Summer Sonatina piano camp 'flash mob' invades Bennington

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BENNINGTON >> Musicians from the Summer Sonatina International Piano Camp performed at the Four Corners on Friday with their own take on a Billy Joel classic.

"Sing us a song of piano camp," were the lyrics that rang out in downtown Bennington on noon on Friday, as a "flash mob" consisting of Summer Sonatina students, staff, and friends closed out their season with a bang. The group consisted of over 40 students and 18 staff members. Student Caitlyn Hickey was strapped into a mobile piano, and accompanied the singers.

The program, which runs for five weeks every summer and hosts about 42 students (ages 7-16) per week, is directed by Polly van der Linde, the daughter of Rein and Rosamond van der Linde, who founded the program in 1969. This is the third year that they have come downtown to perform at the Four Corners.

Every Thursday from June 25 to July 16 this year, the students performed free concerts for the public at the Bennington Center for the Arts.

According to the program's website, sonatina.com, their philosophy is, "to encourage students to become dedicated, serious musicians who develop resourcefulness, thoughtfulness and self discipline. Emphasis is on all aspects of music and on lasting personal relationships with fellow musicians. In a carefully created group atmosphere, children grow responsibly with peers and as members of a wider musical family."

A full video of their performance, including interviews with students lead by Better Bennington Corporation director John Shannahan, is available on Catamount Access Television's YouTube channel, "CATTV Bennington."

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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