Saxophone Forum


by lemonhead
(23 posts)
13 years ago

Camps

What is a band camp like. I've heard varied oppinions. Some say it is usefull but others say it is fun but pretty useless.

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    13 years ago

    Re: Camps

    Depends on which camp you go to and how serious you are about it. It's more about what you put into it than what they hand you. In my early days, I went to Blue Lake in Michigan for a couple summers. Played very challenging music - lots of hours of playing each day. In two weeks, my skills were pushed probably the equivalent of two to three years ahead of those who did not go. A couple years of that, and first chair came easy - and my high school had a top ranked music program. I am familiar with Blue Lake and Interlochen as both being fantastic camps. There are probably others, but I can vouch for those two anyhow.

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    1. by tenor562
      (297 posts)

      12 years ago

      Re: Camps

      Blue Lake is a great place. This summer will be my third and every year you learn more. The instructors there are professors at universities and educate you a lot. You play up to five hours a day, depending on which day, and it's a really good experience. I learned a lot more about the theory behind scales, vibrato, and just playing in an ensemble every day. You learn a lot from the other campers, its cool being around other people who do what you do. Interlochen's better, but longer and more expensive. You play more there, and probably learn more, but it's 4 to 8 weeks, and costs a lot more than Blue Lake. -tenor562

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      1. by connsaxman_jim
        (2336 posts)

        12 years ago

        Re: Camps

        What is a band camp like. I've heard varied oppinions Ever see the movie American Pie II? It's kind of like that. Only less exciting, of course! I don't know. I never went to band camp. I think the closest I've ever been to band camp is when we would spend a weekend every summer at this campground in Caro, MI which was like a weekend jam session. I was always worried about being labeled a band geek. As much as I love music, I never wanted that title, and I always thought band camp was for the geekiest of the band geeks! Maybe I'm wrong. You should go and tell me what I missed! You might enjoy it Jim

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        1. by phathorn
          (165 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: Camps

          To give you an idea of what Interlochen is like, my last year as a stage mgr there, John Sampen and Don Sinta were both on faculty as well as Matt Levy (Prism Quartet) , and Steve Wilkerson (jazz columnist for Saxophone Journal). Among the notable campers that year were Otis Murphy (prof. of saxophone/ Indiana Univ.) and Tim McCallister (Prism Quartet/ Crane School of Music). Pretty good line up of players I'd say.

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      2. by sax_maniac
        (984 posts)

        12 years ago

        Re: Camps

        562 - have you played under Don Flickenger at Blue Lake? He directed the symphonic band I was in back in the early-mid 1980's. What an awesome experience. He also directs the summer adult camp at Blue Lake that a number of people in my concert band attend. I might do that next year. I take pride in having been and still being a band geek. Then again, 25% of the students in my school district played in band through high school. We were kick-ass, and there's was nothing geeky about it. A great source of pride, actually. Lots of hard work. Even our "worst" players were quite good. I'll never forget the moment I found out I made the Symphonic band at Blue Lake after auditioning. I sat the fourth chair of four altos. The other 52 altos at camp (including a very jealous buddy of mine) played in the other three concert bands. I remember, though, playing more on the order of eight hours in a day. Between the two full rehearsals, sectionals, and individul practice. Maybe it just felt like that much. I still have my shirt and pin!

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        1. by tenor562
          (297 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: Camps

          saxmaniac - I've never played under Don Flickenger, however I've heard good things about him. He's more into the Adult Programs now. I was in the other three concert bands. I play tenor, and older, better players got the parts in the Symphony band. This year, I'm hoping to make it though. Now, they have 2 hour and a half rehearsals, a forty minute sectional, and every other day there's a tech class that's really awesome. You can also play an hour a day in a jazz ensemble elective thing. It's pretty cool. I've heard from others who attended blue lake in the 80's and they say it felt like 8 hours too. The concert band program has very few classes compared to the other majors because of its size. The jazz program there plays a lot more than the concert program. "I still have my shirt and pin!" That's funny. Somehow the badge becomes a big part of the Blue Lake experience, and a lot of traditions and memories are made on it. "Ever see the movie American Pie II? It's kind of like that. Only less exciting, of course! " American Pie was actually based on Blue Lake. That kindof stuff doesn't really happen there, but the creator's friends went there and brought home stories about their experience. It's pretty structured there, but there's always some way to get around the rules. -tenor562

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        2. by sax_maniac
          (984 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: Camps

          I wish I had done the Jazz elective, looking back on it. Took me 20 more years to finally try it out. You want to see some real band geeks? Check this out... www.nocb.org/photos.html I'm the "Outlaw" in the yellow shirt. About half the band captured in these pictures...

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