Getting in sync; (2019)
A camp for young drummers aims to help develop their skills as musicians and jobseekers.
Synergy Percussion is an intensive week-long camp for drummers and percussionists interested in learning or improving their musicianship and employability. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10 to 15 at Boynton Beach High School, 4975 Park Ridge Blvd.
“I started Synergy Percussion clinic in the summer of 2015 as a way to give back to the percussion students in the community,” said founder and director Ray Nelson. “On the first day we (my mentor and assistant director Tovah TJ Lovely) had four students. By the end of the week, we were up to about 20 students and at that moment, I knew we had something special and unique.”
While the camp’s core foundation is marching and drumline, it will also include drum set instruction and education on the music industry and individual professional development. A diverse panel of instructors provides an array of musical backgrounds and lessons that can carry over into other styles of music.
“By using drumline and percussion as the driving force or ‘bait,’ if you will, students also receive detailed insight on what it takes to be successful in the music industry as a whole,” Nelson said.
“We teach music production and engineering, professional development skills, financial literacy, and social media marketing and branding. Students are able to interact with some of the very influencers that they aspire to be, many of which are close friends of mine. Along with six designated clinicians from all over the country, we have had Grammy-nominated drummer Jamison Ross, Grammy award winner Jahaan Sweet, multi-platinum producer and artist Dubba-AA — who is a Palm Beach native — and many other special guests come in to speak and give masterclasses throughout the camp.”
The camp is open to ages 8 to 18 and there are private lessons available for drummers younger than 8.
“When I was I growing up here in West Palm Beach, I attended Palm Beach County Drum Camp directed by Samuel Rolle,” Nelson said. “This camp taught me so many things at an early age but I had no idea that I would grow to have a camp of my own.”
At the camp’s conclusion, they will have a five-year anniversary celebration block party at noon Saturday, June 15 at Boynton Beach High School followed by a showcase finale at 4 p.m.
“Our motto being ‘all together as one,’ Synergy is about building a network and bringing people together from different walks of life, different skill levels to accomplish one goal, being a better musician and a better person,” Nelson said.