UW-Platteville to host 52nd annual band camp

This year marks the 52nd year of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Pioneer Summer Band Camp to be held Sunday, July 7-Saturday, July 13. 

The purpose of the camp is to provide middle and high school music students from the tri-state area with opportunities to learn more about music from talented faculty; gain knowledge to improve tone, technique and musicianship; and perform with other gifted young musicians. Last year, more than 120 students from 45 schools in three states participated in the event.

“This year, although we mourn the loss of longtime Pioneer Summer Band Camp Director Dr. Barry Ellis, we are dedicated to expand on his vision for a summer band camp that is dedicated to fostering the growth of young musicians, while being fun and affordable,” said Matthew Gregg, interim director of bands at UW-Platteville. “Longtime Mount Horeb Band Director Patty Schlafer will be joining our staff this year. She is an extraordinary music educator who is very excited to work with Pioneer Summer Band campers and conduct the Blue Band.”

Gregg noted that the band camp is a positive learning experience for all who attend. “I don’t know that I have ever been a part of a summer camp that has such a long-lasting impact on every attendee, both artistically and socially,” he said.

Participating in the camp is an inspiring learning experience for many students, including Ava Fiedler, a returning camper and horn player from Lena, Illinois, who said, “Pioneer Summer Band Camp is the best experience of some kids’ lives.”

At camp, students will participate in one of two concert bands, master classes, sectionals and a basic theory class. In addition, they will have an opportunity to choose other class options, including conducting, world percussion, jazz techniques, advanced theory and music composition as well as participate in team-building activities and optional private lessons, for a fee, with camp faculty.

Students also will participate in one or more of the following musical performance opportunities: two concert bands for woodwind, brass and percussion students; a jazz ensemble, based on audition; and a jazz ensemble rhythm section, with members selected from camp participants who play piano, guitar, bass and drums.

Summer Band Camp instructional staff is comprised of UW-Platteville faculty and experienced teachers, chosen for their expertise in their fields. Band conductors will include Gregg and Schlafer. Jazz Ensemble staff will include Allen Cordingley and Keith Lienert, both music faculty at UW-Platteville.

The camp is open to resident campers, who will be housed on campus in residence halls throughout the week, and commuters. Cost of the camp is $500 for resident campers, $350 for commuters (with meals included) and $300 for commuters (with no meals included).