Local music man heads to Europe

Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Area musician Augustus Davis will join one of six performing groups from the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp performing around the world this summer. His group will travel to Austria, and from there to Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy in a three-week tour.

Looking at Augustus Davis, you can tell he's a guy who loves having fun.

The 27-year-old, six-foot-tall man lights up any room he walks into.

This summer, Davis will not only light up rooms, he'll light up many countries as he tours with one of six performing groups around the world with the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp, in the Manistee National Forest in Michigan's western lower peninsula.

This is his fourth summer working at the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp, which blends friendship, fun and art into a summer camp.

The camp offers art, dance and theater programs for talented young people from all parts of the United States.

Normally, Davis is just a counselor, but this summer he's taking a little trip around the world to share his love of music with as many people as possible.

He will be playing his bass trombone with one of six performing groups based out of the fine arts camp. The groups are made up of roughly 60 musically inclined teenagers and several adult counselors.

The group will travel to Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Italy in a three-week time span.

But Davis' fun won't just end there. When he gets back to the United States, he's going to spend the rest of the summer as a counselor at the camp headquarters in Michigan.

So why is this grown man spending so much time playing music and chatting with these Michigan youths?

Because he just loves spreading music to others. He has been playing trombone for 14 years, starting his freshman year of high school at Notre Dame Regional High School. Eight years ago, he picked up the bass trombone. He works at Sears in the warehouse department and he's been taking classes at Southeast Missouri State University, working toward a bachelor's degree in music.

Davis usually practices at the university's music hall, but four times a year he makes the trip to Michigan to play with the rest of the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp members. The trips in November, April and May are all weekend excursions, but the rehearsal in June lasts an entire week. When his group departs on June 8, they will play two concerts in Chicago before boarding a plane to take them to their first overseas destination.

Instead of staying in hotels at their overseas destinations, they will be staying with host families. Everything is provided by the camp except for spending money. Davis says he will be packing a lot of journals and instant cameras to capture as many memories as possible.

Emily Hendricks is a student at Southeast Missouri State University.

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