This past June, Pacific Crest Youth Arts Organization hosted its ninth annual series of Drum Major Camps. Created in 2011, the program aims to mentor and train the next generation of marching band leaders in the Southern California area and beyond.
Starting with just 23 students in its first year, the Pacific Crest Drum Major Camp program has transformed into one of the most respected leadership development programs on the West coast.
In 2019, Pacific Crest hosted two Drum Major Camps in Southern California in the cities of Covina and Moreno Valley. Combined attendance at the camp totaled 109 leaders from over 50 high schools. Mark Kveton, Director of Summer Camps for Pacific Crest since its inception, knows how important it is to create ways to give back to the future of the activity.
“Through this educational series, we aim to bring top experts in the fields of leadership, music and conducting directly to high school leaders who want to foster positive change in our activity,” said Kveton. “We are proud to work with so many outstanding students, and we hope that they return to their band programs more knowledgeable and energized than when they came in.”
Over three days, students participate in a variety of activities, lectures, and workshops to hone their leadership abilities and conducting skills. Part of the education is accompanied by spending time analyzing and participating in live rehearsals with the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. The highlight of the camp culminates with every single student having the opportunity to conduct the full music ensemble of the corps, a chance few at other camps get to experience.
Pacific Crest Youth Arts would like to thank band directors Joel Lopez and Loren Gamarra as well as the administrators of both Charter Oak and Valley View High School for providing outstanding facilities and services while hosting the Drum Major Camps.
“Much like the drum corps activity, great relationships with local high schools is essential to sustaining educational programs,” said Kveton. “We are so lucky to have outstanding relationships with both Charter Oak High School and the Moreno Valley Unified School District. Your hospitality and community mean so much to us!”
Pacific Crest looks forward hosting its 10th annual series of camps in 2020, rounding out a full decade of educational outreach!