UVa-Wise Summer Band Camp a success

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise recently hosted dozens of regional music students for its summer band camp for high school students, a program that allows the youngsters to sharpen their skills and get to know the campus.

summermusicThe program began in 2005 when UVa-Wise and Wise County Public Schools worked together to create a comprehensive music and arts camp. Fiscal concerns prevented the school system from participating this year, but the College decided to keep the program in place.

“It gives me the opportunity to work with high school students again, and it helps us recruit future band students,” Director of Bands Richard Galyean said. “We had 40 students this time, which is the most we’ve ever had in the program.”

Galyean said the camp allows the students to see what UVa-Wise offers, and it shows them that the music program is one of the best in Virginia and the region.

Some high school band directors also participated and helped with the camp. Kim Sturgill, band director at Union High School, echoed Galyean’s thoughts.

“The camp lets us take advantage of what is available in our back yards,” Sturgill said. “Rick has done a lot to support high school band programs in the region. He actively recruits for band students, and he makes every student feel welcome.”

Ben Harding, band director at Lee High School, said the camp offers a lot to the region’s music students.

“It exposes our students to the fact that there is more that just marching band when it comes to bands,” Harding said.  “It exposes them to the concert setting, and they can go back and share what they’ve learned with the rest of their band.”