Summer Band Camps
Band Camps (established 1989) are offered at four locations. Activities vary
from location to location and include some or all of the following: full band rehearsals,
sectional instruction, small ensembles, master classes, ear training,
rhythm training, sight reading, and a Friday
evening public concert. Additional information is available on the registration form.
St. James-Assiniboia (Golden Gate Middle School)
Chantal Martin ,
2012 marked the 13th annual summer band camp in the St. James area, which was held at Golden Gate Middle School from August 20-24.
For the first time ever, our camp was filled to capacity with 75 campers - woohoo!! Students came from 17 different schools around Manitoba: Acadia, Beliveau, Bruce, Cecil Rhodes, Charleswood, Edmund Partridge, Elwick, George Waters, Golden Gate, Gordon Bell, Hedges, Lincoln, River Heights, Sargent Park, St. Johns-Ravenscourt, Sturgeon Heights and Viscount Alexander. You could feel the energy of the group from the first day!
We were pleased to welcome back Cheryl Ferguson as our distinguished Musical Director. It is always so inspirational to watch Cheryl share her musical knowledge with the students. She encouraged them to strive for excellence as individuals and as a musical ensemble, accompanied with funny stories of course! Her leadership and positive approach to music making assured both personal and collective musical growth amongst all players within the band. Thank you Cheryl for returning year after year to share your energy with us!
Hats off to our wonderful and dedicated staff of instructors who taught the students this summer. They shared their musical knowledge with energy, wit and patience, helping the young players grow into better musicians. This year’s dream-team included: Joanne Keeler (flute), Sherry Bonness (oboe), Julie Husband (bassoon), Kathy Lalonde (clarinet), Brian Klowak (saxophone), Darryl Ferguson (trumpet), Marissa Hirsch (French horn), Finn Johnson (trombone), Rob Monson (low brass), and Brendan Thompson (percussion). Special thanks to Kathy’s husband, Chris Lalonde, who joined us on trombone for the concert as well as Ken Epp on euphonium!
This summer’s theme was the Olympics – inspired by the recent Summer Olympics in London, UK. You could see and hear the Olympics throughout the week: in the music students played, discussions about our heroes, as well as in the theme days! Students participated in full band and sectional rehearsals led by the conductor and instructors, instrumental enrichment classes, small ensemble playing, and, new this year, daily musical development master classes! Theme days included: parade of the flags, Olympic Rings day, track suit/athletic wear day, and Halloween costume day! The 3 teams: The Gold Metallists, Sun Cyclists and Abrabasaxion earned daily points to compete for extra pizza at the Friday pizza lunch.
Students shared their week’s work of learning ensemble music with their peers and families in the annual Ensemble Showcase on Friday afternoon, as well as a final evening concert on August 24th at Golden Gate Middle School.
Both concerts were a joyful celebration of the students’ hard work and success throughout the week. One of the highlights of the Friday evening concert was the Manitoba premiere of Sun Cycles by Brian Balmages, a challenging 3-movement piece, that the band performed with style and grace. Other musical selections performed that evening included: United Nations March (Karl L. King, arr. James Swearingen), Heroes Triumphant (William Owens), Comedians Gallop (D. Kabalevsky, arr. James Swearingen), and O Canada featuring a brass fanfare (C. Appleby). We will certainly never forget the band’s performance of Chariots of Fire (arr. By John Edmondson), while the Mr. Bean skit featuring the original film from the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, was projected on screen. A BIG thank you to Brendan who “completed” the song with his keyboard skills, as he synchronized with the video on screen! Lastly, five student ensembles also performed their pieces for the appreciative audience at the Friday concert, ending with the percussionists’ version of Low Rider on mallets!
Musical awards were given to the most improved player as well as a leadership award to students within each instrument section. In addition, each camp participant received a certificate of achievement as well as a commemorative group photo.
Other key players assuring the success of camp were the amazing student assistants who were of invaluable help to keep things running smoothly. A big thank you to Renz Adame, Nicholas DeMelo, Elizabeth Sadler, Christina Cooper, Danielle Saj and Izzy Robak. I was so proud to see friends of the band members and especially band directors that made it a point to come to the final concert. I also wish to thank Danessa Poiron, who helped immensely with the organization and execution of camp week.
