Sound of music: Livingstone College Summer Music Camp puts on final concert

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, June 12, 2024

SALISBURY — Music is one of those universal languages that can affect anyone that hears it. Appreciating music is important, but actually knowing how to play it guarantees it lives on for years to come.

On June 7, the Livingstone College Summer Music Camp held their final concert at Varick Auditorium for parents and visitors to witness and listen to the result of a week of rehearsals.

The camp began on June 3 and consisted of a rotation of practicing with musical instruments, learning about music theory and vocal instruction. This is only the second year the camp has existed, but it was able to improve from last year thanks to a $5,800 “Summer Youth and Family Capacity Program” grant through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program and United Way. 

“It was quite small the first year for a lot of reasons, it was just piano, just three students. This year, because of the grant, we were able to advertise really effectively and provide this at no cost to applicants,” Dr. Lawrence Quinnett, camp director and head of Livingstone College’s music department, said.

Quinnett said 32 students participated in the camp and he hopes it can continue in 2025. 

“It’s been a joy. I’m so thrilled that this has gotten off the ground,” Quinnett said.

The concert consisted of performances of classic songs like “Home on the Range” and “This Little Light of Mine” as well as the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and even the movie “La La Land.” While there were moments where the entire camp played instruments or sang a song as a group, a few campers had the opportunity to perform solos to demonstrate their skills. 

Adam Gardner, a rising senior at Jesse C. Carson High School, played an Andrea Catozzi piece on the tuba with Quinnett on piano. Gardner began playing instruments when he was only six years old and his passion for music has not waned at all. 

“I love the people, the people that love my desire. I love being in the theater, I love being in this environment, it’s beautiful and the music itself, it makes my brain happy,” Gardner said.

Gardner will be going to another music camp at the University of North Carolina Greensboro later this summer, but Livingstone College Summer Music Camp has already left its mark on him.

“My favorite part was meeting new people. Especially the counselors all here, they were amazing people and amazing influences. Dr. Quinnett especially has been blowing my mind since I got here with his music. Today was actually the first day we practiced together,” Gardner said.

Quinnett has a similar attitude towards his students. To him, they are the reason he has made music his career. 

“For me, as a pianist, it’s teaching lessons. That’s why I became a musician, to share music with other people. As I get older, I want to give back and invest in the gifts that the next generation has,” Quinnett said.