Music Therapy Camp Celebrates 15 Years

Annual Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Therapy Camp welcomes MSU President Simon and others for a special inside look.

Dancing at RicStar's Camp with "My Chance to Dance," a dance/exercise program designed for children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Photo by Sarah Bohan.
RicStar youth campers participate in a drum circle. Photo by Erik Taylor.
Long-time camper, Evan, rocking out at RicStar's Camp 2013. Photo by Erik Taylor.

The Michigan State University Community Music School (CMS) is proud to host the 15th Annual Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Therapy Camp June 15-21, 2017. In celebration of this milestone, Michigan State University’s President, Lou Anna K. Simon, College of Music Dean James Forger, and other community partners will be visiting CMS on June 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. to explore the various aspects of RicStar’s Camp and interact with campers. This event is open to media. 

RicStar’s Camp honors Eric Winter, a 12-year old CMS music therapy client with cerebral palsy who had a passion for music and a dream of starting a music therapy camp. Shortly after his passing in 2003, Eric’s parents, Dick and Judy Winter, along with Cindy Edgerton, Director of Music Therapy Clinical Services at CMS, made this young boy’s dream a reality and established/founded the Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Therapy Camp. See 2016 video below.

For 15 years, RicStar’s Camp has provided an inclusive environment for individuals with special needs and their siblings to express themselves through music and engage with others of varying abilities. Since its initial year, over 1,260 total campers have attended RicStar’s Camp. Each year, approximately 60 community volunteers, both teens and adults, donate their time to provide one-on-one support to the campers throughout the duration of camp.

Camp will be held for adults June 15-17 and for children, adolescents, and young adults June 19-21 at the Community Music School located at 4930 S. Hagadorn Rd. in East Lansing. Both camps begin each day at 9 a.m.

Each camp will conclude with a Be-a-Star Showcase concert. The showcase for adults will be on Sat., June 17 at 1:30 p.m. and the showcase for children, adolescents, and young adults will be on Wed., June 21, at 1:30 p.m.  Lt. Governor Brian Calley and Kellie Dean, President and CEO of Dean Transportation, will be in attendance to accept this year’s RicStar Award for Outstanding Special Needs Advocacy. Mr. Dean will be attending the Showcase on June 17, and Lt. Governor Calley will be attending the June 21 Showcase. These concerts are open to the public/media and will take place in the Community Music School Performance Hall.

More information on RicStar’s Camp including camp videos may be viewed on the CMS website

Video: 2016 Eric ‘RicStar’ Winter Music Theapy Camp
Courtesy Community Music School–East Lansing


Founded in 1993, the Community Music School (CMS) is the outreach division of the MSU College of Music. The mission of CMS is to provide comprehensive music education and music therapy services to people of all ages and abilities, with financial assistance for those in need. 

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