Piano Camp 2014!

The Summer Sonatina International Piano Camp 2014 season is ending tomorrow and I wanted to offer you a snapshot of what went on. What an incredible 35-day journey with young pianists staying between 1 and 5 weeks from Russia, Turkey, Spain, and all over the US of A, including Alaska!

I’m going to keep my writing limited and take you down a picture medley of summer highlights.

Here’s a group of scholarship students standing in front of the house.

We all have good hands!

We all have good hands!

Either playing solo


with pink crocks

pink crocks

or in an ensemble.


Every night, as camp director, I schedule the lessons, practice buddies and hourly agendas for our junior counselors.


Sometimes my eyes and brain get burned out from thinking about this and trying not to make the mistake of scheduling something on the wrong shift. Truthfully, I think it’s healthy for everyone to notice that I make mistakes too!

Food is very important at Summer Sonatina. We’re lucky to have Jodi Brown and Melanie Andrews in our kitchen cooking with fresh ingredients from our organic garden. Melanie is famous for her homemade pizza night


Although she almost killed me for requesting this from her


Or, when Matt Moon harvested all the basil from the garden and made oodles of pesto to last us for the next couple of months


Dale Cobb is always working on some kind of a project with teenagers from the local high school. We are about to install solar panels to help offset our energy costs. It meant cutting down one tree so we’d get more sunlight.  Luckily, this teen is perfectly fine.


We practice a lot at Summer Sonatina so seeing photos of us at pianos is expected. Thankfully our pianos are better quality than these made in our origami arts and crafts session.


Photo by Claire Hamilton

We take weekly trips to either Tanglewood or Saratoga. Here is one of our students at Tanglewood with Joshua Bell


Photo by Rebecca Krane

We missed a photo op with the NYC Ballet Corps so we decided to emulate them instead


Sometimes, on our outings around town, we discover that there are actual real signs about us, like this one at the Bennington Monument


Sometimes we have guests visiting us and they come unaware that their shirts are truly piano geek-friendly to all of us at camp. If you can see these notes, you’ll notice that they’re upside down!


We had the honor of being featured on a music show at WBTN 1370 AM Radio this summer. We loved gabbing on and on about camp secrets and playing some of our favorite pieces.


We were also featured in the Berkshire Eagle this year as well as Stratton Magazine (click on these to get to the articles). Thank you Jack McManus and Kristin McDonald (and the fabulous photos by Hubert Schriebl)

Cleaning up the dorm rooms is not a favorite activity. So we try to enlist our awesome staff to help “inspect” the room in costume. Here’s a pair of Vikings aka Andrew and Becca


Or Dorothy, the kindly lion and the wicked witch (Siena, Agnes and Maddie).  Toto totally scored the basket seat.


Our counselors work so well together they like to cram onto a couch together


On really hot days, we do water sports with Kelly Brooks, aka Brooksie


He sometimes makes the games even harder to play! Did Katie and Lindsey win?


At approximately 16-18 hours of practice a week for 5 weeks, with 125 different attendees, we made it to our 10,000 hours of practice! I think we’re ready for Carnegie Hall!

Ready or not?!

Ready or not?!

Practice rooms are dictated by the obligatory wheels

Photo by Annette Joly Griffith

Photo by Annette Joly Griffith

On the occasional digital keyboard


Photo by Annette Joly Griffith

Or the fancy-schmancy Steinways

Photo by Annette Joly Griffith

Photo by Annette Joly Griffith

Or even on the Fazioli piano (nicknamed “Gertie”) that is located at the Bennington Center for the Arts

Photo by Hubert Schriebl

Photo by Hubert Schriebl

We always play better when we’ve kissed Tiffany, the moose’s nose before our formal concert. The students know this is a Summer Sonatina tradition


Tiffany didn’t feel like I captured her better side so here’s another one


Activities at camp are a big part of the fun. Here’s Andrea Lindhardt, who doubles as my Administrator Assistant, leading a Zumba class


Or faculty member, George Lopez, jammin’ with the group prior to a more formal master class, appropriately singing “Lean on Me” in case there are jitters


But, I can’t have everyone leaning on me! I could not have done camp without my AWESOME faculty, counselors and staff. Here they are, depicted in an awkward (!) candid shot (yes, hands had to play the bannister)

photo 3(5)

But, maybe this one tops the one capturing my staff, above?

photo 1(6)

You knew I’d end with a pun, right? Seriously, BRAVO and THANK YOU to all who are such a big part of Summer Sonatina.


We hope to see you next year!





About Polly van der Linde

Pianist, teacher, director of International Piano Camps in VT, for adults and children of all levels of ability
This entry was posted in Piano, Piano practice, Piano tour, Practice, Sonatina, Summer Sonatina, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Piano Camp 2014!

  1. aclem63 says:

    Terrific Round-Up of the Summer! I’m looking forward to Autumn Sonata.

  2. emdrgreg says:

    Great shots, Polly. Looks like you had a spectacular session this year!

    Greg Scott

  3. lya says:

    Great pictures. Best regards from México.

  4. Lois Ross says:

    Enjoyed seeing these photos with everyone having a lot of fun. Lois

  5. barbkourajian@gmail.com says:

    Hello Polly and staff,
    CONGRATULATIONS on another season! I loved reading about the tradition of kissing the “Tiffany moose.” (I love that particular moose!). And, the staff T-shirts are great fun.
    Rest well and enjoy the remainder of the summer.
    Love from Barbara

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