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McK Junior High Concert Band Camp

June 2-5, 2025

 Junior High Band Camp


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McKendree University Junior High Concert Band Camp FAQ

Who May Attend Band Camp?  Band camp is open to any student currently in the 5th – 8th grade who will have completed (by June) at least one year of school instruction on their instrument.

Where is Band Camp?  On the campus of McKendree University.  Drive down Alton Street and you will see the beautiful Hettenhausen Center for the Arts (The Hett) on the right hand side of the street.  You will drop off, and pick up, in the circular drive outside of the Hett.  If you need to come in with your student on Monday, please park in the main lot directly next to the Hett.   

What are Band Camp Hours?  Camp starts every day at 9:00 a.m.  You may drop off as early as 8:00 – if so, your student will sit in the theatre and watch movies.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday camp ends at 5:00 – students need to be picked up no later than 5:30 (please pick up as close to 5 as possible).  On Thursday, students will stay through for our culminating camp performance – free and open to the public.  The concert starts at 6:00 and should last approximately 1 hour.  Students must be present for the entire period camp is in session.  Students will not be allowed to leave for other camps, appointments, etc.  They also must be at the Thursday night performance.

What is the Band Camp Fee?  The band camp cost is $200 for the week.  This covers: buffet lunch and snack every day, pizza party Thursday before the concert, staffing, professional musician performances, music, and camp t-shirt.  A $50 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration to secure your spot.  The remaining $150 is due no later than Monday, May 29.  After this time, no refunds for the entire cost of camp are able to be given. There are a limited amount of camp scholarships available for those who can show free/reduced lunch documentation.  Email for more information concerning scholarships.

Who Staffs the Camp?  The camp is run by Dr. Moder-Bell, Associate Professor of Music Education and Director of Bands at McKendree.  The two band conductors are Dr. Bell – St. Louis Brass Band conductor and Mr. Bracy – CEO Harmony Project National Division.  Each section has a McKendree University music education major who will teach the students in daily masterclasses and sectionals.  There are also music education majors who serve as rehearsal assistants and run the game/snack breaks. 

What do Students Participate in Each Day?  Each day the participating musicians will have full band rehearsals, sectionals (to work on their concert music), and masterclasses (to learn more about their specific instrument).  A professional musician will give a short recital for the students every day.  Campers will also take a theory/history class (exact topic TBA).  To round out the day, they will have a buffet lunch and a game/snack break. 

Band Placement Audition: Students will upload an audition to the Flip program (free and directions will be sent to all participants in May).  These auditions will help the staff place the participants into one of two bands which will best let them have a successful week while growing as an individual musician and ensemble member.  If your student doesn’t know one of those scales right now, that is absolutely fine – they will learn them during camp!

Things to Bring to Camp: Instrument (in good playing condition), pencil, and wire music stand.  Wear comfortable clothes as game breaks are outside every afternoon.  Students need to leave their cell phone in their case during camp hours.

Food: Students need to eat breakfast at home prior to coming to camp.  We will serve them lunch in our Ames cafeteria (buffet which is always a highlight of the week) and a small snack in the afternoon – these are included in the cost of registration so no reason to bring money to campus. On Thursday, students will get a pizza snack before the concert (they will most likely need dinner after the performance).

Theme and Concert Dress Days: We encourage students to dress for specific theme days (prizes…):

Monday – TBA

Tuesday – TBA

Wednesday – Section color day!

Flutes and Oboes - Yellow

Clarinets and Bass Clarinets - Red

Saxophones - Purple

Trumpets and French Horns - Orange

Low Brass and Bassoon (trombones, euphoniums, tubas, bassoon) – Blue

Percussion – Green

Thursday – TBA - Bring your concert attire in a bag with your name on it – black shoes, black socks, black pants – you will get the camp t-shirt to wear before the concert starts.


Medicine: If your student has medical concerns or needs to take medicine during the day, a parent/guardian must come in to registration with them Monday morning.  There will be a sign-in table (go here first) and a separate table for medical needs.  All medicine taken must be listed on the back of your registration form.

Needed Supports/Accommodations:  If your student has a medical condition or disability yet are able to participate in a large group, high activity setting, they are welcome at our camp as we view music and education as something for everyone.  However, you must report these conditions on the back of the registration form (this information will be kept confidential).  It is important that we have this information to ensure that all campers and staff members have a positive camp experience.  We want all campers to be fully supported.  Examples of conditions that should be reported on the registration form include: autism, Asperger's, ADHD, depression, severe anxiety, intellectual disabilities, etc.  If an issue arises during camp and the need has not been disclosed on the registration form, your student will unfortunately be immediately sent home from the camp.   

Important Items to Note / Rules and Regulations:

Participating students must be at camp for 100% of our time together. Students will not be allowed to leave for other camps, appointments, etc. They also must be at the Thursday night performance.

Medical and needed supports must be clearly articulated on your registration form.

By signing the registration, you agree to release your photos with your students likeness for publicity reasons.


Please email with questions – we can’t wait to make music with your student!

Dr. Moder-Bell ( and Staff