On Saturday, June 15, 2019 more than 250 proud parents, grandparents and community members enjoyed the Finale Concert of the Reaching Heights Summer Music Camp. This instrumental music camp welcomed 95 young musicians ages 10 - 14 for an intensive week of music and fun at the newly renovated Cleveland Heights High School.
The concert featured 9 chamber groups, the camp choir, and the camp orchestra that played selections from Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury, and Finale from Symphony No. 1 by Brahms. These challenging pieces were played beautifully and knowing that these performances came from just 5 days of rehearsal made them even more impressive.
This camp is operated by Reaching Heights in partnership with the CH-UH City School District and partially funded by a grant from the residents of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
The camp staff was also impressive with 17 music educators, a camp administrator, nurse, and principal who were highlighted in Staff Spotlights that were distributed during camp week. And, twenty-two Heights High musicians volunteered to assist the camp staff as camp counselors and music coaches.
Jeffrey Altonen, Monticello Middle School Instrumental Music Teacher who recently died, was honored twice during the concert. First, the performance of the Finale from Symphony No. 1 by Brahms was dedicated to him. This was the piece Mr. Altonen conducted at Severance Hall for Reaching Musical Heights in 2015. Secondly, the Roxboro and Monticello Middle School PTAs and parent music booster groups announced the establishment of the Jeffrey Altonen Scholarship for Summer Music Camp. This new scholarship is a wonderful tribute to Mr. Altonen according to Summer Music Camp Founder and Camp Administrator, Susie Kaeser. "Jeff was always thinking of ways to support student musicians. He will be missed."
Donations to this fund can be made to Reaching Heights online at reachingheights.org or by check made payable to Reaching Heights with JA Scholarship in the memo line, mailed to 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Hts, OH 44118.