Sweet Sounds of Summer

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For seventy-six years, young musicians have entertained audiences while honing their craft at the New England Music Camp.

By Meadow Rue Merrill
Photographed by Alan Lavallee

On a fine summer evening, the strains of violin and French horn mix with the hooting calls of loons and carry over glistening nine-mile-long Messalonskee Lake in Sidney, just north of Augusta. The music emanates from the dozens of small brown cabins that dot a lush field rimmed by swaying pines. Too tiny to hold even a bed, these are the practice rooms for the more than three hundred young musicians enrolled at the New England Music Camp.

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Meadow Rue Merrill is an award-winning Maine journalist and frequent contributor to Down East.

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