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By Cassie Jacoby
Lifestyles Editor 

Legacy of Love

Sandy's MusicGirl Camp This Week in Lake Wales

 

Last updated 6/16/2019 at 10:04am

Cassie Jacoby

The hills are alive with the sound of music during the fifth annual Sandy's MusicGirl Camp 2019 at the Lake Wales Arts Center. Following the Junior MusicGirl program for girls ages 6-9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 10-11, girls ages 10-19 will attend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 12-14. Free lunch and snacks are provided.

"We offer fun-filled activities such as singing, percussion, crafts and instrument introduction or advancement in small groups," explains Steve Morrison, who founded the nonprofit in honor of his late wife, Sandy Greer Morrison. "Our camp goal is to instill in girls an enjoyment of music that can span a lifetime. We try to utilize an all-female instruction staff, to encourage and empower the girls in their musical journey."

In partnership with the Lake Wales Arts Council, the free camp is for girls with no prior music training and also for girls who already have experience playing any kind of music. Instruction is "by ear" and ability to read music is not required.

"We have loaner instruments so the girls do not have to have an instrument. We do encourage them to bring their own instrument if they have one and become more familiar with it."

"The focus is on them having fun with music related activities rather than actually learning a specific instrument," Morrison adds. "They may learn about rhythms, traditional American music, and introductory instruments such as ukulele, dulcimer and autoharp."

One of Sandy's best friends and MusicGirl's instructors, Cather Price, says Sandy, who lost her battle with cancer in March 2014, "would be really, really happy to see this. She would be proud of what Steve is doing with her legacy. I'm just sad that it didn't start during her lifetime so that she could experience it."

"Sandy was all about music, it was her life, and she was a very compassionate person," says Morrison, who started performing with his wife in the 1980s. "I just wanted to provide girls a chance to develop their creativity and self-esteem. Sandy loved kids but never had any of her own. Some of the girls we're helping now with the scholarship were her friends and were influenced by her and are carrying on her legacy."

Morrison needs more sponsors, volunteers, donations and instruments. "People really resonate with helping girls grow both musically and developmentally, especially if they have instruments sitting under their beds for years that should be enjoyed and used."

"It's really rewarding for me to do this. It's great for the girls and it's been a healing experience for me. You can't bring people back, but you can keep their spirit with you," says Morrison.

Sponsorship opportunities range from providing lunch for camp for $25-$50 to providing tuition for $150, covering costs for one junior and one senior MusicGirl for $250, covering the general costs of camp for $300, covering the costs of one instructor for the week for $500 to corporate sponsorship for $1,000. Mail checks to PO Box 608 Lake Wales, Fla. 33859-0608, and put "MusicGirl" in the note line.

Call 863-443-4716 or email stickysteve@wildblue.net to donate instruments or make tax deductible donations.

Visit SandysMusicGirls.org or lakewalesartscouncil.org/music-girl for more information and to make online donations.

 

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