Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony held its annual vocal and piano camps July 17- 31 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The camps are open to students entering grades 7–12, and to graduating seniors, but a Frederick student was selected to attend camp a year early.
William Guill is a sixth-grader at Frederick Middle School. He has been taking piano lessons from Marcy Prescott since 2011 and voice lessons since 2015. Every year he competes in the Federation of Music Clubs Junior Festival and the Lawton Schubert Music Club Spring Festival in May.
He has also played in multiple honors recitals that begin in April in Lawton.
The purpose of the Inspiration Point camps is to provide students with enriching musical experiences. The piano camp features classes in piano literature, theory, composer study, piano ensemble, improvisation, keyboard skills and digital technology, as well as master class performance sessions. There were special lectures and demonstrations on practice, memorization and sight-reading.
Vocal camp consists of performance of choral literature of various styles, musical theatre and art song repertoire. Additional classes were offered in piano, music theory and stage movement. Students learned rehearsal techniques and performance skills through daily instruction in master classes, choral and “Broadway” rehearsals.
“The late nights and early mornings were the hardest part,” Guill said. “I tried to make coffee like my mom does, but it was still bitter. I drank it anyway because I was really tired.”
Prescott said that Guill seemed at home on the stage from the moment they started rehearsing “Godspell.”
“The director would tell him what to do in one scene and Guill automatically incorporated it into a later scene,” Prescott said.
Guill performed in a solo recital singing, “On a Wonderful Day like Today,” and Prescott said that she really noticed his command of the stage.
“You wouldn’t have known how young he was had nothing been said. He really thrived and fit in well with the other kids,” she said.
Guill played in a solo recital during piano week. He was planning to play Beethoven’s “Russian Folk Song” which was already listed in the draft of the program, but he switched to “Amen Corner” by Robert D. Vandall. The title was changed in the program before it was printed but not the composer.
“Everyone got a good laugh when they saw ‘Amen Corner’ by Beethoven,” Prescott said. “I bet Beethoven would have been horrified at first but secretly laughed his head off.”
Dr. Kevin Costley is one of the teachers at Inspiration Point. He holds several graduate degrees in musical areas. He teaches piano ensemble classes and piano composition. He has a long list of publications, including “Zig Zag Rag,” “Symphony of Spring” and “Struttin’ Uptown,” all of which have been on the National Federation List.
Guill said that his favorite class with Costley was piano ensemble. Costley said that he enjoyed having Guill in his classes and that he expects that he will go far in life.
“Dr. Costley came up to me in class one day and said now this kid really gets it,” Guill said. “I can’t wait to go back next year. I want to go every year until I graduate. And then I want to go back as a teacher. It was easy in a challenging way.”
William Guill stands behind Jesus, portrayed by Cadence Lebouf of Lawton, as he teaches one of his parables.
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.