About St. Mary’s University Summer Band Camp

The 2021 St. Mary’s University Summer Band Camp is returning to campus this June! Join us for a structured week of full band rehearsals, technique classes, fun electives, and a final concert.

The camp is open to middle school and high school students in grades 6-12.

Camp Details

June 7-12, 2021

8:30 a.m. to 4:15pm

10 a.m. – Blue Band Concert
11 a.m. – Gold Band Concert

Warm-up: Meet outside in the Pecan Grove to start the morning together.

Full Band Rehearsal: Every day outside in the Pecan Grove, students will meet together as part of a full band rehearsing music in preparation for an end of the week performance. Students get the opportunity to work with high quality middle school directors in the Blue Band, and with Dr. Matthew Mireles Director of Bands at St. Mary’s University in the Gold Band.

Technique Class: Each instrument meets together with their section teacher to learn fundamentals specific to their instrument. Focus is on advancing each student’s abilities and technique.

Sectionals: Sections meets together to work specifically on the full band music. This affords each student the opportunity to improve their part in making a higher quality performance with the full band.

Electives: Registered students choose one elective to participate in. This is an opportunity for each student to learn about other areas of music.

  • Electives

    • Composition: Learn the fundamentals of writing music, and developing your skills as a composer.
    • Conducting: Learn the fundamentals of leading an ensemble as the conductor. Conducting patterns, fundamentals, and how to read a score.
    • Drum Major Techniques: Anyone looking to either audition for a drum major position in the future, or current drum majors looking to advance their skills. Fundamentals of beat patterns, and leadership.
    • Jazz Improvisation: Explore the basics of learning how to improvise in jazz music. For beginners and advanced students, the class centered more specifically on learning and advancing fundamentals and techniques of jazz improvisation.
    • Marching Fundamentals: Learn the fundamentals to marching in a Texas high school marching band. Get prepared for marching band to return in the fall! Open to all students, beginners to advanced, with the focus on learning and improving fundamental marching concepts.
    • Leadership Training: Learn the necessary skills for leadership positions in your home band. Anyone looking to apply for a leadership position at their school, or current leaders. Classes are focused on learning how to become a strong leader.
    • Percussion Ensemble: A class centered around advancing your skills as a percussionist. Perform as part of a full percussion ensemble. The Percussion Ensemble is only open to percussion students. Percussion students are not required to be in the percussion ensemble. They can still choose any elective they are interested in.
    • Sight-reading and Ear Training: Develop critical fundamentals as a musician. Improve your music reading ability, intonation, listening, and performance skills. This course will arm you with tools to help you learn music faster and more effectively.
    • Introduction to Piano: Learn the fundamentals of piano playing. Intended for beginners or students looking to explore more introductory piano techniques. (Full)

Placement Auditions

The first day of camp will include placement auditions to ensure each student is in the correct band and on the part that affords them the best opportunity for advancing as a musician. The placement auditions are supportive and encouraging, and will help our teachers place students on appropriate parts that will allow them to have the best experience at camp.

  • Students are required to bring music of their own choosing to perform for the placement auditions.
  • Students should bring two contrasting pieces to audition, and should be music that is representative of their performance level and abilities. (Examples include, but are not limited to: Solo repertoire, all/region/state audition etudes, etudes/method books, parts performed in school, and scale sheets.)
  • Percussion provided: Timpani, Marimba, Snare Drum, and Xylophone
  • Percussion students should bring their own sticks and mallets.

Camp Schedule

Opening Monday (June 7, 2021)
8:30 a.m.Arrivals and Registration outside at Pecan Grove
9 a.m.Group Welcome and Instructions
9:30 a.m.Placement Auditions
11:40 a.m.Lunch
1 p.m.Ensemble Rehearsals (Students will be handed folders with part assignments based on their placement audition.)
Tuesday – Friday (June 8-11, 2021)
8:30 a.m.Welcome and Warm-up
9:15 a.m.Full Band Rehearsal
10:35 a.m.Sectional
11:40 a.m.Lunch
12:30 p.m.Elective
1:50 p.m.Full Band Rehearsal
3:10 p.m.Technique Class
Daily Schedule Example – Gold Band
Saturday (June 12, 2021)
10 a.m.Blue Band Concert
11 a.m.Gold Band Concert

Both concerts will be held outside in the Pecan Grove and livestreamed on Zoom (ID: 3721240499).

Camp Fee

$300 Registration
Includes camp tuition, lunch Monday-Friday, sheet music, folder, badge with name and schedule, bottled water, and camp t-shirt.

Optional Fees

We officially open the band camp at 8 a.m., and require students to be picked up at the conclusion of the day by 4:30 every Monday to Friday. However, we can accommodate parents and guardians needing an earlier arrival and/or later pickup times. 

$30 Early Arrival: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
$30 Late Pick-up: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fees are the total for the week

Safety Protocols

Full band rehearsals will be held outside in the Pecan Grove under the large awning.

  • Sectionals, technique classes and electives will be held indoors in large lecture halls that can accommodate 8-15 students at one time socially distanced.
  • Students are asked to wear masks when not playing their instrument, and also to bring bell covers they may have used during their school year. After each class period, the rooms will be cleaned and sanitized by camp staff to ensure each class period is safe.
  • We do ask if you are experiencing symptoms, or have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19, to please stay home.


For more information about the St. Mary’s University Summer Music Camp, contact Department of Music Chair Matthew Mireles, D.M.A.

Matthew Mireles, D.M.A.
Chair, Department of Music
St. Mary’s University

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