The New Century School has made quite a reputation for excellent music education. Summer 2019 closed with the third annual American Music Camp (AMC), formerly known as AMS-Baltimore, led by Camp Director Yoshiaki Horiguchi “fondly known as “Mr. Yoshi.”
Here’s the thing about AMC—it needs to be seen and heard to be believed. Returning campers and new recruits alike took their music-making abilities to new levels and, most importantly, they had so much fun doing it. The point of AMC, after all, besides exposing younger generations to America’s rich musical heritage (AMC is sometimes referred to as “fiddle camp”), is to help them get comfortable making music, to let loose and jam, to give something different a try, to collaborate in new ways.
And, it works!
Mr. Yoshi was quick to comment, though, that TNCS itself gets credit for some of the magic: “Thank you to the staff of The New Century School and this wonderful facility,” he said. “This camp would be so different if it were anywhere else. So thank you for making it possible.”
So much can be said of AMC and its origins, and Immersed encourages readers to visit 2017’s American Music System Summer Camp at TNCS! and 2018’s AMS-Baltimore Enjoys Second Amazing Year at TNCS! for more background, but this year’s post will focus on what happened at TNCS from August 12th through August 16th. Because it truly is magical and speaks for itself.
So, enjoy! Oh wait—one more thing—AMC included mandolin for the first time this year, instruments courtesy of Laura Norris’s Mando for Kids Baltimore Chapter!
Jam and Bucket Drum Classes
Each day followed a similar structure, with students doing music lessons, taking specialty jam and bucket drum classes, doing recitals, and also getting lots of time to play games and run around.
This is Jam Class. You may recognize returning camp instructor Melissa Tong, back for her third year from New York, New York.
Mind you, that’s just a taste. Visit TNCS’s YouTube channel for more videos of Jam Class, including “Havana”!
This is Bucket Band. Remember camp instructor Rob Flax? He joined us for the third year running from Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Yoshi thanked both Rob and Melissa for taking a week out of their busy performance schedules to join AMC camp. Cellist Zoe Bell also helped out this year.
Now things get really interesting. Each morning when campers arrived at AMC Camp, they were given the opportunity to join up in bands. They agreed on their formats and then told camp instructors their band name and what tunes they’d be a’playin’. Here are Thursday’s bands.
Thirsty for more? Once again, visit TNCS’s YouTube channel for more recital videos by such awesome chart-toppers as The Chicken Noodle Soup!
On Friday’s recital, attended by some other TNCS camp-goers, bands posed for band shots (hover over the image to see their band names). For their songs, visit, you guessed it, TNCS’s YouTube channel!
And now, for the culmination of the marvelous week of music-making—the final performance!
“I’m a firm believer,” said Mr. Yoshi. . .
. . . that all of the life lessons you need for living in a health, happy community are all things you can learn from being in music camp, whether it’s getting a group of people together and collaborating on a tune to play in a recital or getting up on stage, conquering your fears, and presenting yourself or being able to improvise when life throws seemingly random curveballs and being able to respond appropriately for the benefit of all the people around you. So thank you parents and students for being a part of this week.
More final performance videos can be found at TNCS’s YouTube channel, and you won’t want to miss them! Let’s face it, it’s going to be a long wait for AMC Number Four in Summer 2020! Can’t wait to see you there!