Over a thousand students from 33 different states have taken over Ball State for the annual Music for All Summer Symposium.
The program, sponsored by Yamaha, started Monday and offers students the opportunity to study concert band, marching band and jazz band, as well as orchestra, percussion, color guard and drum majors.
High school and middle school band directors can also attend to network and train with professional directors from around the country.
Throughout the week students will be training with professionals during the day and attending professional performances at night. Jacob Melton is a junior at New Castle Chrysler High School and is very impressed by the performances he has seen so far.
“The concerts have been very enjoyable,” Melton said. “The first night showcased many different styles and I was very impressed.”
Melton said he is happy to be performing with students like him, who love music as much as he does.
“Only a handful of times have I been able to play in an ensemble with people who have the same amount of skill and dedication,” Melton said. “[We all] want to be great and sound amazing.”
The week features training workshops for the young musicians that will help them hone their craft and improve their skills.
“If you’re not up to the standards of the majority of people, it’s always good to be around others who can challenge you,” Melton said. “You get challenged in a way that makes you want to improve while you’re here.”
Thomas Caneva, director of bands at Ball State, is the division coordinator for the concert band track and wants to get as many students as possible involved in music.
“Many of these students won’t become music majors, but just the fact that they’re participating and growing, it improves their love of music, and we think that’s a very important part of what we do here,” Caneva said.
Caneva said he is happy to be promoting music education,and believes this event is also a good way to promote the university.
“Anytime you can attract students from all over the country to our campus, to let them see Ball State and see what our facilities are like, is good,” he said. “Many of those students, some of them may decide to go to Ball State because of the fact that they came to visit our campus.”
Randy Tice will be a freshman at University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the fall and has traveled over 700 miles for the music camp.
Tice said he has enjoyed how different the program is from other programs he’s been a part of in high school.
“[The students here] are reaching for a common goal and they all want to be here, whereas in high school they may all be working for the same goal but they’re not all putting in the same amount of effort,” Tice said.
Tice is a part of the concert band track and is hoping the week will help him develop his leadership skills.
“[The programs] aren’t really too rigorous but at the same time they’re not too easy,” he said. “We’ve been working hard but we’ve been having fun doing it at the same time.”
There will be another performance at 8 p.m. tonight in the John R. Emens Auditorium. The Drum Corps International will have a competition at Scheumann Stadium at 7 p.m. on Friday.
“[On Friday] we’ll all talk about our favorite corps and their scores, and I’ll have the most insane drum corps talk I’ve ever partaken in,” Tice said. “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.This truly has been a life changing experience and I encourage anyone interested in music to take advantage of this.”