Praise for Girls Rock Philly (2009)
by Nicole Brewer, for CBS3
The face of rock and roll just got a lot sweeter thanks to the third annual Girls Rock Philly (GRP) week-long summer camp held at Girard College.
The program, which is a founding member of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, caters to girls ages 9 to seventeen. The camp not only provides a place to practice, but an opportunity to enhance their self esteem.
“We’re a social change organization that uses music and music education as a tool to get where we’re going,” said Director Beth Warshaw-Duncan.
With daily workshops and scheduled band practice, the girls work in groups of ten to hone their individual skills, then form a collective sound.
“We all like different music, so together we come up with something good,” said 16-year-old drummer Alexis Smith.
With 3 years experience on the drum set, Smith was a natural keeping the beat for her band. Other campers, like 14-year-old Jennifer Wright opted to try something new, a spot in the DJ booth.
“I like the behind the scenes aspects, being able to control the volume and the bass sounds. Then, the perks come along with it, like spinning and doing tricks,” said Wright.
This year’s camp welcomes more than fifty young women, half of which are returning for a second year. Fifty percent of campers receive scholarships or financial aid to attend camp, which costs four-hundred dollars for the week.
“We provide instruments if they need them. We also take care of food for our campers,” explained Warshaw-Duncan.
GRP also provides thirty onsite adult female volunteers, including local teachers, nurses and musicians.
The camp culminates with a showcase, allowing the girls to share what they’ve learned with the community.
“It makes me feel really successful,” said Smith. “We all get together and do something that people think girls our age can’t do. So, I feel pretty good about that.”