EC Summer Arts Festival to offer instruction in stage combat, music, children’s theatre

Mar 28 2014

Summer Arts Festival logo

The Eureka College Summer Arts Festival will offer workshops and camps on stage combat, singing, stringed instruments and children’s theatre.

The festival director is David Commanday, Eureka College artist-in-residence and artistic director and conductor of the Heartland Festival Orchestra.

The workshops and camps are:

  • Central Illinois Stage Combat Workshop, May 19–June 6
  • Youth Strings Camp, June 9–14
  • Children’s Theatre Camp, June 9–13
  • Summer Choral Camp, June 15–21
  • Chamber Strings at Eureka, June 19–22

For information, contact Commanday at

The Stage Combat Workshop will offer instruction in stage fighting with single sword and quarterstaff. Students will undergo proficiency testing by the Society of American Fight Directors for certification in combat skills used to fight on stage and in films and television. Dueling Arts International certification in unarmed and small sword fighting also will be offered. The instructors are D.C. Wright, a theatre professor at Western Illinois University, and Jonn Baca, a stage combat teacher at Northern Kentucky University. Enrollment is limited to 18. The students will present a free demonstration of fighting skills from 11 a.m. to noon June 6 in Pritchard Theatre. The demonstration will include adult language and violence.

The Youth Strings Camp is open to violin, viola, cello and bass players in 7th through 12th grades. Rehearsals of chamber groups and string orchestra will be supplemented with music classes. The camp will culminate in a chamber music performance at 11 a.m. and a string orchestra performance at 2:30 p.m., both on June 14 in the Chapel. Workshop faculty are Commanday, conductor and cello; and Heartland Festival Orchestra members Sarah Gentry, Jose Valencia and Elizabeth Rust, violins; Diane Wuthrich, viola; and Barbara Hedlund, cello. Registration deadline is May 16.

The Children’s Theatre Camp will be for aspiring actors ages 3 through 13. Rehearsals will culminate in a production of “Charlotte’s Web,” based on the book by E.B. White, at 6 p.m. June 13 in Rinker Amphitheatre. Amy Glass will direct. Registration deadline is April 25.

The 15th annual Summer Choral Camp for high school students, including incoming freshmen, will offer a comprehensive and accelerated choral learning experience including participation in large and small ensembles, voice classes, private voice studio, music reading, music history and music theory. Participants will study and perform the All-State audition pieces to help them prepare for fall Illinois Music Education Association auditions. The camp will culminate in a concert at 2 p.m. June 21 in Becker Auditorium in the Cerf Center. Camp director is Eureka College music professor Joseph Henry. Instructors are Eureka College and Bradley University voice instructor Shirley Salazar, Eureka College voice instructor Libby Moore, Dunlap High School music teacher Jennifer Reece, Midland High School music teacher Beth Rock and piano accompanist John Clark. For more information, contact Henry at (309) 467-6397 or Enrollment is limited to 60. Registration deadline is May 31.

The 3rd annual Chamber Strings at Eureka is designed for adult community orchestra string musicians. Rehearsals of chamber music and string orchestra will culminate in a chamber music concert at 8 p.m. June 21 and a string orchestra concert at 2 p.m. June 22, both in the Chapel. Sessions on playing healthy and on instrument care and acquisition will be presented by guest professionals. Private lessons may be arranged during the festival by appointment and a separate fee. The faculty will be the same as for the Youth Strings Camp, including conductor Commanday. The faculty will coach and play side-by-side in the orchestra for the final performance. Registration deadline is May 30.

The concerts, the children’s theatre performance and the stage combat finale all will be free and open to the public.