'Best and Brightest' Music Students Attend University of Arkansas Summer Camps

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – More than 1,000 students attended the 56th annual summer music camps hosted by the University of Arkansas music department July 7-19.

W. Dale Warren, senior wind band conductor and music professor, headed the music camps as their newly appointed director, and University Conference Services were instrumental in coordinating the summer camps.

The junior high band, senior high band and junior/senior high orchestra camps saw a total enrollment of 1,006. “I am excited to be working with a camp that has such a strong and inspiring legacy as ours,” Warren said. “My goal is to provide our campers, faculty and staff the finest music camp experience available.”

The mission of the camps is to improve the performance skills and broaden the knowledge of individual musicians through a comprehensive curriculum designed for the varying ability levels of the participants.

This year, all of the senior high band and junior/senior high orchestra campers traveled to Bentonville High School to see the Drum Corps International competition, a first experience for most of the students. Samuel Thompson, who will be a junior trumpet player this fall at Fayetteville High School, has participated in the summer music camp program for the past three years. Going to “Music on the Move” at Bentonville High School was his favorite part of the camp.

The counselors, conductors, master class and sectional teachers, private lesson teachers and an office staff came from across the nation to work with the camps. A nine-person equipment crew rounded out the camp staff. The group represented 15 Arkansas cities and eight other states. 

Kirstie VanFleet, a counselor from Joplin, Mo., has worked with the music camps for the past three years. “It’s fun to see the kids from different schools form friendships,” she said. “They come back each year and pick up where they left off with their friends.”

“Summer Music Camp provides an opportunity for young students to experience the tradition, excellence and culture of the University of Arkansas,” Warren said. “They come in contact with conductors, counselors and instructors who are either current students of the university, alumni or UA faculty. This exposure to successful musicians and teachers, as well as the university’s resources and facilities, is essential to attracting the best and brightest musicians to the University of Arkansas.”

Zach Harris, a first-time junior-high camper from Owasso, Okla., said his favorite experience from camp was making the second band and the music they played, especially “Elephants and Aerialists” by David Gorham. 

Each camp concluded with performances for families, friends and camp staff at the Walton Arts Center. 


W. Dale Warren, summer music camp director
Department of Music
479-575-5863, wdwarren@uark.edu

David Speer, senior director of communications
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-2539, dlspeer@uark.edu


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