The Grace Kelly concert kicked off with an energetic start as the band rang through the audience. There is something about the audience appreciation at a Summer Symposium nightly concert that you can’t find anywhere else. The level of excitement soared as Grace Kelly took the stage and began her concert.

Grace Kelly, a Yamaha Performing Artist, is based out of New York City. Born in Massachusetts she wrote her first song at the age of 7, recorded her first album at 12, orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Boston Pops Orchestra at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16! While keeping up with a busy tour schedule where she is headlining shows at many major jazz festivals across the globe, Grace completed her eighth studio album, Trying To Figure It Out, which expands on her longstanding interest in genre-bending while maintaining a jazz foundation.

Genre-bending is exactly how I would describe her performance tonight. In a word, her performance was electric. Her first piece was so captivating, it evoked a standing ovation from the campers! Her style is a mixture of jazz and other genres, which creates a unique musical environment. Many students clapped along, danced, and even sang along with her. Her artistry as a performer was very detailed, featuring a costume change and light show. This was the perfect mid-week performance to showcase what is possible on the saxophone and an instrument in general.

I can’t sing Grace Kelly’s praise enough. Not only does she exemplify the highest quality of musicianship on stage, I know her interactions with the students following the concert and during her workshop with students throughout the day leading up to the show were among the most positively life-changing moments these students have experienced so far. Her willingness to connect to the campers was heartwarming and highly appreciated by all.