LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 18, 2013 - This summer, dozens of Central Florida students are bringing more music into their lives with support from a group of Disney Cast Members who are donating time in the classroom and raising funds onstage for more kids to experience the joy of performing
The week-long musical summer camp is offered by A Gift for Music, which is a program of A Gift for Teaching. The non-profit organization provides free music education to underserved students interested in playing stringed instruments. This year’s summer camp also included vocal lessons from a Disney VoluntEAR who performs musical magic on Main Street.
“Our summer campers erupted in screams and applause when they learned about Disney’s involvement with the camp this year,” said Eric Smith, director of A Gift For Music. “The Encore! Cast Performing Arts group is amazing with their generosity and support. ”
After years of singing his way into the hearts of millions of Disney guests, Bert Rodríguez shared his knowledge with these specials students, most of whom had never sung in a choir before.
“There is such a great amount of trust that they gave me,” Rodriguez said. “So it’s nice to see that kind of result and to see them realize that they can do something they couldn’t do before.”
A Gift for Teaching’s music program has also been selected by Encore! Cast Performing Arts group to receive the proceeds from a benefit concert later this month. Founded in 2002, The Encore! Cast Performing Arts group enables Walt Disney World Cast Members and their families to showcase their talents and perform great music for worthy causes. This year, “The Art of the Possible – The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” includes nearly 500 singers, dancers, actors and instrumentalists who volunteer their time for the production.
On the last day of summer music camp, the students performed on stage, with Rodriguez directing the choir. The kids also attended an Encore! rehearsal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios where the group is getting ready for its own concert series.
“The rehearsal was amazing,” said 12th grader Angelica Chen. “When they started playing it was so organized and in tune that it gave me goose bumps the whole time.”
The production will run at Premier Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios July 19, 20, and 25-28. Tickets are available at www.encorecentral.org.