Community Music School, Professor Dale Bartlett Recognized with City of East Lansing Crystal Awards

Congratulations to the Community Music School’s Eric "RicStar" Winter Music Therapy Camp and to Professor Emeritus Dale Bartlett! Both are winners of 2012 City of East Lansing Crystal Awards. The program honors individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses that have gone above and beyond to enhance the quality of life in East Lansing. The "RicStar" Camp was the Business recipient and Dr. Bartlett was a Community recipient.

Eric "RicStar" Winter Music Therapy Camp

The Eric "RicStar" Winter Music Therapy Camp began in June 2003 in honor of the life of Eric Richard Winter – an extraordinary little boy with cerebral palsy and a remarkable gift for music. Eric began participating in music when he was three years old, and, for the next nine years, music was an integral part of his life. He had an insatiable appetite for music and music-making and it was from Eric’s great love for music, as well as the incredible dedication of his parents, Dick and Judy, that RicStar’s Camp was born.

The camp, part of the Community Music School music therapy clinical services program run by the MSU College of Music, provides life-changing opportunities for musical expression, enjoyment, and interaction for all people with special needs and their siblings in a welcoming summer camp setting focused on ability and inclusion. The camp is dedicated to breaking down barriers, including its BuddyUp program in which each camper is placed with a peer without disabilities, allowing buddies and campers to develop friendships and an understanding of one another’s lives throughout the course of the three-day camp.

In 2003, the inaugural RicStar camp welcomed 46 campers and, now, ten years later, it has grown to serve approximately 100 campers. In addition to the campers, 100 volunteers, 35 teen buddies, and 10 certified therapy dogs are brought in for the camp each year, along with talented guest performers from the MSU College of Music. The camp offers everything from one-on-one music lessons to dance classes specifically tailored to those with disabilities, to opportunities for song writing and an end-of-week Be-A-Star Showcase where all campers get to perform.

The camp attracts visitors from across the state and Canada, providing children with special needs, their siblings, and parents an opportunity to experience and enjoy East Lansing. It brings to light the caring and all-inclusive community values that East Lansing upholds.

Dr. Dale Bartlett

Dr. Dale Bartlett is a living example of the way members of the East Lansing community can, by their active involvement, share their talents to improve the quality of life for the entire community. Dr. Bartlett has a long history in the East Lansing community, a place where he raised his family, earned his bachelor and master degrees and was a faculty member of the MSU College of Music from 1969 until his retirement in 1996.

And next spring, Dr. Bartlett will complete his 30th year as conductor of the Arts Chorale of Greater Lansing. Founded in 1980, the group has always maintained deep ties to the East Lansing community, with fully a third of its 60 singers and 400 donors from East Lansing.

Starting as a fledgling community group of 16 singers, the Chorale has continuously increased its standards for performance and musical excellence under Dr. Bartlett’s leadership. As a gift to the community, the Chorale performs three formal concerts each year – all of which are offered free of charge to the public. In addition, the group has sung with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and provided vocal accompaniment to both Andy Williams and Sarah Brightman at their Breslin Center concerts.

In appreciation for all the East Lansing-MSU community has given him, Dr. Bartlett has endowed the Helen R. Bartlett Scholarship in Choral Conducting in memory of his wife Helen, as well as the Dale L. Bartlett Scholarship in French horn. He also instituted a unique relationship with the MSU College of Music, through which the Chorale provides scholarships to three or four graduate music students each year.

Dr. Bartlett has completed a wonderful circle of life at MSU – going from student to valued faculty member to mentor and administrator to retirement and significant donor. He has provided rich musical experiences for singers and the community alike and continues to make beautiful music available and accessible to the Greater Lansing community as a whole.

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