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 Post subject: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Hello! I know there is a bread on band camps during the summer, but does anyone have any experience with DM camps, particularly in California? I've had experience with the George Parks one in SoCal, but my drum majors can't make that one.

Any reviews on the USA drum major camps? Do they do any "philosophical" training like the BOA/MFA stuff?


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 Post subject: Re: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:28 am 
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California is fortunate enough to have circuits designed for drum majors to compete individually. they receive individual scores, e-comments, placements, and medals. All of this is provided by WDMA, World Drum Major Association.

This is a great place to send any of your students who need to learn how to spin/conduct amongst competitors, and is the most realistic environment you can train a drum major in.

WDMA ALSO has their own drum major camp. It is highly recommended, as they bring in people who have been professionally trained -- some of them even have world-renowned accolades. They teach everything from spinning, to conducting, and leadership. Also, they host it at the school of music on the beautiful San Diego State University campus.


As for USA, while I respect what USA camps are trying to do, i often times see kids who have been ill-trained by them, or have made them completely one-dimensional. I have not witnessed their leadership program, but have heard that they are pretty standard. I would not recommend USA over WDMA.

You can really ignite leadership in your band by having prospective drum majors compete in WMDA, go to their camp, and aim for success. Many schools have specialized drum major programs. Check out youtube and type in WDMA. or go to their site. you can find a lot of information there.


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 Post subject: Re: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:10 pm 
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While I will not take to bashing other camp companies on this forum (and I wish others would refrain as well,) I will give a plug for USA. I taught for USA for a long time and have many friends who still teach there. They teach very standard and general leadership skills to students so that their techniques can work in virtually any environment. However, they also have specialty classes to help meet your band's specific needs. Your students can also learn many style specific skills (i.e. spinning and conducting) as well.

1000's of students are taught by USA every year. Unfortunately, some band directors pick students that are ill-equipped to be drum majors. The instructors at USA are not miracle workers, and as I am sure you have seen in every band you have ever been apart of; there are some kids that just refuse to be taught.

USA camps are 4 days of intensive training, and students will get out of the experience everything they can handle and more. The reason they have been around as long as they have is because they have a good product. I am not sure exactly what you mean by "philosophical training" but if you give me more info I can tell you whether or not it is in their curriculum. If you have any specific questions PM me and I will be happy to talk to you about it.

Even though I can teach everything that they do at camp, I still send my kids every year.

Brennan England

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 Post subject: Re: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Thank you for all your responses - Much appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:05 pm 
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Any drum major can learn at any time. I dont find it fair to request people not bash on a forum when the original poster requested opinions, and there was no bashing that took place.

If it offended you and your prior involvement with USA, then I'm sorry for that. but its the opinion I hold and should be taken as nothing more than that.


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 Post subject: Re: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:06 pm 
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I know most of you guys are located in CA so my opinion most likely doesn’t apply but I would recommend Michigan state university drum major camp; As well as drum major camp at Smith Walbridge clinics at eastern Illinois university. I’ve been to both and they are both great. MSU is a 4 day camp and Smith Walbridge is a 6 day camp. I went as a commuter to MSU giving be a different experience than staying as a resident at Smith Walbridge. MSU is a more cut and dry camp, you still learn a lot but with only 4 days to get it done the speed is fast. There is tons work on during camp such as Instrumental conducting, score study, Leadership, management theory, High step and / or stride marching, Verbal and whistle commands, Equipment work, including signal baton spinning, Field placement and staging , a great camp. Smith Walbridge has 3 different styles: Traditional which Incorporates a “chair” type marching step and the use of some type of baton, Corps which incorporates a “glide” type marching step without batons and Mace which Incorporates a “glide” type marching step and the use of a mace or signal baton. Tons to do and free time after lunch and dinner as well as lots of options 3 different levels of conducting classed , 3 levels of showmanship, Fundamentals of drill design, Squad drills and competition with signals and commands, Daily individual evaluations of fundamentals, Daily individual video tape evaluations, Leadership and motivational techniques, Opportunity for Individual help with score study, learning to Teach and clean drills and plenty of Elective classes including: multi-drum majoring, salutes, showmanship, choreography, various marching styles and twirling maces/signal batons. As well the ability to tryout to be the drum major of a band of drum majors! Both great camps (even if they are located in the Midwest)!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Drum Major Camps
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:40 am 
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If the dm has no experience at all then USA would be a great camp; their instructors cover the basics very well and teach good leadership skills. However, as the ability and experience level goes up, the USA training gets redundant. The camp seems more focused on teaching the basics and providing some beginner-level information than improving the abilities of those that are already well-versed in their basics. I went last summer and was in the higher level groups, and personally didn't find it as enriching as those who were in the lower level groups did. Just my two cents.


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