Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Packed First Day at GRAMMY Camp® by Dertrick Winn Jr.

After a long night of final preparations, I was heading to the airport in the early morning air to take the flight to L.A. and be a part of GRAMMY Camp® once again. This would make my second time flying, but first time by myself. I wasn’t really nervous, just tired, and the only thing on my mind at the time was dozing off as soon the plane was up. Seconds after I closed my eyes though, my mind began to race about all the new and exciting things to expect from GRAMMY Camp this year. I thought about all the cool stuff and people I met last year, and how there would be a whole new batch of people to connect with and the new adventures and experiences planned ahead. I smiled to myself as I remembered the good times at USC, the live jam sessions, the Starry Night gala, the interviews with the up and coming Hollywood stars, as well as interviews from the star GRAMMY Campers. It hardly feels like it’s been a whole year since it all happened, and now I’m just two hours away from doing it all over again. Only this year, I return a veteran of the GRAMMY Camp experience.

I was greeted at the LAX airport by a familiar face, one of the GRAMMY Camp staff members, and was joined by a few new faces who looked almost as tired as I was. On the bus I got the chance to catch up with some old friends, and learn more about the new guys who made up the majority of the GRAMMY Camp 09 population.

We got off the bus and entered the gates of the USC campus. I got a quick glance at the two camera men filiming us for a documentary to my right. I laughed. I could hear the narration in my head. “We met young GRAMMY Campers blah blah at the front gate. Blah blah they all looked very excited blah blah chatting blah blah future of music blah”. It tickled me to think of myself being a part of documentary that I wasn’t making, but was in, and being a part of a a generalized narration.

So we entered the campus and piled into the common area of the Trojan Hall, 80+ of us, luggage and all. As I gripped my bags, I quickly recalled the flight of stairs to climb in order to reach the Trojan dorms and prepared my nerves for some hauling and groaning, not so much from me, but from those guys who, you could say, over-packed.

After setting up in my dorm room. I prepared for open mic night. It was great. The small coffe house was crowded with campers, and the performers were all very talented. I even got to perform myself. Afterwards , me and a couple of friends gathered around the piano in the common area, and spent the last hour of camp activities jamming to familiar tunes, and sharing hometown memories. It was great to be around fellow musicians, who understood and shared your love for music. By bed time there was so much to think about, I could hardly sleep. I couldn’t wait to wake up and see what wonders the next day held.

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