Ontario Mennonite Music Camp (OMMC) at Conrad Grebel University College is a small camp with a big impact. With a focus on communal music-making, campers receive exceptional instruction in voice or a variety of instruments, learn new musical techniques and explore church music and worship. Campers stretch their comfort zone and learn to be leaders in a congregational setting, starting with a daily chapel service.
During this two-week overnight camp in Waterloo, Ontario, campers prepare a church service, with readings and music, and then share it with a local congregation.
“We chose OMMC after hearing about the program from our pastor,” explained the Do family, who attend Grace Lao Mennonite Church in Kitchener. “What attracted us to the program was the variety of instruments and musical ensembles.” Their son Daniel attended for the first time in 2023. “I knew that Daniel would be a good fit because he’s able to play multiple instruments, and he always wanted to join a band. What he enjoyed most at OMMC was the delicious food, fun activities, and the people. Everyone was so welcoming and energetic. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate last year and looking forward to it again this year.”
OMMC campers are a diverse group, with youth who have finished grade 6-12, coming from across Ontario and beyond, bringing a wide range of skill and interests. Some campers play many instruments with classical training; some campers prefer to play by ear and enjoy improvising; while some campers focus on vocal music and thrive in a choral environment. Whatever their musical background, they are welcome at OMMC.
Bound by a mutual love of music, campers meld together and become a community. In addition to the core musical experience of small ensembles, choir and workshops, OMMC includes many of the usual camp activities, such as campfires, recreation games, silly theme days and tasty Grebel meals. Camp culminates in a final concert for family members and the community, which includes a choreographed and costumed musical, plus numerous ensemble and small group pieces by every camper.
OMMC’s dedicated staff return year after year and delight in seeing the growth of campers over the years, as campers progress from shy participants to talented performers, and then to confident role models in the Leader-In-Training program. OMMC takes place this year from August 11 to 23. Register on the Grebel website. Subsidies are available for campers who demonstrate financial need.