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Bulloch musician, Melanie Schmid, heading to top arts camp
Melanie Schmid, a senior at Statesboro High, is shown in this 2008 photo playing her French horn. Schmid recently earned admission to one of the most prestigious summer arts camps in the US. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/file
    Every year, the very best high-school students from across the country compete for a scholarship available for the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp offered to a student from each of the 50 United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    Georgia’s recipient for the 2009 summer camp is Statesboro High School’s Melanie Schmid. Schmid has won First Chair in the French horn the past two years in the Georgia State Honor Band.
    A quiet and soft-spoken young lady, Schmid said, “It’s kind of nice doing something that no one else in my family has done. When I was at the Brevard Music Center last summer, I heard about Interlochen from some of the other students there.”
    She continued, “I knew that the only way I could go was if I won a scholarship, so I applied. When I found out I had got it, I called my mom and she was ecstatic. Then I called my dad and he was, like, ‘WOW.’”
    Located in northwest Michigan, Interlochen has a storied past. In June of 1928, Dr. Joe Maddy, Willis Pennington, and Thaddeus P. Giddings established the National High School Orchestra Camp at the Interlochen camps. Their facilities included the old Hotel Pennington, several existing cottages, and new camper cabins.
    In 1931 it became known as the National Music Camp. This summer camp now serves approximately 2,000 students between the ages of 8 to 18. Over the years, Camp Interlochen has added programs in the visual and theatre arts.  
    Camp participants and faculty give public performances constantly during the camp months - June, July and August - which are broadcast by Interlochen’s own public radio facility: WIAA-FM.
    Emerson, a St. Louis-based company, funds Interlochen’s merit-based scholarships as part of their charitable trust. The Emerson Scholars Award provides full tuition, private lessons, and room and board for the six-week summer program, which in 2009 will amount to $7,500.
    Schmid, a senior at Statesboro, said: “Everyone in my family has consistently given of their time and energy to help me become the best musician I can be. Only because of their sacrifices could I have become good enough to win this award.”
    She added, “I know it’s going to be a really intensive six weeks, but I can’t wait. I’m going to study other things as well, maybe even try to learn the Japanese language while I’m there and that’s going to be really special.”
    Graduates of Interlochen are highly sought after by the nations’ best music conservatories, such as Boston, CalArts, Cleveland Institute, Eastman, Julliard, Manhattan, New England, Oberlin and Peabody.

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