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.
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.
Ms. Lewis is a freelance performer, clinician, and private instructor based in the Houston area. She serves as Director of Orchestras at Drew Academy in Aldine ISD, and is the founder and director of after-school music education program Collegia: Houston. Ms. Lewis holds a M.M. in Double Bass performance from the University of Houston and a B.M. in Double Bass Performance from Oklahoma City University. Since 2012, she has enjoyed teaching around the country, serving as a faculty member of El Sistema Oklahoma as well as a traveling double bass and chamber clinician in Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, and more. She has performed with numerous ensembles, including the Houston Ballet, the Brazosport Symphony, the Symphony of Southeast Texas, the Clear Lake Symphony, the Enid Symphony, the Fort Smith Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Symphonicity Orchestra of Virginia Beach, the Hampton Roads Chamber Players, and as one half of the Oklahoma-based Lewis/Rupp double bass duo. In addition, she was the 2016 winner of the Ladies’ Music Club Concerto Competition, and the 2015 winner of the Oklahoma City University Concerto Competition. Ms. Lewis serves on the advisory board of the International Society of Bassists, and is a member of the Texas Music Educators’ Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations Music Directors & Adjudicators. She has received valuable teacher training from esteemed instructors like Dennis Whittaker, John Schimek, Johnny Hamil, Kate Jones, Caroline Emery, Tracy Rowell, David Murray, and Jorge Aguirre.
Grace's Website: gracelewisbass.com