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Choir School of Delaware and The Grand Opera House host musical theater summer camp

Once On This Island2.jpg

The Choir School of Delaware is collaborating with The Grand Opera House to host a month-long musical theater summer camp.

The collaboration is a first for the Choir School in its 20 years of summer camps - bringing rising 5th graders through graduating seniors to The Grand in Wilmington weekdays through July 29, 2022.

The camp is tuition free and pairs musical theater training with academic enrichment and SAT college preparation.

Choir School director of education and conductor Brittany Stanton says it is part of the camp’s ongoing evolution.

“It has been around for 20 years. And for a lot of that 20 years it was kind of your more typical summer camp experience. We would put on a talent show at the end of the summer camp and kids would prepare songs for the talent show. And last year we made the switch to musical theater,” she said.

Stanton says the switch to musical theater was so well received by students and their families last year they decided to do it again this year and add in The Grand for a fully-staged production of Once On This Island on Friday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m.

“Once On This Island is a thru-composed musical, meaning that there’s no dialogue between scenes - it’s music all the way through," said Hannah Grasso, communications and audience development manager with the Choir School. "It's set on a golden and verdant Caribbean Island  and it tells the story of a young girl named Ti Moune who falls in love and finds all sorts of guidance through different spirits and essentially comes to find herself along the way.”

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

Grasso also noted that new this summer is an apprentice program for high school students, who can participate in the musical and get paid for their time, “This is a new program that we’re launching this summer. And the idea behind it is to give kids who are of working age an opportunity to participate in the musical in some capacity - whether that’s as a performer or someone who is behind the scenes and take on a leadership role alongside that and make some money for their work along the way.”

Grasso says the Choir School has partnered with New Castle County and the City of Wilmington to bring this program together for the first time.

She says they have 10 apprentices coming in to help this summer.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.