Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Phyllis Garris: Founder of the Lamar Stringfield String Camp

As I promised in my previous post, I want to give a bit more information about the wonderful string camp where I am working this summer. The Lamar Stringfield String Camp is celebrating it's 30th anniversary this year and is in full swing this week. The camp was founded by Meredith College Music Faculty member, Phyllis Garriss. Her vision for the camp was and continues to be to provide a meaningful string music experience for children of a variety of ages and playing levels in the context of a nurturing environment. Additionally, it is important that the camp supports the local public school string programs and teachers. Campers receive instruction on technique and music theory, a daily orchestra rehearsal and sectional rehearsal, and a daily concert by local professionals or advanced students. Students may also remain at the camp for a popular daily "extended day" experience that includes swimming and recreational fun with the camp counselor staff. All of these wonderful experiences would have never been possible without the vision of Phyllis Garriss. It is her love for teaching, children, and string music that paved the way for this wonderful legacy.

Phyllis Garriss is associate professor emeritus of string instruction at Meredith and is founding director of the Lamar Stringfield String Music Camp. She holds undergraduate degrees from Hastings College and an M.M. from Eastman School of Music. She has held teaching positions at DePauw University and Ball State University, in addition to Meredith. A former National Secretary of the American String Teachers Association, Professor Garriss is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the Music Teachers National Association, the American String Teachers Association, Local 500 of the Musicians Association, and past-president of the Raleigh Music Club. She performs with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra and the Capital String Ensemble.

It is my pleasure to let you know a bit more about Phyllis Garriss and the Lamar Stringfield String Camp. I know that there are many wonderful camps around the country that occupy similar places in their individual communities. I am so pleased to be art of this camp that serves the Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill communities.


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