Claudia Hinsdale came all the way from New York to spend two rigorous weeks perfecting her singing skills at PJ Olsson??s Rock Camp.
The 14 year old has been coming to Rock Camp the last three years and has seen it grow from its creation.
??Rock Camp has definitely grown, like more instructors, and I know I??ve grown as a person and as a musician,?? explained Hinsdale.
For two weeks, 40 kids, ranging from just 9 years old to 20, spend eight hours a day at Michigan Tech??s Rozsa Center, strumming guitars and tapping drums in preparation for ??The Really Big Show?? at the end of camp.
??I??ve definitely learned a lot about stage presence and expression and working with a band,?? Hinsdale said.
The man behind the show is PJ Olsson: Yooper native and enthusiast of all things music. His inspiration for the camp came four years ago when he needed a backup band for a concert, recruited local kid musicians, and the rest is history.
??We have children interacting with real-world music professionals, and there??s not a lot of programs that do that,?? said Olsson. ??Outside of music, we??re taking a group of people and making them work toward a common ending goal.??
It??s a concert from which Olsson said the community has come to expect quality work. But he said Rock Camp doesn??t end after the curtain falls.
??I see Rock Camp only growing, and I see a community that is now getting bands, and there??s something really special here,?? Olsson said. ??When these kids leave Rock Camp, there are now bands in Houghton.??
??It??s something that sticks with you, and it??s really fun,?? Hinsdale added. ??It??s a lot of hard work, but it??s also really fun. Oh, and the end show is always incredible!??
The Really Big Show is Saturday, August 10 at the Rozsa Center at 6:30. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for kids. For more information, visit the Rock Camp Facebook page here .