Fifty years of Summer Band Camp

June 22, 2017
Summer band concert

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – This year marks the 50th anniversary of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Pioneer Summer Band Camp to be held Sunday, July 9-Saturday, July 15 at UW-Platteville. Deadline for registration is Tuesday, June 27.

The purpose of the camp is to provide middle school and high school music students from the tri-state area with opportunities to learn more about music from music faculty; gain knowledge to improve tone, technique and musicianship; and perform with other gifted young musicians. Last year, more than 121 students from 46 schools in three states participated in the event.

“Pioneer Summer Band Camp offers a comprehensive music experience focused on developing the student as a player,” said Dr. Barry Ellis, director of the UW-Platteville Pioneer Summer Band Camp and professor of music and director of bands at UW-Platteville. “It’s a place for students to grow musically in a fun and exciting learning environment.”

Participating in the camp is an inspiring, life-changing experience for many students, including Keely Liska, a sophomore music education major who has attended the camp four summers.

“Pioneer Summer Band Camp was the place where I developed my passion for music alongside fellow campers, now lifelong friends, who shared the same love as I,” said Liska. “I cannot express how important of a role camp was in guiding me to pursue music as a career at UW-Platteville.”

At camp, students will participate in one of two concert bands, master classes, sectionals and a basic theory class. In addition, they will have the chance 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.

Summer Band Camp instructional staff is comprised of UW-Platteville faculty and experienced teachers, chosen for their expertise in their fields.

As a culmination of the golden anniversary celebration of the camp, previous Pioneer Summer Band Camp campers, staff and faculty will join the camp’s Gold Band, the most advanced group, in presenting the world premiere of a commissioned composition, composed by Mike Forbes, on Saturday in the Brodbeck Concert Hall at 1:30 p.m. Conducted by Ellis, the composition is dedicated to the previous camp directors, Dr. William “Doc” Tietze, founder, and G. Daniel Fairchild, professor of music at UW-Platteville. The concert will end in a grand finale played by the above-named musicians, as well as the camp’s Blue Band, the band that includes most of the middle school students, in a work conducted by Muller.

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 $495 for resident campers, $320 for commuters (with meals included) and $280 for commuters (with no meals included). For more information, visit

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, Communications Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191,


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