Local middle school students attend Rushmore Music Camp

Annual week-long camp held at Northern State University in Aberdeen


From July 31-August 5, middle school students from De Smet and Lake Preston attended the Rushmore Music Camp at Northern State University in Aberdeen.

Rushmore Music Camp holds two sessions each year, one for grades 6-8, including incoming 6th graders and outgoing 8th graders, and one for high school students during the following week in Keystone. This was year 47 for the annual camp.

Upon arrival at camp, the young musicians registered, received audition times for placement and headed to the dormitories on campus, where they would be spending the week.

Of course, this camp offers music – lots and lots of it. Students had a chance to not only play their instruments, but also to join a choir and a separate “Rushmore Singers” group, for which they could audition. Individual lessons were also available, if so desired.

Many on-campus activities such as the first-night mixer, a talent show featuring the staff and a talent show featuring any campers wanting to perform are offered. The schedule for camp was jam-packed with other fun activities like outings to Wylie Park, Storybook Land and the local water park.

Kayla Vockrodt, band director at both De Smet and Lake Preston Schools, was the head camp counselor this year, to the delight of her students. She was assisted by teachers from all over South Dakota, who also served as counselors/instructors.

On the last day of camp, a concert was presented for parents to enjoy the week’s achievements of their young musicians. The Cadet Band (made up of first-year students), Jazz Band, Full Band, Chorus and Rushmore Singers all performed. Between musical numbers, many teachers spoke, reminiscing about being students at the camp themselves, coming up through the ranks to become counselors.

After the final concert, the students from De Smet and Lake Preston met in one of the band rooms, took pictures together and said goodbye to camp for another year.


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