HPU band camp teaches leadership

Kevin Holamon kevin.holamon@brownwoodbulletin.com
HPU Band Leadership Camp 2014

Howard Payne University Director of Bands Corey Ash is pleased with the increase in Texas high school band students attending this year's HPU Band Leadership Camp.

Now in its 41st year, Ash said this year's 275 students represent 50 schools, from as far away as League City; a 300 plus mile journey.

Several schools sent buses of students, including Electra - east of Vernon on the Red River, Three Rivers and Kenedy - both about halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Shepherd - just north of Houston, Thrall - near Round Rock, Colorado City, and Sonora.

Ash organizes and implements the camp each year with the help of several high school band directors, HPU alumni, and HPU Yellow Jacket Band students.

"We focus everything through the lens of helping to make the students better leaders," Ash said.

He added that the high school directors comment that this camp is, basically five-in-one. Separate training is organized for concert band, marching band, twirling, color guard, and drum major. Additional subdivisions of training include marching percussion, three separate concert bands, and a jazz band.

Ash said the model is now being used by other camps; a testament to something being done right.

Proceeds from the camp and sponsors are dedicated to the Yellow Jacket Band Foundation, solely for the HPU band members in the form of scholarships, instruments, uniforms and other band member needs.

This year's sponsors were Underwoods Cafeteria, Chicken Express, Brownwood Janitorial and Fire Extinguisher Service, and Willie's Ts.

The camp will conclude with an outdoor jazz concert at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, and an indoor concert band performance at 10:15 a.m. Friday. The public is invited and encouraged to attend both concerts.

For information on attending or sponsoring the next HPU Band Leadership Camp, contact Corey Ash at the HPU School of Music and Fine Arts, (325)649-8500.