If staying on a university campus with your closest friends, playing music in a large group and many small ensembles, watching performances by professional musicians, going to a Drum Corps International competition, and performing in a full concert sounds fun, then the University of Arkansas Summer Music Camp is the camp for you.
The music camp auditions are the perfect way to get a head start on your all region material. If you live in the state of Arkansas, the camp audition pieces are the same for moth Jr. High and Senior High All Region. As you check in at your dorm room, the floor counselors will schedule you for an audition time. Do Not Be Late. Remember, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is death”. There are two or three rooms for each instrument; a prepared room, a scales room, and a sight reading room. There will me room and hall monitors to help you so that you stay in the correct order and make it to all of the rooms on time.
Rehearsals are very important. You have less than one week to prepare a full concert. That is 9 rehearsals. Each band prepares about 4 challenging pieces of music. This music comes from all different levels, time periods, styles, and composers. This is a great way for you to expand your repertoire and make music with students from different states. After auditions, you will be placed into one of the 5 Sr. High Bands or 10 Jr. High Bands. Each band has a different set of music, different rehearsal locations, and different rehearsal times.
Master Classes are my favorite part of everyday at camp. This is your opportunity to connect with your section and most importantly, the professors at the University of Arkansas. High School juniors and seniors should spend this time thinking about majoring in music. If you are even remotely interested in attending the University of Arkansas as a music major or a band member, use this time to ask your questions. Additionally, campers can take private lessons by professors through out the week to get some one on one time .
Over the last few years, the University of Arkansas has brought in many guest performers such as Axiom Brass Quintet and Jim Walker. In the 2018 camp the guest artist will be the Viridian Saxophone Quintet. In the past, the guest performers have put on concerts, taught master classes, talked about their careers, and even taught some private lessons. This is a great opportunity for campers to see a real world example of musical careers and get a chance to ask them any career or music related questions they would have.
Drum Corps International
Each year the Senior High Summer Music Camp has the opportunity to watch the Drum Corps International Competition in Bentonville. This is my all time favorite night at camp. In the cast I have seen the Blue Devils, Carolina Crown, Blue Stars, Colts, Genesis, Spirit of Atlanta, and The Academy. Drum Corps International is by far the most entertaining and exciting night at camp. It is the perfect event to kick off marching season for students in high school marching bands. Each show is unique with its own these and powerful sound. This performance actually shakes the stands and blows you away.
Each of the five Senior High Band Camp bands puts together a Jazz Band, a Woodwind, Ensemble, and a Percussion Ensemble. Through out the week, they will have rehearsal times in their schedule. In their small ensembles, they will prepare a short program of songs to perform them in front of the camp on Thursday night. Ensemble performances are held at the Fayetteville High School Performing Arts Center and is open to parents. These ensembles are the best time for campers to really get to know the people in their sections.
At the end of the week, each band performs a full concert that they learned. These concerts are held at the Fayetteville High School from 8 in the morning starting with Junior High Orchestra and ending early afternoon with the first.
Overall, the University of Arkansas Summer Music Camps are the perfect way for students to get more involved in band over summer, learn good challenging music, learn about music careers, and get individual help on their instrument. If you want more information about this program check out my previous post on Band Camps.