Art Beat: Nearly 200 kids spend the week rehearsing at strings camp

When you think of kid's summer camp certain images come to mind, like cabins in the hills, fun activities and spending time with friends.

In this week's Art Beat we'll take you to a camp that has all those things, and so much more for kids who love to create beautiful music strings style.

Welcome to the Black Hills Strings Retreat 2017.

Located just to the west of Rapid City nearly 200 kids ages three to senior in high school are here this week.

These kids are serious about their instrument, whether it's violin, viola, cello, or bass.

And it shows.

Charlie Savot, Co-director, Black Hills Strings Retreat, says "It's kind of like a boot camp to jump start into the school year and so they really can polish up their chops to get ready for school orchestra and kind of bond with other kids that they are going to be with at school and give them a good start for being a good orchestra member."

The typical day at camp for these kids includes orchestra rehearsal in the morning and the evening, add to that, group classes, a recital, private lessons, some fun actives, free time and snacks to beat the summer heat.

Many look forward to camp every year for a lot of reasons.

Jamie St. Clair-Linde, High School Senior, says "You just get together for a week with a bunch of other people who have the same passion as you and just get to create beautiful music together."

Strings camp also helps prepare many of the high school students for upcoming auditions throughout the school year.

Cade Herrera, High School Senior, says "My favorite part is probably the All State trainining because that's something that a lot of people slack on and it's just so good to have professionals help us through the audition process and all of the technical aspects."

With music education seeing cuts across the country both students and teachers here feel lucky to have so many students participating in this camp and playing in the local school orchestras and with the Black Hills Symphony.

Charlie Savot says "It's like an oasis in the desert kind of because we're the only place that has public school strings for miles around and Sioux Falls of course is our biggest competition and they're doing really well too.

It's just a really different thing. There are so many places that have cut music entirely and strings a long time ago so this is just fantastic for students to have this opportunity here."

For many here who have taken part in this fun, music camp for years ... coming back every July is like coming home.

Jamie St. Clair-Linde, High School Senior, says "I've been coming to strings camp since I was 3,4, little, little kid, so for pretty much as long as I remember, I've been coming to this camp every summer.

It means the world to me you know because I know there's lots of other music camps that you can go to that are available, but there's just something about this camp, having come for so many years that it's a family, you know.">