAMMY Camp will be held in New York Aug. 2–8. GRAMMY.com will feature select blog entries from camp participants relating their firsthand experiences from this unique educational opportunity. To apply for GRAMMY Camp in 2012, click here.)
By Alyssa Sarti
On Aug. 2 students from around the country joined for the GRAMMY Foundation's first-ever New York installment of GRAMMY Camp. During the kick-off event that evening, campers were welcomed to Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a performance by "Glee"'s Matthew Morrison, who performed songs from his self-titled debut album. GRAMMY Camp's Music Business & Production track participant Tanner Grandstaff enthusiastically described Morrison's performance as a "mellow mix between Michael Bublé and Justin Timberlake," and went on to say how cool it was to see an artist perform an acoustic set and talk with campers in such an intimate setting. The performance definitely got GRAMMY Camp started off with a bang.
As the evening unfolded, participants had the opportunity to showcase their own styles and talents during Open Mic Night. "I was definitely nervous," recalled Chris Withers, a GRAMMY Camp participant in the Music Business & Production track, on his performance, which showcased him singing and playing his acoustic guitar, "But what convinced me to go up there was seeing everyone else perform. It was really easy to drop my expectations for myself and go up and have fun. I felt relieved and open after the performance. I took down this wall [I had up in front of] myself, which is going to make camp a lot more fun."
The N.Y. edition of the prestigious music industry camp is put together in order to foster a hands-on experience for students and gives them the opportunity to create a project that will help promote themselves and their talent. The students' efforts will culminate with a launch party on Aug. 7 at Best Buy Theater in Times Square where they will have the opportunity to pitch ideas and songs to music industry professionals and special guests. Many of the campers are looking forward to seeing what will be constructed in the coming week.
"I'm excited to receive constructive criticism as a young musician," said Grandstaff. "I'm looking forward to seeing the collaboration [come together] and the industry professionals' [comments on] each of [the participants'] strong suits."
(Young entrepreneur Alyssa Sarti of Las Vegas finds her niche in expressing her love for music through business. She runs several student organizations at her high school from community service activities to the marketing club. After attending GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles July 9–18 during which she participated in the Concert Promotion/Production track, she's one of 35 high school students at the first-ever installment of GRAMMY Camp in New York, participating in the Music Business & Production track.)