• Performing Arts
A Dream Come True: The Lawrenceville School Performing Arts Camp

In 2006, classmates Celina Satija and Nick Johnson (both Class of 2007) decided they wanted to provide summer music lessons for Lawrence Township elementary school children. Nearly two decades later their dream, the Lawrenceville Performing Arts Camp (LPAC), has done exactly that for hundreds of aspiring artists.

Lawrentian student volunteers brought LPAC back (after a two-year COVID hiatus) to campus this month. While the number of participants was purposefully smaller as the Camp geared back into action, enthusiasm was at an all-time high. Counselors provided instrumental music and dance lessons, crafts, and just plain fun to 17 local, underserved kids for one week. LPAC Director Colette Burns (who selects both the campers and counselors) was delighted to see – and hear – the Clark Music Building come to life as youngsters tried their hands and drums, guitar, piano, and saxophone. Between lessons, they also constructed ukuleles and played some super soaking water games – outside, of course! – to stay cool during catered lunches. “It’s hard to tell who has more fun – our students or the little kids,” said Burns, office manager of the School’s Performing Arts Department.

LPAC concluded with a concert, giving campers a chance to perform what they learned for invited family and friends. “I always get goosebumps at the final show,” Burns said. “It’s so heartwarming to see the campers, especially the ones who start out the week so shy, have a chance to shine.”

Campers and their families are effusive in their praise – Burns has a collection of “thank you” notes in her office. “Thank you for managing this summer camp and for giving me a chance to experience one of the most prestigious schools in the world,” one reads. Another says, “We are so grateful for this week, for your dedication! [Our child] enjoyed every minute that she participated and was so happy to be accepted and meet so many great people.”

Burns had special praise for the 2022-23 counselors - Cassie Dillard ’24 (head counselor), Grant Shueh ’23 (assistant head counselor), Claire Wu ’25, Sonia Ivancic ‘25, Jane Atkinson ‘24, Alexander Xia ‘23, Angela Yang ‘25, Lily Hager ’24, Aurora Ingenito ‘24, Ellie Turchetta ‘25, and William Huang ’24 - who worked with great enthusiasm and dedication. “They did a wonderful job and really engaged with the kids,” she said. As in past years, some are already collaborating to keep lessons up for during the regular school year, either on Lawrenceville’s campus or via Zoom.

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.