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The Wells Fargo Wagon Visits East LA with Camp MusArt’s The Music Man Jr.

After five weeks of musical discovery, artistry, and camaraderie, Camp MusArt reached its climax with the final two performances of Meredith Willson’s The Music Man Jr on LAMusArt’s Courtyard Stage. Donned in vintage dresses and business suits, Camp MusArt transported its audience to River City with classics like “Rock Island”, “Wells Fargo Wagon”, and “Shipoopi.” Twenty five students took command of the stage and brought wit, romance, and musicality to a fully packed house both nights.

Throughout Camp MusArt’s immersive program, these young artists rotated through four different classes each day—Drama, Dance, Art, and Music—to gain a comprehensive understanding of the disciplines needed to put on the production. From the first day of camp, dubbed “audition week”, the students poured their hearts into their performances fueled by their love for the stage and new appreciation for the musical, The Music Man. Students learned to embody their characters through acting, discovered theatrical movement in Dance, expressed their creativity in Art, and gained confidence in their voice in Music. The dedication and growth of each student was evident in their support of one another and in their commitment to creating the musical together.

As the final week approached, anticipation of the final performances buzzed throughout camp. Young veterans of the stage comforted newcomers as their shared energy turned each rehearsal into a safe space for improvement. With new leads like Leo Hernandez as Harold Hill and Noreen Jiminez as Marian Paroo, the synergy of the ensemble fueled a passionate performance from each member to form an unforgettable evening. The audience witnessed magic as the students used their spirit and passion to bring "The Music Man Jr." to life on the Courtyard Stage.

LAMusArt is proud to host Camp MusArt, one of the organization’s most popular and longest running seasonal programs, as an affordable option for summer enrichment for our passionate students. Camp MusArt was not just about the final performances, but the entire journey students embarked upon during those five weeks. These young artists discovered their artistic potential and made friendships and memories that are sure to stay with them for a lifetime. As the curtains closed on the last performance, the sense of accomplishment and pride was palpable. Camp MusArt instilled in these artists of tomorrow the value of collaboration, creativity, and the joy of bringing art to life.

Camp MusArt was led by four instructors, and the culminating show was conceptualized by their collaborative work. The show's direction and drama instruction was helmed by Garrett Bettersworth, while Sierra Priest brought her dance expertise to the show choreography. Ricardo Fryson Jr. lent his musicality to camp and guided the students in music direction and technique. Lastly, under the creative guidance of Ruth Ferguson, the campers explored the realm of prop & scenic design, makeup, costuming and general visual art to furnish the show. Together, this team of talented instructors cultivated an unforgettable Camp MusArt 2023.

LAMusArt would like to thank every parent and guardian of Camp MusArt for their cooperation and support; Brianna Sandoval, our Camp Coordinator, for her dedication to the program and the students; Will Domke, our LA County Department of Arts and Culture intern, for his invaluable help; Envizion for lighting and sound guidance; and Center Theatre Group for their generous contribution of props and costumes for the show.

View all of the photos from this performance here.


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