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Robert Bassett ’16 shows a group of Music Business Camp students beginning production skills in the Owen Hall Recording Studio.

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Pacific’s summer programs show campers college life and center stage

Jun 30, 2016

University of the Pacific summer programs bring migrant students to campus to live like college students, give young jazz artists the chance to perform alongside professional musicians, and for the first time put aspiring musical theater stars on center stage.

More than 2,500 youngsters - most from the greater San Joaquin County area, but some coming from as far away as Finland - take part in the many camps, academies and workshops hosted by Pacific faculty, students and staff. The programs are part of Pacific's mission to serve the community and prepare young people for success in college.

Tens of thousands of children have visited Pacific for summer programs since the first music camps were introduced in 1946. Today, music camps continue to educate and inspire middle and high school musicians; sports camps hone young athletes' talents; and STEM academies help students map out futures in science, technology, engineering and math.

"As a teacher, I love that students throughout our community can find their passion and people to help them explore it at Pacific," said Stockton Vice Mayor Christina Fugazi, a high school science teacher.

Music camps

This summer the Conservatory of Music introduced its first-ever music theater camp for a dozen or so high school students. The repertoire will range from opera to Broadway classics, with performance opportunities ranging from solos to a cabaret.

"Our Music Theatre Camp gives these students a fantastic opportunity to engage in rigorous acting, singing and dancing training," said James Haffner, Pacific opera professor and director of the Pacific Opera Theatre. "It's an educational experience that will help them be successful as students and performers."

Other summer music programs include the Brubeck Institute Jazz Camp, Pacific Music Business Camp, Junior Band and Orchestra (grades 5-8), Senior Band, Orchestra, Choir Camp (grades 8-12), and Senior Piano Camp. Several free concerts are open to the public throughout the summer.

Music Business Camp
Performing artist Jasmine Jordan '12 shares a laugh with Pacific Professor Keith Hatschek when she visited students in the Music Business Camp.

The Brubeck Institute, dedicated to continuing the legacy of jazz great and Pacific alumnus Dave Brubeck, since 2002 has offered a Summer Jazz Colony for select high school jazz musicians from around the world. This year's colonists come from as far away as the United Kingdom, Australia and Finland, and within the United States from New York, Florida, Arizona and Illinois.

The one-week, intensive educational program allows the musicians to study with Brubeck Institute faculty and guest artists in lessons covering jazz theory and advance jazz improvisation, with seminars on Dave Brubeck and his music.

The Brubeck Institute partnered this summer with SFJAZZ Collective, San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Sonoma State University, and the colony was based at Sonoma State University. A free public concert featuring the colonists and faculty will be 3-5 p.m. July 1 in the Schroeder Recital Hall on the Sonoma State campus at 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. The SFJAZZ Collective will perform original compositions and Michael Jackson songs in a ticketed concert at 7:30 p.m. that evening in Schroeder Recital Hall.

Tomorrow Project academies

Pacific's Tomorrow Project is a centerpiece of the university's Beyond Our Gates initiative, which works with community partners to increase the college readiness of K-12 students.

The PREP USA Reach for the Stars STEM academy is a 6-year-old collaboration with Reaching for the Stars, a foundation established by José Hernández, a Pacific alumnus, former astronaut and regent. Hernández inspires campers - low-income students from area K-8 schools - when he speaks directly with them about his NASA experiences. The free academy aims to help students build their academic skills and get excited about science, technology, engineering and math. Each summer students in the program return to build on the previous summer's academic accomplishments, and a new set of students joins the program. In all, about 180 students will participate this summer. Among this summer's mentors is a previous camper who has been admitted to Harvard.

Pacific Academia de Matemáticas/Science Technology, Engineering and Math is a free summer academy for migrant students entering seventh to ninth grades who are at risk of falling behind academically. Students learn strategies for completing high school and succeeding in college. About 60 students are involved in this academy this summer.

Pacific also hosts a migrant STEM and outdoor education residential program for Butte County residents. The two-week program helps migrant students increase their academic skills and fend off summer learning loss. About 100 Butte County students live in Pacific housing while they attend the academy.

Summer Success Leadership Academy

Summer Success Leadership Academy was founded in 2010 by Stockton natives Ty-Licia Hooker, a Pacific alumna, and Michael Tubbs, a Stockton City Council member. The one-week residential program is free to about 50 minority high school students who learn to design and execute community action plans to address problems facing their communities.

Pacific Summer Academy

In its third year, the Pacific Summer Academy is a partnership of Pacific's Jacoby Center for Public Service and Civic Leadership and Stockton Unified School District's Families in Transition Office. The day camp provides educational activities for Stockton youth in second to sixth grades whose families face housing insecurity. Campers also take field trips to area attractions such as the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum and the Sacramento Zoo.

Sports camps

The crack of a bat. A basketball dribbled on a hardwood floor. The splash of water in a competition pool. For young athletes from throughout the region, these are the sounds of summer sports camps.

Again this year Pacific summer sports programs will welcome hundreds of area middle and high school students who want to achieve the next level in athletic competition. Staffed by Pacific coaches and players, these sports camps give children of all ages and athletic abilities the chance to improve.

Volleyball may be the oldest of Pacific's summer sports programs, having served an estimated 12,000 young people over the past 30 years. The men's basketball program has offered camps for at least 23 years, while softball and boys' and girls' soccer camps have been a summer tradition since 1994. This year at least 1,500 kids will participate in Pacific sports camps.

DeltaFusion workshops

For a sixth year, organizers held workshops in the DeMarcus Brown Theatre on campus for students 6 and older. The workshops culminated June 25 with DeltaFusion, a celebration of the Delta and Stockton's natural and cultural heritage, as told through stories using giant puppets.

Media contact:

Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

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