Thank you to the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, Golden Gate Middle School administration and custodial staff, Long & McQuade and St. John’s Music for their prize donations, associations such as the St. James Optimist Club for giving generous scholarships that allow more students to attend camp, as well as Ken Epp and the Manitoba Band Association for the organization of these annual summer band camps.
I highly recommend more teachers and students getting involved in this wonderful opportunity to keep summer band camps going in our community. The benefits for everyone involved are endless!
Fort Garry (Vincent Massey Collegiate)
The 2012 Fort Garry Summer Band Camp, held August 13-17 at Vincent Massey Collegiate, welcomed over 70 very eager and outstanding students to a week of fun, learning, music-making and development. Darrell Chrisp, who has served as guest conductor of the Fort Garry Summer Band Camp since 2007, took this summer off and intends to return in 2013.
Joining us this year as our guest conductor was Connie Turner. Connie served as the guest conductor of the St. Vital camp alongside Marlene Stephen for fifteen years. Needless to say Connie was the perfect fit and a gift to our camp for a number of reasons. Connie is a master teacher who brought to the camp a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion for teaching young students the joy of making music. Not only was this an incredible experience for the students, but was invaluable professional development for the entire camp staff, who all admire and respect this fine music educator. Our outstanding staff of instructors included Laurel Ridd (flute), Caroline Flett (oboe), Julie Husband (bassoon), Andrew Wahl (clarinet), Chad Pollard (saxophone), Renise Mlodzinski (trumpet), Shannon Moses (french horn), Jason Kehler (trombone), Jennifer Watson (euphonium), Rob Monson (tuba), Vaughan Poyser (string bass) and Victoria Sparks (percussion). The camp could not function without the efforts and support of a dedicated team of assistants and volunteers. This team this year included assistants Jakki Woodcroft, Jon Bettner and Rebecca Watt (University of Manitoba) and volunteers Caroline Bucher, Alison Lea and Meghan Fehr (Vincent Massey) and Gordon Nazarko (Glenlawn).
No “time” after accepting the invitation to teach at our camp, Connie e-mailed me a draft of the theme for this year’s camp and corresponding repertoire list. The theme this year was, “It’s Our Time.” This set the stage for many fun and effective lessons, activities, topics and repertoire. Activities throughout the week included a staff baby photo contest; a mini-Olympics; the creation of individual clock faces where students wrote about what they would do if they had an extra hour/day/week; the annual crazy pencil and name tag contests and lastly, the highlight of this summer’s camp, the time capsule! This year we created a time capsule that will be opened by the 2020 summer band camp. Each section in the band contributed something special to the time capsule accompanied by a little letter to the students of 2020. The capsule was sealed at this year’s concert and will remain at the MBA office until 2020. This was a very exciting project for both the staff and students which really generated great conversation, ideas and collaboration. Again this year staff members treated the students to two recitals which were very inspiring, informative and motivating! On Wednesday the students had four enrichment sessions to choose from which were all delivered by camp staff. They included: It’s About Time! (Victoria Sparks); Can Anyone Solo? (Chad Pollard); Practice Makes Perfect (Shannon Moses); and Do You Hear What I Hear? (Jacquie Dawson). These sessions are very well received by the students and are a great opportunity to explore new and interesting topics. Friday afternoon we held the annual Ensemble Festival in which every student in the camp performed a piece in a small group that rehearsed once a day throughout the week. This year the small ensembles were exceptionally strong! The students demonstrated a very high level of confidence, skill and performance ability. We were so proud of them all is it was very difficult selecting just a few for the evening concert.
This fun-filled and memorable week concluded with a concert on Friday evening. Repertoire included: Zeal (Rob Grice), March of the Buccaneers (Victor Flowers), African Spirit Dance (John O’Reilly), Chorale from Jupiter (Holst/Curnow) and Wade on the Water (trad./arr. Michael Story). Also featured on this concert were four student ensembles selected from the afternoon festival: a clarinet ensemble, trumpet choir, saxophone ensemble and tuba and string bass quintet.
