Spirit U receives grant funding, offers scholarships

Spirit U – the 3-day summer camp for marching band students is back for its 3rd year.  It’s a transformative weekend for students who work on a variety of skills: from marching and movement to leadership development – and enjoy the chance to perform with members of Spirit of Atlanta.  Participants of Spirit U leave the camp not only as better performers, but as members of the Spirit of Atlanta family. Unfortunately, for some students, the ability to attend Spirit U’s enriching experience can be financially challenging. However, thanks to a new grant to Spirit of Atlanta from the Georgia Music Foundation, select underprivileged students will receive scholarships to attend this unforgettable camp and experience what the experience of drum corps is all about.

The Georgia Music Foundation understands the importance not only of Spirit U, but of a range of programs in regard to music education. “They support music in Georgia who provide preservation, education, and outreach, which helps foster an appreciation for our state’s rich musical heritage,” described Scott Keefer, Director of Business Operations for Spirit of Atlanta who secured the grant funding. “Spirit has a long history of being a visible musical ambassador for our state, performing at high levels for large audiences. The Spirit U educational camps are the perfect educational outreach for the corps, making use of talented educators to impact more kids and grow their appreciation for performing music,” Keefer explained.

This generous funding from The Georgia Music Foundation ensures that even more students, who perhaps would not be able to attend the camp without scholarships, will be able to embark on this unique experience. Gary Gribble, Spirit U’s Director also remarked on the multitude of positive aspects of the camp, stating, “The Spirit U experience gives the campers concrete tools that they can use to be better performers, leaders, and student instructors for their own band programs. It also allows them insight into the drum and bugle corps activity and how it operates. In only two years, eight camp attendees have auditioned for and earned membership in the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps.”

There is no doubt that this funding for program growth will make an impact not only on the individual students, but also the program as a whole. “We will have an open application process, and kids from any location can apply. Spirit of Atlanta is serious about ensuring that we provide greater accessibility to our educational programs. Camps like Spirit U can be out of reach for many young people, and we are excited to have the opportunity to award these scholarships to kids who may not otherwise be able to attend,” said Keefer. “We’re very excited that the Georgia Music Foundation is joining with Spirit of Atlanta for Spirit U this season.  It’s important to our organization that we can always include as many as possible.”