April 25, 2019  

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Southern Miss to Host Five Free Blues Concerts for Kids Music Camp

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KidsROCK Blues Camp (KRBC), a blues music and creative arts experience for kids ages 9-15, will be held June 28-July 2 at The University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg campus. Campers of any musical experience are encouraged to attend.

Hosted by the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, KidsROCK Blues Camp will feature local experts’ presentations on specific techniques and skills as part of the camp.

Presenters will include Dr. David Echevarria, research neuropsychologist at Southern Miss; Julie White, dance education coordinator and associate professor at Southern Miss; and Tate Thriffiley, ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service and co-founder of “The Blues Rangers,” a conservation education program to increase awareness about natural resource issues.

“KidsROCK is for any kid who has the desire to have a total immersion music experience, but who may not have had the opportunity yet,” said camp coordinator Lhay Browning Thriffiley. “Instilling confidence and inspiring kids to create art freely are the main objectives.”

Set to graduate in August, Lhay Thriffiley is a senior majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies. Previously, she worked professionally as an actor and a musician. Currently, she performs her own original music locally with the band “The Paperwhites.”

Thriffiley is spearheading KRBC under the direction of Dr. Jeanne Gillespie, director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and associate dean for the College of Arts and Letters. At the time Thriffiley started thinking about her senior research project, Gillespie was working on a camp ideas and the two decided to collaborate.

“I became fascinated with the Girls Rock Institute and the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Oregon,” Gillespie said. “I decided to explore something similar here in Hattiesburg and Lhay seemed like the perfect person to implement this.”

Daily Blues music concerts will be held during the camp at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at 3601 Pearl Street in Hattiesburg from noon-1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend. For an additional $60, participants can join the After Hours program from 3-5 p.m. as an extension of daily camp activities.

After Hours will provide one-hour clinics in voice, songwriting, drums, bass, harmonica, guitar and band management/promotion with professional music instructors and performers. Student interested in learning harmonica are asked to provide their own instruments, which can be purchased at local music stores. Prior experience is recommended for the After Hours guitar clinic, however, no previous training is required for all other clinics.

The cost of the KRBC is $215. A limited number of scholarships are available for both KRBC and the After Hours program. To apply, parents should download the application from www.usm.edu/summercamps and request scholarship information if needed.

For more information on KidsROCK, contact the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs at 601.266.5087,


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