Summer Arts Academy offers youth vocal, string camps

DEARBORN – The city Recreation & Parks Department Summer Arts Academy at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center has openings in both its vocal and string instrument camps, which begin June 24.

The vocal camp, entitled “Showstoppers,” will expose students, ages 9 through 14 (grades 4 through 8) to music from Broadway and other musical genres while developing skills in solo and group singing, choreography and stage presence.

The camp will culminate in a performance at 8 p.m. July 16 at the Ford Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., in conjunction with a concert by the Dearborn Summer Chorus.

“Showstoppers” instructor Jim Walters has classroom experience as a choral teacher and is known as the director for the Dearborn Public Schools Elementary Honors Choir program, which includes all the district schools.  He will be assisted by Eric Floetke, who serves as assistant director for the district-wide honors choir.

“Stringtastic,” the string instrument camp designed for first- through third-year string students in grades 3 through 8, will focus on developing solid playing techniques through games and traditional teaching methods.

Students also can learn about the diversity of string music styles, develop their music reading abilities and receive basic instruction in improvisational techniques.

Students must provide their own instruments.

“Stringtastic” will conclude with a recital at 7 p.m. July 16 the Ford Center.

Instructor Brandon Cota brings experience as both a string player and teacher to the classroom.  He serves on the faculty of the Flint School of Performing Arts.

Both “Showstoppers” and Stringtastic” meet Tuesday through Thursday through July 16.  “Showstoppers” runs from 10 to 11:45 a.m., while “Stringtastic” meets from 12:15 to 2 p.m.

The participation fee for either camp is $170.  Student registering for both camps receive a $20 discount.

To register, call 313-943-2354, or go to the Ford Center box office — open Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — or go to