The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

ArtsComm welcomes pre-college students for summer camps at their facilities

<p><em>Open to incoming high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors for the 2024-2025 academic year, these camps will provide students with professional advice and training from faculty members at the College as well as seasoned guest artists. (Photo courtesy of Meaghan Resta)</em></p>

Open to incoming high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors for the 2024-2025 academic year, these camps will provide students with professional advice and training from faculty members at the College as well as seasoned guest artists. (Photo courtesy of Meaghan Resta)

By Riley Eisenbeil
Staff Writer 

The College’s School of the Arts and Communication will host two in-person camps this summer, a Design and Creative Technology Academy and a Future Music Educators Institute. 

Open to incoming high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors for the 2024-2025 academic year, these camps will provide students with professional advice and training from faculty members at the College as well as seasoned guest artists. 

The DCT Academy will offer four different paths including game design, graphic design, digital fabrication or music technology.

“It's difficult for students to find places where they can learn these creative disciplines and train on industry-standard hardware and software,” Chair and Professor of the Department of DCT Teresa Nakra said. “Our facilities in the AIMM Building at TCNJ are competitive with the best design schools in New York and Philadelphia.”

Nakra will be teaching the Music Technology section, Associate Professor of DCT Josh Fishburn will be teaching game design, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Jason Alejandro will be teaching graphic design and Director of the Makerspace and Creative Technology Specialist Brett Ratner will be teaching digital fabrication. 

The Future Music Educators Institute will offer various daily classes, electives and masterclasses to help students prepare for their futures as conductors or music teachers. Institute Director Nicholas McBride, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands Eric Laprade, and Professor and Department Chair of Music Colleen Sears will be instructing students throughout the days on a variety of related topics.

This specific program was made possible, in part, thanks to a donation from Senior Vice President of Jacobs Music Bob Rinaldi, a “proud TCNJ parent,” according to Assistant to the Dean and Operations Coordinator Kate McGonigle. 

The overarching goal of the Future Music Educators Institute is to prepare students for their future careers, but it is also to help them gain a number of experiences. 

“​​At FMEI, we try to provide the high school participants with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences on music making, performing and learning,” McBride said. “We're lucky this year to feature so many world-class artists.” 

The guest artists include Emmy-award winning and Grammy-nominated composer Jake Runestad, nationally recognized composer and conductor Rollo Dilworth and Broadway and YouTube star Natalie Weiss, according to McBride.

Another version of the Future Music Educators Institute ran virtually in summer 2021, according to McBride. Additionally, a previous rendition of the DCT Academy has also taken place. This year, both DCT and the Music Department were interested in organizing a “pre-college experience,” McGonigle said. Thus, she and Dean of the School of the Arts and Communication Pamela Barnett started brainstorming. 

“Since they were enthusiastic, we decided to start with those departments and run them concurrently so we could pool our resources, and also create a robust experience on campus where campers from different disciplines would be able to interact with each other during meals and other free time,” McGonigle said. 

The summer camps will be running from June 23-28 and will offer housing or commuter options for students. Click here to register for the Design and Creative Technology Academy or here for the Future Music Educators Institute. For information on the summer camps, click here

“For me, the best part is getting students past the initial steep learning curve to where they can function creatively in the environment,” Nakra said. “I look forward to welcoming in a new cohort of students into our creative spaces this summer.”




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