From the Directors

Forget your scales at region? Learn this simple technique to figure them out.


(for Parents and Students)

Why should my child go to band camp?

As directors, we believe that there are 2 very important extra things students can do to further their musical development-band camp is one, and all region is the other. It reinforces everything we have work on during the school year. It also keeps them practicing and playing for at least a few more  weeks during the summer. Band Camp also makes band more  “fun”. We don’t know of any students who attend camp and have not have enjoyed it immensely.  Spending a week with almost 700 other students who are also doing nothing but band helps them feel more confident about their choice to participate in this activity. 

How well will my child be supervised?

Students will be housed in the dormitories of the college. There will be adults (band directors and spouses) in each dorm. There will also be student counselors. These are older high school students who have been selected by the camp based on their leadership and responsibility. There is a ration of about 50-60 other adults and band directors staying a in a nearby dorm. Mr. Ratliff be on campus for both weeks, and Ms. Jernigan will be on campus Jr. High Week.  During the day, students will be kept very busy going from class to class. After supper, the camp has social activities in which students are required to participate. This means they are never left unsupervised. One of the reasons we prefer this camp is how they deal with students. Most children will come home exhausted because they are kept so busy. This keeps them out of trouble and helps keep the younger ones from getting homesick.

What does my child need to bring?

Again, students will be housed in the vacant UCA dorms. This means they will need linens,including sheets, pillow, blanket, towels, wash cloths, toiletries such as shampoo, soap, shower shoes, etc. They of course need their instrument. They need to bring one dressy outfit fro the concert.  There will also be an optional “formal dance”. At jr. camp this basically means church dress or no jeans. Your child may want to bring a tv, video game system etc. While there are no rules about this, they will have little free time to use this equipment. Students will want to bring a phone, as there are no longer pay phones on the campus. 

Why is it so expensive?

The camp cost $295.00 for the week. The majority of this money goes to the university. Dorm rooms cost @ 35.00 a night. The students receive three all you can eat meals per day in the cafeteria. In addition to this, a small portion of their tuition goes to pay the instructors who come from all over the state to teach and supervise the students. 

What will my child be doing while at camp?

When your child arrives on registration morning, they will check into their dorm room and have a little time to get settled. At 1:00 there will be a meeting of the entire camp in Ida Waldran auditorium. There they will receive information about there tryouts and what will be happening the rest of that day and the week. Students spend the first day going through the audition process. They will play scales, music, and sightread. They will then be placed in one of 10 bands depending on their tryout score. Each day students will attend two band rehearsals, sectional rehearsals, and classes such as scales or all region class. Students will spend their evenings at activities such as dances, swimming, and movies. Students may choose one of these activities. Everyone attends an activity. There is no sitting in their room alone. At the end of the week students will perform a concert for parents on the music they learned during the week. It’s amazing how much they can accomplish in a week’s time.

What do I need to do now?

If your child wishes to attend, fill out the application and send it to the address at the bottom. Do not send to us at school. You must enclose the deposit of $175.00 with the application. This needs to be done by June 1st. You may pay the rest on the first day of camp, or send it in all at once. We will by providing a bus if your child needs transportation to camp. We hope you will be there to hear the concert and bring them home, if not we can return them to you as well. You may also take your child if you would rather.

If you have other questions, please feel free to contact any of the directors. We feel this is a worthwhile activity and encourage every child to attend camp. Dixie Band Camp is very special because of it’s long history and tradition. It has been around since the 1930’s and is the second oldest band camp in the nation. Once your child attend, we’re sure they will want to return every summer. Some of them may become student leaders as several of our students have over the years.

It is never too early to start practicing your region music!  We will order region books for you, just give us your name!  If you have your book then go here to see what scales and exercises you play.  Next year's music is Set III.  Start now and get ahead of the crowd! 

Food for thought.....

You ever get frustrated or think about giving up?  Hear what these Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians have to say about their band days.

"Be patient and persevere"  Tage Larsen, trumpet CSO  

"Be inspired and focus"  Jennifer Gunn, flute CSO

"Studying music improves everything. It involves your whole mind. There's never any "lost" time, and it brings people together. We really are strongest working as a group. Playing a Beethoven symphony is a good example. Performing an extraordinary work, as a team, with 100 other musicians, is one of the most positive experiences you can have."  Nathan Cole, violin CSO

"My music education taught me to always keep trying. The first time that I became super frustrated with the challenges of playing music was when I was in 7th grade. That year, I started playing the marimba. I had never read pitches before, only rhythms, so this was very difficult at first. Even though it was hard and I became frustrated, I didn’t want to quit! My parents were definitely my greatest cheerleaders and my band director was so encouraging."  Patricia Dash, percussionist CSO