Middle School Band Camp

Proposed 2024 Camp Dates: Tuesday, June 18 through Saturday, June 22

The Middle School Band Camp finale concert.

Registration information will be posted in March of 2024.



If you're a student entering the 6th grade through leaving 8th grade, come to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln campus for an unforgettable musical experience. This is band like you never knew it could be!

Have you ever wondered where the music you play in school comes from? Have you ever caught yourself thinking "what if . . .?" Learn how to create your own music, how to adapt and play with other people's music, and how to share your ideas with your friends. You'll also learn about how music has changed over time, and get a glimpse of where it might be headed in the future.

Explore new sounds and techniques on your instrument. Our instructors are expert performers who enjoy sharing their skills and coaching students to help them improve and grow. Are you just beginning to figure things out? They'll help you build a strong foundation. Have you reached a frustrating roadblock in your playing? They'll help you figure out a way around it. Do you just love to play and want to spent time with others like you? They do too!

Learn how to improvise as a soloist and with other musicians, no matter what instrument you play or what type of music you enjoy — even if you've never composed or improvised before. Our clinicians specialize in helping young musicians unlock their creative potential in a fun, friendly, and inspiring way. They love working with students who have never had the opportunity to improvise, and they are eager to meet you.

Did you know that one of the best ways for a band to get better is to play games? It's true, and Dr. Barber has travelled all around the country teaching students and directors how to get the most out of their rehearsals with games. We all know that practicing is the key to success, but the heart and soul of music is the spirit of play. Come to our campus and see how practice and play fit together to make artistry.

Come see what band can be, and come learn what you can become through music.

Come to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln this summer!


Carolyn A. Barber is Associate Professor and Director of Bands. She earned a B.M. degree in horn performance at Northwestern University. She received her M.M. degree in horn performance from Yale University and returned to Northwestern to earn her D.M. degree in conducting. At the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, she currently teaches both graduate and undergraduate conducting and literature courses and coordinates the graduate wind conducting program. She is the conductor and music director of the Wind Ensemble, and as Director of Bands she is actively involved with all facets of the band program.

Campers will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of composition while improvising in a large group context
  • Rehearse in a traditional full band setting in preparation for a capstone performance on the last day of camp
  • Improve individual performance skills in small group, instrument-specific masterclasses
  • Explore the evolution of the art of music through small group classroom sessions
  • Relax and have fun with their peers in social activities on our campus


University music and band students will serve as camp counselors and will supervise camp participants throughout the day and overnight at the residence hall. Following check-in on the first day, campers will be escorted to and from the residence hall and Westbrook Music Building. The camp counselors will be in residence on each floor at the residence hall throughout the evening and night. There will be a room check every night and the curfew will be strictly enforced. The camp counselors will also serve as instructors during the masterclass and small instrumental learning sessions. All clinicians, instructors, staff and counselors undergo a background check before the camp begins.


Conference Services is committed to providing appropriate accommodations to guests with disabilities. In order to ensure that appropriate arrangements can be made, guests with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations must contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities at 402/472-3787 at least three weeks prior to their scheduled arrival on campus. Please be prepared to tell that office the name of the conference/camp and dates of attendance.

Middle School Band Camp "Seating":

The focus of the camp is improvisation with opportunities for all students to both lead and follow. Therefore, traditional seating (first chair, second chair, etc.) is not a factor. While a part of the camp experience will involve large ensemble performance, we intend to rotate part assignments to give the campers a broader spectrum of experiences. Thus, no camper will be designated "first chair" or "second chair." Hence no need for formal (aka traditional, competitive) placement auditions.

The instructional staff will hear each student individually and informally (i.e. according to what each student is comfortable presenting that day, rather than reciting an assigned etude or solo for a score or grade) in the daily master classes to provide feedback tailored to each camper's specific level of musical development. This will allow us to provide the most useful information to students of a broad spectrum of ability levels. The more advanced students will have as much chance to grow and improve as the least experienced. The first order of the day will be to teach the students how to practice effectively. We believe this system is more in keeping with a middle school summer camp atmosphere.

For technical assistance completing the account set-up or questions regarding credit card charges, contact Slideroom support at http://www.slideroom.com/contact.html.

Contact the Band Office at 402-472-2505 or band@unl.edu with questions about the camp.