K-State offers band, music and dance camps for kids year round
By Angie Johnson
Kansas State University offers several clinics, workshops, festivals and camps of band, music and dance for youth throughout the course of the school year and during the summer. The purpose is to provide as many resources toward the support and development of public schools, its present and future teachers and its students, said Frank Tracz, director of bands at K-State.
"The goal of K-State camps, clinics and workshops is to do a service to the state," he said.
Tracz said that K-State band camps help music teachers and band directors from all over the state, as well as recruit potential students to both K-State and the music, band and dance departments.
"By getting students on K-State's campus, where they have the opportunity to walk around, meet new people and see everything, we can better get to know K-State," Tracz said. In the photo below, the clarinet sectional practices at the 2002 summer music camp.
Camps and workshops provide youth with a different perspective and are a great learning experience, Tracz said. He said teachers from all around the nation attend. Many youth who come from small towns in Kansas have never had the opportunity to play an instrument in a large band, or sing in a large choir. K-State camps prepare students to perform and learn in an environment with many students, Tracz said.
"The kids get an opportunity to play in a large band of 100 students or more, which is more than most bands are used to," he said.
Tracz said the most popular band camp for kids is the Concert Band Clinic, which is offered in January. It's a great recruiting tool for the K-State band, he said.
"The clinic is so popular because it is inexpensive but full of quality learning time. It is also conveniently offered in the middle of the school year, rather than the summer," Tracz said.
Another popular K-State event offered to high school students is K-State High School Dance Day, which takes place the first Friday in February. Joyce Yagerline, associate professor of speech communication, theater and dance, said that students can experience every type of dance that K-State offers at High School Dance Day.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to visit K-State and get a taste of what's going on in the dance department," Yagerline said. "Hopefully they become interested in K-State and its dance program."
All university camps, clinics, workshops and festivals take a great deal of preparation and time. But Tracz said the phone calls, scheduling and other work involved are well worth it.
"We have to put our best foot forward and hope that students will make the decision to come to school at K-State," he said.
Photo courtesy Scott Lubaroff, associate director of bands.