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NFMAA wraps up first week with recital

June 14, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts arts camp wrapped up its first week on Friday with a recital featuring many students who, before now, had little to no experience with their particular instrument.

Guitarists, woodwinds, violinists and steel drummers performed in front of family and friends for their first public appearances and showed just how much they had improved in just one short week.

Debbie Flores, camp director, said the students have come to learn different instruments as well as drama, and in only its third year it has grown to between 170 to 180 kids throughout Lee County.

Article Photos

Ciara Toles, 12, left, and Sophia Clavero, 13, perform classical guitar during a recital at the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts summer camp on Friday.

"They love it. Some kids have never held an instrument or done anything, and they come here and try it and love it. It's a good way to get them motivated and find their talent," Flores said.

The parents sign them up and see for themselves at the end of the week what they have learned and show talent their parents may not have known they had, Flores said.

"There are kids who thought they would try it, and here it is, their third year and they're here again," Flores said, who added many of the campers are non-NFMAA students.

NFMAA principal Thomas Millins said it was the perfect culmination of a great week.

"What a great activity to put together all the work done here in the past week and how they progressed," Millins said. "It's amazing the talent of the instructors, the way they are able to get the kids to walk away after one week to do a performance like that."

Parent Sarah Mackley said the school puts on an amazing program. Her son, Ashton, 12, has played steel drums in school for about a year and wanted to continue in the summer.

"He wanted to brush up on his skills a little bit. It's wonderful to see these kids enriched in the arts. It's a wonderful program, it helps them with their other academic skills," Mackley said. "We're blessed they can do the arts and for the school to open it up to the whole community is wonderful."

"I was a percussionist before steel drums and I thought why not learn another instrument," Ashton said. "I'm going to do the robotics camp next week. Next year, I'm going to do the guitar camp, but this was a great time."

Moving forward, the camp will up the skill level on many of the instruments, leading up to next week's grand finale, with the garage band camp performing its concert and the drama club, the only one to meet all three weeks, to do its quick-shot performance of "Shrek Jr."



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