For 43 years, The Dorothy Knost Musical Workshop for children held at Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Portsmouth have set a musical trend that has resounded throughout the local community.
The Dorothy Knost Workshop convened this year June 20-24, with 175 youth participants and 52 volunteers. Participating children were granted the opportunity to be exposed to an unprecedented amount of musical experiences from hands-on activities, to listening to live performances by local musical artists.
Beck Climer, one of the directors of the workshops, said 175 is not the largest number of workshop participants that they have hosted.
“We have had as many as 250 kids come to and participate in the workshop, which can be a bit of a challenge,” Climer said. “This year we hosted 175, and we have 52 volunteers that are teachers and helpers. The children have really enjoyed themselves, it has been a very good week.”
Kyla Wente, 11 years of Wheelersburg the daughter of Jim and Keisha Wente, participated in the Dorothy Knost Workshops for the first time this year. Wente told The Daily Times that the workshops have helped to increase her love of music. Wente currently plays the piano.
“It has been amazing. I enjoyed most going to the classes, and just learning about music,” Wente said. “It will definitely help me in my playing of the piano.”
“Kids love music, just as almost everyone does,” Climer said. “They have been very receptive to it. We had a concert every day, we’ve had Steve Free, a brass quintet, Stan Workman doing a recital, and yesterday we had kids from the Portsmouth Area Arts Council Children’s Theatre, and today we have have Doc Roc and the Remedies, so there is a lot of variety, a lot of different genres of music. Classical, rock, Appalachian, and show tunes and things like that.”
The workshops also examine the work of a composer each year. This year highlighted Rogers and Hammerstein of the renowned, ‘The Sound of Music.’
“Also each year we pick a composer to focus on and it was actually two, we did Rogers and Hammerstein, so we talked about their music, and musicals and those types of things,”Climer said. “The kids have learned to sing and sign ‘The Sound of Music,’ which was written by Rogers and Hammerstein, and that is how we will close the program this evening.”
The grand finale will encompass a musical concert to be performed by the workshop participants.
“Today is the last day, and this evening we will have a little concert to show the families what the kids have done this week,” Climer. “We are not expecting a spectacular performance quality, but it is a great example of what we have been learning. We cannot possibly teach all of what it entails to play the violin in one week, but we can teach about it, and the basic concepts.”
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.