Nearly 500 to attend Oklahoma's Largest Band Camp at SWOSU


The 54th annual Southwestern Oklahoma State University Band Camp will be held July 12-17 on the Weatherford campus.

Nearly 500 students are expected from 80 schools and five states. In addition, more than 70 music educators from Oklahoma and Texas will work with the students during Oklahoma's largest and oldest band camp.

All students will audition and be placed in one of five concert bands on Sunday, July 12. They begin rehearsals on that evening under the following conductors: Dr. Steven Ward, Abilene (TX), Honor Band; Michael Lowery, Edmond, Symphonic Band; Ron Lewis, Collinsville, Concert Band; Denise Kennedy, Mabank (TX), Cadet Band; and David Irby, Shawnee, Prep Band.

Several free concerts are planned throughout the week, and the public is invited and encouraged to attend. 

Dr. Keith Talley, camp director, will direct the Faculty Jazz Band Concert on Wednesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. in the SWOSU Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

The Faculty Concert Band will present a concert on Thursday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the SWOSU Fine Arts Center Auditorium. Conductors of the Faculty Concert Band will include: SWOSU Department of Music Chair and Director of Bands Dr. James South, Dr. Steven Ward and Mr. Michael Lowery. Camp director Dr. Keith Talley will also be featured as saxophone soloist with the ensemble. The 90-piece concert band will be comprised of the camp instructors, student counselors and staff.

The grand finale concert for the camp will feature all five student concert bands on Friday, July 17, at 2 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Auditorium.

The SWOSU Band Camp was started in 1956 by Director of Bands Dr. Richard V. Coy, Thomas band director Melvin "Buster" Westmoreland and Hollis band director Robert Moses.  Dr. Coy served as camp director from 1956-1961 and 1964-1967. Dr. Russ Coleman was the interim director of bands and camp director in 1962 and 1963 while Dr. Coy worked on his doctoral degree at UCLA. When Dr. Coy became director of bands at Pasadena City College (CA), he was followed by Harlon Lamkin, who served as camp director from 1968-1970. Dr. James Jurrens became the camp director in 1971 and held that position until his retirement from SWOSU in 1986.  Dr. Terry Segress directed and expanded the music camp offerings during his tenure as camp director, which ran from 1987 to 2007. Dr. Keith Talley took over as camp director in 2008.

Even though the pre-enrollment deadline for the 54th annual Band Camp has passed, students who would like to attend the camp may obtain applications by calling 580.774.3296 or downloading applications from the SWOSU Music Camps web site: Registration for the camp will be from 1-3:30 p.m. this Sunday, July 12, in the lobby of the SWOSU Fine Arts Center.