First, Hazlet Recreation announced the formation of Hazlet Pops, an exciting new community band that will perform four outdoor concerts in Veterans Park this summer.
Now, we are announcing another community band just for young musicians. It is called Hazlet Pops Junior. Kids, we want you to join the band too!
Hazlet Pops Junior will meet for a half-day summer camp on weekdays July 19 through 30 at North Centerville Firehouse, 372 Middle Road.
Both bands will perform together at an outdoor community concert on Thursday, July 29 at Veterans Park.
On Friday, July 30, Hazlet Pops Junior will perform again at the Hazlet Swim Club and enjoy a swim in the pools afterwards.
Then on Saturday, July 31, all the band camp members will enjoy a free day at the pool club with two family members, as the grand finale to camp.
The camp is open to kids in grades fourth through eighth grades, from Hazlet or surrounding towns. All are welcome, even if you don't have an instrument and need help getting one.
Hazlet Pops Junior band leader Raymond Lahaye said he feels inspired to create more opportunities for public enjoyment of music. “We need more music in town!” said Lahaye. “We want more open-air concerts in the park, we want more kids to fall in love with an instrument. So we are starting right now to build up music in Hazlet,” he said.
Lahaye is the celebrated director of the large Raritan High School Marching Band. The band recently performed energetic, popular tunes at Hazlet’s Bike with a Bunny Parade for kids.
Mayor Tara Clark said she is excited to see the movement towards more music. “Music brings our town together, adds energy to our events and makes us proud of our town. I love to see the kids in the band perform, they look like they are having such a fun time. And so are we.”
Township Committeeman Skip McKay, who worked with Lahaye developing the Hazlet Pops concept, is looking forward to booking the bands for the upcoming Memorial Day and September 11th events in town. “As a veteran, I believe commemorative events are enhanced by music. Music brings dignity to important remembrances.”
McKay is also confident that music brings confidence and community to young people, some of whom are still facing the stresses of a pandemic year. “I’m happy to see young people pick up an instrument and find friends and connection through music. This camp is unique to summer camps we have seen offered anywhere nearby and led by Director LaHaye, a wonderful teacher passionate about teaching children the magic of music. We are blessed to have him lead this program.”
Location: North Centerville Firehouse, 372 Middle Road, Hazlet
Dates: Weekdays 9 am to 1 pm July 19-July 30.
- Thursday, July 29 at 6 pm.
- Friday, July 30, at the Swim Club.
Free Swim Day: Saturday, July 31 at Swim Club
Enrollment: Sign up for the music camp on the township's RecDesk site. Please create an account and then enroll in Music Camp. Questions? Call 732-217-8660.