SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Levitt at the Falls is planning a slate of summer camp programs for kids in elementary, middle and high school revolving around music.
KELOLAND News spoke with Rose Ann Hofland, Director of Community Engagement at Levitt at the Falls.
“We just ended our fifth concert season, and we’re going to be entering our sixth year,” said Hofland, calling this an exciting time.
Hofland says the Levitt board has taken on a number of new initiatives aimed at community engagement, including these upcoming summer camps.
“This coming summer — summer 2024 — we’re working on three camps,” said Hofland. “We’re going to partner with Augustana School of Music to be our host-site.”
These will consist of a series of camps in June and July, culminating in on-stage Levitt performances by the students involved.
“We’re looking at doing three different camps,” Hofland said. “A late-elementary camp for kiddos on Latin music — we’re looking at doing a hip-hop camp for middle schoolers — and we’re looking at doing a camp on song writing specific to girls in the community for high schoolers.
Delving further into these camps, Hofland explained that this upcoming summer Levitt season will have a new focus on Latin music, prompting the theme for the elementary-age camp.
“The #1 most popular genre of music in the world is Latin music,” said Hofland. “This is just an opportunity to kind of bring that into the education space.”
For this portion of the camp, Hofland says the Levitt will be working with Eduardo Mendoza, a local musician and elementary school teacher.
On the middle school side of things, Hofland says the hip-hop music camp is still in development, but Levitt is hoping to connect with local members of the community.
“There’s a really amazing hip-hop scene that’s been happening here is Sioux Falls for a lot of years,” Hofland said, expressing a desire to help pass that along to the next generation.
“We’re hoping to explore some rapping, song-writing, DJ skills — some dancing as well — as part of hip-hop music camp,” Hofland said.
On the high school end of things, the plan is to highlight a group that has been under-represented in the area, according to Hofland.
“We’re really committed as an organization to featuring female musicians as well as male musicians, as well as folks who are non-binary on our stage,” Hofland said. “Historically there have been, in our area, probably less female musicians featured on stages.”
Hofland says the organization hopes this camp can help encourage and build up a scene for female and non-binary youth to perform.
Enrollment on the camps is expected to be available in January.
Other new initiatives Hofland mentioned include a monthly series with Startup Sioux Falls called Music Makers Mixers to help local artists network and a relaunch of the Levitt in Your Neighborhood program.