Queen City Rock Camp celebrates 9 years of music,


The basement of First Unitarian Universalist Church featured a blend of drum beats, guitar strumming and keyboard synchronization on Wednesday morning during the third day of Queen City Rock Camp.

Twenty-six campers ranging between ages nine and 18 are attending this year’s day camp, which aims to create a safe space for girls, transgender and nonbinary youth to build confidence through music.

Amethyst Graham, 17, has attended Queen City Rock Camp since its inception in 2014. Graham said she’s returned to the camp for the last nine years because she enjoys having a safe space to learn how to better play her instrument, the bass, and meet up with friends she’s made in years past.

Queen City Rock Camp camper Amethyst Graham plays the bass during a class at the summer camp at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield on Wednesday, Aug, 2, 2023.

The camp started on Monday and concluded with a graduation ceremony on Friday. After checking in each morning, campers enjoyed a variety of activities, including music history presentations, instrumental instruction with their preferred instrument, do-it-yourself workshops, like zine-making, printmaking and videography, and daily afternoon band practice.

Each year, the camp is divided into small group bands that perform at the Queen City Rock Camp Showcase, which is held after the camp concludes. This year, there are five bands: Sour Owls, Band No. 2, Tino Dinos, Patchwork Moth and Nine Lives.

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