Many thanks to the Pembina Trails School Division and Vincent Massey Collegiate for supporting the MBA Summer Band Camp Program and providing the venue for this valuable experience each summer. A huge thanks to the Vincent Massey custodial staff for their assistance, patience and support throughout the week. Special thanks to St. John’s Music, Long & McQuade and Accord Music for donating gift cards for door prizes and student awards. Thank you to the MBA Board of Directors and Executive Director Ken Epp for your ongoing dedication to music education and for being advocates and ambassadors to so many students. Finally, thank you to the parents for believing in the value of music education, for sending your child to summer band camp and encouraging them to pursue and realize their gifts, talents and dreams.
Elmwood (Mennonite Brethren Collegiate)
This past August 12-17, 2012, the 17th Annual Elmwood Junior Band Summer Camp was held at Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, 181 Riverton Avenue, with 75 students attending from 23 schools, including Andrew Mynarski, Arthur Day, Arthur E. Wright, Bishop Hamilton (Ottawa), Calvin Christian, Cecil Rhodes, Chief Peguis, Golden Gate, H. C. Avery, Isaac Brock, John Gunn, John Henderson, John Pritchard, Lockport, Mennonite Brethren, O. V. Jewitt, Regent Park, Salisbury Morse Place, Seven Oaks, St. Johns-Ravenscourt, Stanley Knowles, Teulon, and Winnipeg Beach.
The camp staff, led by the dynamic Teresa Lee as conductor, included instructors Lesley Meunier, Lori Jede, Robin McMillan, Michelle Anderson, John Hodge, Robert Chrol, Orvin Anderson, Mark Christianson, Andrea Dicks, Stewart Smith, Art Zuke, Vanessa Nowostawski, and Ben Reimer, camp co-cordinator Samantha Chrol, coordinating assistants Anders Lysack and Matthew Meunier, and an army of student volunteers, including Celine Faucher, Michael Meunier, Mollin Balisi, Matthew Isaacs, Bryson Debroni, and Heather Olfert. Carole Pollard once again accompanied on piano at the Staff Recital and MBCI students Jonathon Hirsch and Nicholas Geddert took care of security, sound and lights.
With an alumni now over 800 young musicians, it is surely an understatement to say that the Elmwood Junior Band Summer Camp at MBCI has been very fortunate these past 17 years! Almost since the beginning, we have benefited from full enrollment, with registrations typically reaching the maximum number of 75 students about a month and a half before the ‘early registration deadline’ of June 15. More often than not, if a registrant has to withdraw at the last minute before the camp begins, we can draw on students from a waiting list. Of the students who attend the camp, about a third return for a second year, and a third of those for a third or fourth year.
Camp activities included a mix of full band rehearsals, chamber ensemble rehearsals and performance, sectional rehearsal and instrumental technique, Intro to Jazz Level I and II, Percussion Techniques, a Staff Recital, outdoor recreation, and various enrichment topics. First time camp attendees received the enrichment offerings, How to Practice and How to Prepare an Honour Band Audition. Second, third and fourth year students were given special sessions on exploring the larger picture of what it means to be in an ensemble. Part of those sessions involved learning some conducting basics, including a chance to conduct the full camp band in rehearsal.
Thursday's Staff Recital was a mix of genres and styles showcasing the incredible musicianship of the instructors, with highlights including Robin McMillan’s performance of the iconic English horn solo from Dvorak’s New World Symphony, and a drum set solo specifically written for the performer Ben Reimer. After a Friday noon BBQ, the campers themselves all performed in an eclectic Student Chamber Ensemble Recital, which included the usual classic repertoire, but also a medley of Legend of Zelda tunes arranged for percussion ensemble by student Paul Klassen.
The Friday evening Final Concert included selected chamber ensemble performances, as well as the full band selections Rolling in the Deep - Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth, arr. James Kazik, Celtic Voyage - Melanie Donahue, Blues Machine - Paul Halliday, with several improvised solos developed by students in the jazz classes, Meadowlands - James MacBeth, and an exciting performance of Adrenaline Engines - Randall D. Standridge. Prizes donated by St. John’s Music, Long and McQuade Music, and Quest Musique were given out to several deserving students, as well as six pairs of WSO concert tickets presented in person by WSO representative Brent Johnson.
