The 12th annual Penn Band Summer Music Camp took place this past July, when nineteen high school students had a week full of rehearsals, performances, and other activities. Dr. Kushol Gupta established it in 2004 as a means of extending the Penn Band’s outreach. With other “Honor Band” opportunities being limited to a day each, the camp allows for more in-depth studying and a greater experience overall. Scholarships are given out every year through the Band and through Musicopia, a non-profit music education organization that directly benefits students in Philadelphia.
One of the newest workshops to be added to the camp was a visit to Penn Libraries’ Education Commons to see their 3D printers. We were able to take anything from the website Thingiverse and print it out for the students to use, thanks to the Commons’ generosity. All of our objects were sanded by hand and then used in the concert. The most popular objects printed were our three trumpet mouthpieces in black, gray, and purple. Others included a cowbell set, a kazoo, an ocarina, a horn, and a guiro (a ridged percussion instrument).
During planning for the camp, each counselor took on an individual project. One immediately volunteered to fill an empty space in the schedule with a talent show. Another was passionate about what would be one of our visits, the Battleship New Jersey, and decided to do an introduction. I was at a loss for what I could contribute. I volunteered to run small tasks, like a game-and-movie night, and wondered if there was something more I could do.
Fortunately, Education Commons contacted the band first. Eric Janec and the staff met with Dr. Gupta over the summer, and a 3D-printing collaboration was decided on. It was potentially limitless and could be placed anywhere in the schedule. Due to my prior experience with 3D-printing in some Architecture courses I had taken, I was suggested for leading the project. At first, I was nervous about helming what could be such a big project, but after realizing the vast scope of what we could do, I relaxed. My project consisted of an introduction to the topic using YouTube videos, the visit itself, and the preparation of the instruments to be used in concert.