You’ve decided that you want to host a percussion camp. After all, many school music programs are in need of expert percussion instruction to prepare for parades, halftime shows and other marching band activities. You think maybe a one- or two-day event would be just right.
If you haven’t led an event like this before, you may not be certain how to begin planning to ensure that all goes smoothly. Done correctly, a percussion camp can be an unforgettable experience that provides top-notch instruction to the attendees while bolstering the relationships between local percussion educators and artists.
So where do you start?
The first step is to define what you want the camp to accomplish. Ask these important questions:
Write down your answers with specific details. For example, one clinic might be structured like this:
Once you determine these elements, you can begin planning.
1. Recruit a team and identify the “go-to” people. Decide who will be in charge overall (this might well be you!), and who will be responsible for specific items, such as:
Hold those people accountable with clear directions and due dates on their tasks.
2. Establish a date for your camp. Pick a date that works best for the schools in your area and be sure to avoid conflicts with other regional events that may attract the same audience (i.e. marching festivals, band camps, Super Bowl, local elections, truck/tractor pulls, etc.).
3. Locate and secure the venue for the camp, such as a high school or college campus. With the help of an onsite coordinator, ensure availability and access – who has the key? Be sure to get all necessary approvals from your school or district administrator, and identify all specific facilities that may be required, such as:
4. Choose and confirm key clinicians and any additional instructors:
5. Launch a local marketing campaign with fliers, advertisements, press releases, social media announcements and other activities. This is such an important topic, we’ll be addressing it in detail in Part II.
6. Make arrangements to ensure the availability of all necessary instruments for the students and instructors to use.
7. Follow up regularly with local band directors, area instructors, etc. to confirm the number of students that will be attending.
8. Create a list of registered students, their instrument and ability level. This will help organize ensemble and sectional rehearsals, and allow the check-in process to proceed smoothly. The more quickly students are separated into skill levels, the better.
9. Prepare a camp packet for each student (a band folder provided by the school or a local music dealer can work well). The packet should consist of the following:
You might also consider including a T-shirt if budget allows.
5-6 months out:
4-5 months out:
3-4 months out:
2 months out:
1 month out:
1 week out:
The day before:
Be sure to check out Part 2 for details on how to put together an effective marketing campaign for your percussion camp, as well as what to do during and after the event itself.
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