“I still remember that first ride up with the Finckels to Vermont. In that old, wonderful VW bus. “We’re gonna build a camp”…I think was the mission. At lakeside, tent platforms and volleyball nets and practice cabins and a rec hall all took shape, and a great and lasting adventure was begun. I was 13, and spent the next couple of summers doing what one never forgets…making music by a lake. I remember Dribble and Muffy and Klick, and all those others so aptly nicknamed. I remember trips to the A&W, Brahms on a marimba, the sand pit, and dump runs. It’s so great now to be back and see an institution that’s persevered so well. And you know, those feelings are all still in the air. Hard to believe, but they’ve nurtured me for the 50 years in between. So watch out. It could happen to you!” Larry Grob, PCP alum, inaugural camper, and artist
Point CounterPoint was founded in 1963 on the shores of Lake Dunmore in Leicester, Vermont by the late Dr. Edwin Finckel (pictured to the left), a New Jersey pianist, composer, and teacher. Dr. Finckel’s goal was to create summer musical opportunities for his students. Among these first camper/musicians was his son, David Finckel, now well-known as the former cellist in the Emerson String Quartet, the cellist in the duo of David Finckel and Wu Han, and the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center.
The next owners and directors were Emory Fanning, professor of music at Middlebury College, and Diana Fanning, a noted concert pianist, who directed the camp for ten years. Under the Fannings’ leadership, Point CounterPoint gained an international reputation, attracting many students from foreign lands: France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, West Africa, Japan, Israel, Switzerland, as well as, Canada.
In 1989, ownership of Point CounterPoint passed to professional violinist/violist Dr. Paul Roby and pianist Margaret Johnson Roby, along with amateur musicians and family members Nick and Sue Jones. The Roby/Jones team changed the camp’s music focus to strings and piano, eliminating woodwinds.
In 2008, a new era began when Jenny and Steve Beck purchased Point CounterPoint. New programs populate the summer calendar. At the end of the summer, a one week camp (called Prelude) attracts the young chamber musicians (ages 8-13) who are looking for a shorter sleep-away camp experience. Early in the fall, there is a 5 day Adult Chamber Music Workshop giving amateurs the opportunity to play music with new friends in a camp-like environment. In June 2011, we launched New Music On The Point (NMOP). NMOP’s focus is emerging, young musicians ages 18 and older who are interested in new chamber music. At this innovative program, young composers, instrumentalists and vocalists workshop and perform the newest of new chamber music.