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July 19, 2011 > Hayward La Honda music camp celebrates

Hayward La Honda music camp celebrates

Submitted By Sally Philbin

Hayward La Honda Music Camp celebrates its 50th anniversary. During the past 49 years more than 11,000 music students from the Bay Area and from overseas have had the opportunity to practice and perform music among the redwoods for eight glorious days in the summer.

The program has grown since 1962 and there are now several bands, orchestras, jazz bands and many elective classes from which to choose. There are also many recreational and social activities including horseback riding, climbing tower, zip line, archery, swimming, dances, and skit night. Students, or "campers," not only have fun but also learn how to work as a team and leave camp with life-long memories.

The camp was founded in 1962 by former Hayward School District music teachers Ed Krenz and Dave Martin. Assisting them in this effort were Lani Martin, Dr. Jack Lutt and Carol Lutt. The first camp was held in the Yosemite Valley for a total of 30 students. In 1964, the camp moved to its present location, San Francisco YMCA Camp Jones Gulch in La Honda, approximately 60 miles from Hayward.

In 1978, the music camp suffered cutbacks caused by the passage of Proposition 13, the result of which was the loss of sponsorship by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. Fortunately a tremendous ground-swell of support by local teachers, parents and business under the leadership of Milt Bowerman literally saved the camp form certain collapse. Since 1978, the Hayward La Honda Music Camp has survived due to the dedication, generosity and support of many people, including Chabot College and the college's former Chairman of Humanities, Elliot Charnow. Milt Bowerman, a retired music teacher from Hayward High School, served as Camp Director until 2005 and remains the camp's Associate Director.

The Hayward La Honda Music Camp is organized in cooperation with A & G Music (Oakland), Union Music (San Francisco), Allegro Music (Fremont), Pepper Music of San Francisco, Ingram & Brauns Musik Shoppe (Pleasanton/Modesto), Ifshin Violins, Kamimoto Strings, Hayward Arts Council and San Francisco YMCA Camp at La Honda.

This year's camp will be held from July 23 to July 30. For more information, registration as a camper, or as a former camper/alumnus wishing to support the 50th anniversary celebrations, visit Former campers and alumni are invited to come to camp for a celebration on July 29 and/or July 30. Visit for more information and registration.

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