School of Music

Summer Camp Testimonials

Picture of a happy camper, courtesy of Bryce and Dianne LeavittIn the words of a camper

Alyssa – Old Orchard Beach

When I started band camp, I was in 6th grade.  I was very nervous about sleeping in a dorm room and being away from home for a week. When I got there, I realized that I was having so much fun that I didn’t have time to be home sick. There are always activities planned for us and we are always busy. Once a day, we all got to go outside and play games and get to know each other better.   I went into the camp not knowing anybody. By the time the week ended, I had made a new best friend and a group of people that I couldn’t wait to see again.

The food at the cafeteria is better than any school lunch I have ever had. It is all made right there and fresh. There are two long buffet counters with dozens of choices for every meal. They also have a salad bar, and ice cream machine, and vegetarian options. There is no worry about not having anything that you will like for each meal.

The music is amazing. You not only have two times a day to practice the music as an entire band, but sectionals and small ensembles plus a teacher there specially to help you. You also have the option to be in one of the jazz bands. Missy and Barry do an amazing job to teach you how to do solos and learn a different type of music.  If you play an instrument that isn’t in a regular jazz band, don’t fret because there is a class that you take instead called jazz fundamentals. It is open to all instruments.

I love the staff at camp. They are the most helpful, caring, funny, and talented people I have ever met. They all share a strong passion of music and to help kids do well with music.

After a week of hard work, you get the entire night to go to Funtown. You can go on as many rides as you want, play whatever you want, and as always, have the camper vs. staff bumper car battle. It is really a good way to reward you for your efforts that week. When you get back, you realize how fast it went and wish that it was Sunday again.

The concert is really what you have been working towards all week. You bring your fancy dress clothes and play your heart out just for that one time. As John the music conductor says every year, “This band will never be the same because new people will come in next summer and the older campers are having their last year." Enjoy it all while you can.

I had such a great time at band camp that I went back two more years. If I wasn’t too old, I would go back again this summer and enjoy it all over again. The fears that I had the first year were all for nothing and I am sure glad they were. Band camp was the best musical experience that I think is offered wherever you go. I would go back in a heart beat.

In the words of a camper's parent:

Amy - Shapleigh

My 6th grade daughter had the opportunity to attend the Youth Band Day Camp at USM this past summer.  It was one of the most positive, extraordinary experiences she has had as a young musician.  The staff was by far the most gifted, and incomparable in their musical talent and teaching qualities.  She quickly formed a strong bond and respect for her flute instructor who was so patient and so inspiring to my daughter.  As a mother I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about sending my daughter to a music camp with her novice skills.  At the performance at the end of the week, I was nothing less than amazed to see my daughter, who was confident and at a whole new level of skill in her ability.  The USM band camp and the staff of talented musicians was top-notch!