I have encouraged many students to attend various camps over the years, and have seen the effect of these experiences on their musical development, and what they give back to their school the next year and beyond. I heartily recommend that middle school instrumental music teachers encourage their students to give summer band camps serious consideration.
Thanks to Long and McQuade Music for providing prizes and financial assistance toward the camp once again this year, and St. John's Music for donating music folders and gift certificates. Thanks also to Cristien Lyons at Chief Peguis for the use of his music stands to augment the ones on site, and to Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute for allowing us to use the school's facilities for a week.
Marissa Hirsch ,
Once a summer, for the past too many years to count, I have had the privilege of coordinating a Manitoba Band Association Summer Band Camp. Every year, I am honoured to work with the most amazing conductors and clinicians and, of course, the most incredible students. This year was no different - what a great week!!!
Last summer, 49 eager students converged on Springfield Middle School, August 13-17th, 2012, for a week-long musical adventure.
Leading our exciting journey was our distinguished musical director, Mr. Kevin Doell. Kevin seems to have been my partner for many of the years I have been coordinating band camps. Every summer, I watch incredulously as Kevin works his magic. Kevin has a way of making students (and teachers!) leave inspired and as passionate as he is about music. His genuine approach to music-making and his exceptional leadership skills are top-notch. He once again proved why he is in such high demand as a guest conductor throughout our province. I know that if I am coordinating for many years to come, Kevin will always have a standing invitation to join me. Thank you Kevin for another fantastic summer band camp!
Students from 12 different schools participated in the Oakbank Summer Band camp this year in a myriad of activities ranging from full band rehearsals, to sectionals, ensemble time and rhythm classes. In addition, students were involved with our fun theme days. Students got dressed up in section colours, did name plate contests, had a crazy hair day, pyjama day and a ‘blast from the past’ day. And, of course, who could forget our awesome pizza day and the infamous Ms. Hirsch ‘apples & oranges’…
One of the coolest parts about camp is that not only did the students participate in all these wacky activities…so did all of the instructors! The dream team of instructors this year included Renz Adame (Oboe), Joanne Keeler (Flute), Tanya Lamb (Clarinet), Meaghan Walker (Saxophone), Patrick Keeler (Saxophone), Leslie Hutchinson (French Horn), Jeni Taylor (Trumpet), Doug Breckman (Low Brass) and Alain Guilmette (Percussion). It is because of this unbelievable staff that students return year, after year…after year. Before the week was even through, I had a dozen students asking me if they could be a student volunteer next summer! Thank you to one of the best group of musical instructors and just all-round amazing team of people I have had the opportunity to work with!
Along with the instructors, the Oakbank camp also had the most superb student volunteers who helped me in every aspect of camp. This year’s student volunteers included: Nebojsa Oravec, Bryanna Down, Kirstyn Ingram, Sarah Steinbart, Kaitlyn Kardynal, Greg Penner and Hope Gushulak. And I think a special mention should be made of one of our student volunteers, Kelsey McIntyre who helped me at my very first summer band camp all those long years ago and took a week off her job - not to go on vacation - but to join me once again at camp! WOW! If that doesn’t tell you what an impact camp has on our students, I don’t know what will!!!
The summer band camp participants shared their accomplishments in the process of learning music with their families and friends at our Solo & Ensemble Festival on Friday afternoon as well as at our final concert on August 17th. The concerts were outstanding! In addition to the 3 student ensembles who performed in the evening, the music performed by the full band included:
Albany Fanfare - William Owens
Tu Ungane - Scott Watson
As Twilight Falls - Robert Sheldon
Blast From the Past - Joseph Compello
A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who supports the camp, especially the band directors from the 12 schools who encouraged their students to attend. Remember directors: when your students go to band camp…they come back to your classrooms! They come back with all that knowledge, drive and enthusiasm that is so contagious at band camp! Thanks to the Sunrise School Division, the Springfield Middle School administration and custodial staff and, of course, many, many thanks to Ken Epp and the Manitoba Band Association - without whom none of the magic that occurs every summer at camp could continue to happen.