What is Band Directors’ Workshop?

In a nutshell, Band Directors’ Workshop is two weeks of band director heaven.

Ok, ok, here’s the real information…

Band Directors’ Workshop is a two-week band director clinic held every summer at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. It takes place during the middle of July (July 9-21, 2017) in conjunction with one of the largest student band camps in the country. This camp hosts between 800-1000 students in 9 bands learning from the best band directors in the state of Texas.  While the students are attending their classes, band directors attend their own classes, known as Band Directors’ Workshop. 

A sample schedule for band directors includes:

7:30 – 8:30 – Free Breakfast (donuts & coffee) and conversation in the band directors’ lounge. Talk with other directors, ask questions, listen to discussions and plan out your morning schedule for the day.

8:30 – 11:00 – Rehearsal observation and discussion time
Attend any of the band rehearsals and sectionals around campus. You can sit in on rehearsals and often find time to chat with directors between classes in the director’s lounge.

11:10 – 12:15 – Instrumental Classes (continuing education credit)
Instrument specific masterclasses are taught by the leading instrumental teachers on campus, often the university professors, and focus on how to best teach each individual instrument. These classes usually consist of 5-10 directors and provide a very intimate setting to ask questions learn about the specifics of each instrument.

12:15 -1:45 – Lunch on your own or with other directors

1:45 – 3:15 – Elective observation
Students have afternoon elective classes including jazz, rhythm reading, music theory, drum majoring, conducting, oboe and bassoon reed making, marching band, along with brass, woodwind, and percussion ensembles. Band Director Workshop participants are invited to attend and observe these classes. You can also spend this time in the director’s lounge talking with other directors or use this as an afternoon break time.

3:30 – Director’s Band (continuing education credit)
This band is under the direction of Dr. Gary Garner and consists of the faculty, staff and visiting directors (like yourself!) at the camp. All Band Directors’ Workshop participants are invited to play on their primary instrument. This band gives a concert for all band camp students at the end of camp.


4:30 – Band Director Workshops (continuing education credit)
Daily clinics that cover a wide variety of pedagogical topics are presented by band camp faculty and staff. Presenters are distinguished clinicians and artists who have often presented at state conventions and are experts in the area they are presenting. A wealth of knowledge is shared during these workshops.

Evening & Weekend Activities include:

  • Access to the Virgil Henson Activity Center (basketball, swimming and workout center) 
  • Band Director Golf Tournament & Bar-B-Que dinner
  • Band Concerts (all day Saturday of the 1st week and Friday of the 2nd week)
  • Some evenings have additional band rehearsals you may observe.
  • If you have students attending the camp you can check in with them at any of the numerous student evening events.
  • Canyon is located 12 miles from Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the 2nd largest canyon in the US, and 20 miles from Amarillo, TX.

The best part about Band Directors’ Workshop?

It’s FREE. Really. Completely. Totally. Free. You can attend all the rehearsals, classes, and activities above at NO charge.

You (or your school) are responsible for paying for your own meals and housing. However, most directors stay in campus housing which is very reasonably priced. Sign up for the updates here if you’d like more information on pricing when available. For meals, most directors just buy food at the local fast food places around campus and keep snacks in their rooms (which are equipped with microfridges)

‘Free Room Scholarship’ for DIRECTORS with students attending camp
For every 5 students that attend from a single school, 1 ‘free room scholarship’ is awarded to a band director from that school to stay in campus housing at no charge as they participate in Band Directors’ Workshop. 

Continuing Education Credit
Each attendee will receive documentation at the end of the two weeks to file with your school as proof of your hours of continuing education. This camp is not certified with individual states and you should check with your school district to find out how these hours may benefit you. The 3 hours that count for continuing education are the instrumental classes, directors band, and band director workshops. You are encouraged to document your own observation hours (rehearsals, concerts) for your own needs and records.

Graduate Credit
If you are interested in receiving graduate credit for Band Directors’ Workshop, you can enroll and register with West Texas A&M. If you choose to do this, you would pay university tuition. There is also an additional advanced music theory course in the morning that is available for graduate credit and is not officially part of band directors’ workshop. If you are interested in more information about graduate credits, be sure to sign up for the Band Directors’ Workshop updates mailing list here.

Sound Awesome? Do you want updates?
If you are interested in more information about Band Directors’ Workshop for this summer or a future summer, please sign up for the email updates here. You will be notified as more information becomes available.

Related Reading:
Middle School Solos – Tried & True Favorites
Get Kids to Go to Band Camp with a Band Camp Launch Day
Retention Strategies Over the Summer

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