Hummingbird Music Camp ~ Jemez Springs

hummingbirdHummingbird Music Camp, founded by the legendary Kenneth Lloyd Higgins (38-year music educator with Albuquerque Public Schools, 1993 Governors Arts Award winner, including many other awards and recognitions), first opened its doors in 1959. The camp serves children ages 8 through 14. Music ensembles include: band, guitar, orchestra, piano, and voice. Musical direction for all levels of players is provided. In recent years, the camp has added Art and Chess camp to their curricula, which run in tandem with the Music Camp. Hummingbird is a New Mexico Music Commission 2018 Platinum Music Award honoree and recipient of the Lee Berk Award, selected by the Platinum Award jury.

Today, the camp is run by KL’s wife, Wanda, and her children, Les, Sally, and Teena.  You can still feel KL’s presence in the strong and loving warmth radiated by the Higgins family as they keep Hummingbird Music Camp vibrant and alive.

Nestled by the Jemez River in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, Hummingbird Music Camp offers every child an opportunity to grow as an individual, a team player, and as a fine musician under the guidance of a talented and nurturing staff. This safe and lovingly structured social environment provides a home away from home for children to express themselves and their talents. This is accomplished through hard work and practice, bonding with new friends. Removed from city congestion, campers have the opportunity to sleep in a dorm with their new friends, breathe clean, fresh air in the breathtakingly glorious Jemez mountains, sing crazy camp songs, listen to tall tales told around the campfire, go on overnight hikes, and square dance. In addition there’s game night, skit night, concerts, swimming in the river, and the awesome feeling of catching a first fish in the Jemez River, which runs through the camp property.

Hummingbird’s staff and counselors have all been raised under the Higgins family traditions and teachings, which keeps the camp running smoothly and peacefully. Although music is taken very seriously at the camp, the focus is not on competition. The children are encouraged to grow musically on their chosen instruments by starting their musical instruction at their current level of ability. Their experience at camp is enriched by private music lessons, chorus, transfer classes (where they can learn a new instrument), solos, concerts, and finally, they show their parents how much they’ve learned and grown when they perform for them on the Sunday afternoon concert.

Nothing can be more empowering for a child than a camping experience at Hummingbird Music Camp, according to thousands of former campers. Watching children’s musical talents and personalities blossom at Hummingbird was one of Kenneth Lloyd Higgins’ greatest joys, and in fulfillment of his dream the hills surrounding Hummingbird Music Camp are alive with music and now art and chess.

above: Scenes from the summer of 2009, including teachers and campers marching in the Jemez Springs 4th of July parade. (There are hundreds of student and parent-made videos on YouTube, if you’d like to see more.)

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Hummingbird Music Camp