Mid-America Guitar Campers put on stunning performance

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New Haven, Mo. – Students from all over the United States arrived on Mon. at Camp Trinity to attend the Mid-America Guitar Camp.  Young guitarists spent the past week preparing for Friday’s performance held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  Highlighting the evening featured a competition between the top three guitarists from the camp.

Kirk Hanser (pictured below) from St. Louis, Mo founded the Mid-America Guitar Camp in 2002.  Hanser is an instructor at Washington University and plays in the St. Louis Symphony.  Wednesday we wrote an article about Hanser and the reason for starting such a unique camp.  To read this article click here.

During the week long camp, young and talented musicians learned several ensembles they performed at Friday’s event.

Following the ensembles, Neil Shukla was selected as this year’s winner of the Mid-America Guitar competition.

Shukla, 17-years-old, from Webster, Mo. has been playing guitar since he was six years old.  He said, “I met Kirk [Hanser] in 2001 and he has been my instructor since.  If it were not for him I would probably not be were I am today.  He kind of took me under his wing.”

(Pictured to right is Neil Shukla.)

Shukla said, “I am honored to have won this year’s competition.  This was my third year competing.  One year I finished 5th and last year I took 3rd place.”

One of many reasons the camp is well known across the country are the instructors who come from all over the world in particularly, Konstantin Zobel from Bad Nauheim, Germany.

Konstantin adds diversity, exposing kids to a slightly different culture and style of music.  It is Konstantin’s sense of humor and “crazy-wild” personality that creates an exciting type of atmosphere, making the week long camp a fun time.

Quick Thought:

I first met Konstantin last Wed. when visiting Camp Trinity to learn more about the guitar camp.  I used the words “crazy-wild” as one way of describing his personality because he is kind of crazy... in good way though.

I am far from a musician and have never had a desire to play an instrument, but after Friday, Konstantin generated an interest in me to maybe learn to play an instrument someday.  Why you may ask?  It was his animation while directing and his ability to inspire campers to be better than good, but great musicians.

Watch as Konstantin directs one of the evening's ensembles.