Symphonic Band Camp
Two Day Event
ALfred L. Watkins | Conductor
The concept of the Symphonic Band Camp was created and designed in the winter of 1988 by Lassiter directors, Alfred Watkins and Dr. Sue Samuels. It is one of the most creative and innovative methods of instruction found in today’s modern band program and intended to give a boost to the concert or chamber music program at the beginning of a new calendar year. This in-house camp provides for a focused and serious study of band music through a series of guest conductors, clinicians, recitals, master classes, chamber music, guest bands and bonding recreational activities, all in the time frame of one weekend and utilizing all of the students in your band programs.
The concept is similar to events surrounding honor or region band activities. It utilizing your entire band program as the honor band as opposed to sending selected students to honor events. The intent is to provide a stronger emphasis on all aspects of musical performance and allow for your students in a band program to be equally benefitted by similar experiences. As a result, students are more engaged in music making as a “way of life” while in the school band and created a mental endurance and rehearsal etiquette for the students that went well beyond their years. After the camp, students became highly motivated to develop their musical skills and their interest in other band activities.
This camp model has been adapted for middle school concert bands, jazz ensemble, beginning band camps, and chamber music weekends and is currently being used by thousands of bands throughout the country. At Lassiter, rather than asking “where” was the destination of the Spring Trip each year, students would ask who would be their guest conductor in “Sym Camp.” It made a significant impact on the Lassiter Band Program.