Cello 2

How We Got Started

Motivation Orchestra Camp began in the summer of 2020, partially in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and partially due to a couple of teachers wanting to provide a fun summer learning environment for their students. Knowing that this pandemic could potentially cause summer camps to have difficulties, this camp started out online with a goal of opening in person the following year. Having this online camp ideally gives students from all areas a chance to attend a summer music camp and grow as a musician.

The Founders

Wesley Smith is a graduate from the University of North Texas with his Bachelor's of Arts in Music Education and Trumpet Performance. After college, he taught private trumpet lessons for Katy and Cypress-Fairbanks ISD's until accepting his first full time teaching position as Assistant Director of Bands for Huntington ISD. After that, he taught elementary music in Alief ISD before accepting his current position teaching orchestra for Houston ISD. Wesley has performed with several groups, including the German Band of North Texas, the Cypress Symphonic Band, Fellowship of the Swing, and the Houston Symphonic Band - being honored as a featured soloist with the group. 

Along with teaching orchestra, Mr. Smith currently performs with the Houston Texans pep-band, Deep Steel Thunder, teaches private trumpet lessons, and is in the process of forming a brass quintet.

Grace Lewis is a freelance double bassist, private instructor, and clinician in Houston, TX. She received her M.M. in instrumental Performance from the University of Houston, and her B.M. in Instrumental Performance from Oklahoma City University. Ms. Lewis is the founder and executive director of Collegia: Houston, and a member of the International Society of Bassists Advisory Board. She is a former faculty member of El Sistema Oklahoma and a current faculty member of the Texas Double Bass Academy, Kansas City Bass Festival, Motivation Strings Camp, Bay Area Chamber Music Festival, Hampton Roads Chamber Players Camp, and more. As a clinician, she has traveled to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia, Georgia, and Texas. Lewis was the winner of the Ladies’ Music Club Concerto Competition in 2016 and the Oklahoma City University Concerto Competition in 2015, and has performed with such ensembles as the Houston Ballet Orchestra, Symphony of Southeast Texas, Brazosport Symphony Orchestra, Clear Lake Chamber Ensemble, Fort Smith Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Hampton Roads Chamber Players, and many more. She has received teacher training from Johnny Hamil and Dr. Kate Jones, and has performed in masterclasses for such renowned bassists as Francois Rabbath, Edgar Meyer, and Mark Dresser. Lewis has been featured on the Contrabass Conversations podcast and the JKL Podcast, and has been a member of the Texas Music Educators Association since 2017.

Grace's Website: gracelewisbass.com