Shenandoah Christian Music Camp
Shenandoah Christian Music Camp began as a dream for revival in the music of the conservative Anabaptist world. In 2005, a group of men first met to began exploring what an adult music camp might look like. They envisioned a place where…
- … students would develop an understanding of and a desire for good music.
- … students would begin to understand how music fits into life.
- … students would be taught the necessary skills to become readers and singers of good music.
- … the valuable tradition of church singing would be bolstered for the next generation.
Out of this exploration, Shenandoah Christian Music Camp was born. In June of 2006, the first week of camp was held in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Over 100 adult students attended that first year.
Through the years, it’s been exciting to watch SCMC continue to grow.
- In 2009, a Children’s Choir was added to camp.
- In 2012, SCMC opened a second campus in Holmes County, OH.
- In 2016, SCMC expanded north of the border, opening a third campus in Hawkesville, Ontario, Canada.
- In 2017, SCMC began offering mobile camps, taking core elements of the permanent camps into communities in order to expand the reach of camp.
SCMC exists to provide theologically sound and musically competent instruction as a resource to the conservative Anabaptist community.
- Chapel talks each day seek to give students an understanding of the purposes of music in worship and the arts.
- We offer a rotation of over 20 classes to meet students at his or her point of need and interest. Classes offered fall into the following categories:
- General Music Development (Rudiments, Sight Singing, Class Voice)
- Congregational Worship
- Choral Conducting and Performance
- Music Education
- Composition and Arranging
- Students also participate in choirs throughout the week, both small choirs that rehearse twice a day and the mass choir that rehearses each evening. ChoralFest finishes out the week with two concerts, giving campers an opportunity to present the results of their hard work to an audience.
The Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is rich in musical history. Here, local Mennonites played a significant role in the development of church music in the South.
The small town of Singers Glen was home to Joseph Funk in the mid 19th century. Joseph and his sons were instrumental in developing a shaped-note system that made four-part harmony accessible to the common people. (Their four-shape notation system was eventually replaced by the now popular seven-shape system.) They actively promoted this development with singing schools which they held throughout the area and which eventually spread into the surrounding counties and states.
In addition, they opened a printing press which included among its early projects the printing of a shaped note song book called “The Harmonia Sacra.” It is still commonly used in hymn sings throughout the central Shenandoah Valley and includes some hymns that have become very common in the Mennonite community.
Additional information can be found in “Shaped Note Singing in the Shenandoah Valley,” an address delivered to the Singers Glen Music and Heritage Festival, August 16, 1997, on the sesquicentennial of music printing at Singers Glen, Virginia.