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During the winter of 2001, the music director at Marquette Manor Baptist Church suggested that the church start a music camp. However, there was another string camp that the church was encouraging its musicians to attend. Ries Barlow (the current camp director) continued to pray about starting a camp though it seemed that God had closed the door. Ries received news in the summer of 2002 that the established camp had changed its format, making it difficult for Marquette musicians to attend. The plans for Sforzando were laid, and the first camp took place in July of 2004. God has answered countless prayers since the beginning of Sforzando and has helped the camp through many times of difficulty. We give God the praise for all that He has done to establish the camp we know and love today.


God’s Word says in 1 Chronicles 25:1, “Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service some . . . who were to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals.” In this verse, those that played musical instruments literally prophesied with their music. Our goal at Sforzando is to train musicians to their full potential so they can use their musical abilities to edify the church.

The word “Sforzando” is a musical term that means “sudden or marked emphasis.” The camp is named Sforzando because we place a short, intense emphasis on musical training for one week in order to affect the musician’s growth towards mastery of their instrument.