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Posted: July 15, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Newton County children wrap up musical theatre camp with finale performance

The ‘80s get a second life at “We Got the Beat!”

Experience the grand finale of the Arts Association’s Musical Theatre Camp as 67 campers wrap up two weeks of music, dance, stage terminology, acting technique and choreography practice.

“It’s pretty amazing what they pull off that they learned in the last two weeks,” said Buncie Lanners, executive director of the Newton County Arts Association.

Lanners said the campers worked on singing both numbers and solos, learned acting skills through example and put together vignettes for the show as well as dance numbers to produce their show on Friday, July 18 at 7 p.m.
The camp, which was held from July 7-18, was split into two groups: the Jr. Campers (grades 4-7) and the Sr. Campers (grades 8-12).

And although the children were split during camp, Lanners said their sessions overlapped in the middle of each day, allowing children of all ages to mingle.

“Two hours per day, they interact and overlap so the little ones can mentor with the big ones and have the opportunity to be mentored by big kids,” Lanners said. “In the arts it’s really beneficial to the younger kids to see what the big kids do so they can see what they can grow up to do and be.”

In the finale show, the children will perform a collection of vignettes based on popular ‘80s songs that the audience can recognize and enjoy.

Lanners explained that some of the children had previous experience, but many of them are learning new art forms.
“A lot of kids are already in our programs, but we get a lot of kids in our camps who get new opportunities, too,” Lanners said. “Many of them end up being in our program next year. I think that speaks to the high quality of our programs and directors.”

Music director Mary Lynn Luke, drama director Jay Tryall and dance directors Ashley and Peter Swan are all artistic directors for the Young Artists Programs of the Arts Association — Oxford Singing Children, Oxford Youth Singers and Covington Regional Ballet School & Company.

The musical theater camp mimics what these programs offer during the school year to offer children a performing and musical theatre outlet in the summer.

Lanners said the experience is also one of the powerful ways to see the Arts Association’s involvement with the community.

Michelin Tread Technologies and the Virgil P. Warren Foundation sponsor the event. The Arts Association collaborated with the Newton County School System to host the camp.

Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased online at newtoncountyarts.com, by phone (770) 786-8188 or in person at the Arts Association office located at 1106 Washington St Covington, GA 30014, just off the Square in Downtown Covington.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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