Middle School Band Camp

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

The Middle School Band Camp finale concert.

Registration is open from April 8, 2024 through June 3, 2024.

We do not take walk-ins or late registrations. Camp fees are not refundable. Please note that registration is only via the third-party web site "Slide Room".



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.


Dr. James Karas is an instrumental music teacher at Lefler Middle School in Lincoln, NE. His duties include teaching Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band. Dr. Karas earned his degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Bridgeport (CT), Western Connecticut State University. He also attended the Hartt School of Music.

Prior to working at Lefler, Dr. Karas held a position as Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in the UNL School of Music. He taught Instrumental Methods courses and supervised student teachers and practicum students. As a secondary educator, his school experience includes time in the Marinette Public School System (Marinette, WI) and Stratford Public Schools (Stratford, CT).

He has been a clinician, specializing in music improvisation and creativity techniques, for summer band camps in Georgia and Nebraska, state conventions, colleges and school districts throughout Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Connecticut, as well as the MENC Convention in Kansas City and the Royal Corps of Engineers Band in Brompton, England.

Jai Burks is the Instructional Coordinator at Lincoln North Star High School. Prior to joining the North Star staff, he served as an Instrumental Music Instructor at Park Middle School where he conducted the 6th, 7th 8th and Jazz Bands and was head of the schools’ Music Department. He has taught band and general music throughout Lincoln Public Schools for over 20 years. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Jai received his Bachelors in Music Education degree from Southern University and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. He currently serves on the board of Directors for the Lincoln Municipal Band and Brightlights. His family includes wife Marianna Burks along with 5 children: Isis, Aida, Ivan, Aria and Iyla.

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.

Middle School Camp Costs

We do not accept registrations after the deadline. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not offer scholarships or reduced fees for the Middle School Band Camp. Registration fees are not refundable.


Campers attend classes and rehearsal sessions throughout the day (approximately 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) under the supervision of clinicians, staff counselors and Glenn Korff School of Music students. Housing is provided in Smith Residence Hall supervised by University student counselors and residence hall staff. Meals are provided in Harper Dining Hall which is near Smith Hall. Bed linen and pillows are provided by the residence hall, however, blankets are not provided. Supervised evening activities are included in this package.


Campers attend classes and rehearsal sessions from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. under the supervision of clinicians, staff counselors and Glenn Korff School of Music students. Lunch is included with this package. The non-resident camper fee also includes one dinner on camp dance night.


Registration period April 9 through 11:59 PM on June 3, 2024

Contact the band office at band@unl.edu before beginning the registration form if you will be receiving a scholarship from your school or a community organization. Include the camper's name and the name of this camp in your email message. This will help us answer your questions in a timely manner. Registration fees are not refundable.

Please note that the University of Nebraska–Lincoln does not award scholarships for the Middle School Band Camp.

  • Do not wait until the deadline date to begin the registration form. We will not extend the registration deadline.
  • Go to the Slide Room web page located at https://unlarts.slideroom.com/#/Login.
  • Set up an account using the participant's (CAMPER’S) name, an e-mail address that you check regularly, and a password of your choice. Note: multiple campers from the same family may NOT use the same account information. This software requires a unique name and email address for each camper. Be sure to click the SIGN UP button on your first entry. You will be sent an email message with a link to activate your account. You can leave and return to the application form repeatedly until you have completed all questions. Click the LOG IN button on return visits to the application site.
  • Follow the Slide Room instructions to complete your account set-up.
  • The application set-up should be done by the camper's parent or guardian because permission forms and health information is included in the registration form.
  • Answer all of the questions on each of the screens.
  • The final step is payment of the camp fee. Credit card information is required. We do not recommend the use of debit cards for this transaction since SlideRoom or your bank may require an additional amount for the transaction. The Slide Room site is secure. Your credit card will show a charge from Slide Room, not the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Please communicate this information to all parties responsible for the credit card in question. Note that you cannot return to the form once you complete all of the steps and submit the form.

Middle School Band Camp Registration Site

For technical assistance completing the account set-up or questions regarding credit card charges, contact SlideRoom Support via email.

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