SYMS: Summer Youth Music School:Drum Major Track
Leadership | Conducting | Marching | Musicianship
Develop skills on and off the field at the same camp!
About the Drum Major Track
Why do we offer this?
We are aware that many high school drum majors are required to attend a drum major camp for training before serving. Many of these students must choose between SYMS and drum major camp due to scheduling, finances, or both. We would like to give you an opportunity to develop both your concert skills and the skills required to be a successful drum major so you can contribute your best to your program both on and off the field.
Who is it for?
The track is available to any SYMS student who is interested in developing leadership, conducting, and marching skills, but is geared toward students who are or have aspirations of becoming a drum major. There is no need register for the track in advance this year. See below for possible ensemble conflicts.
How will it fit into the daily schedule?
The morning will be devoted to your concert area, with your large ensemble rehearsal, master class, and chamber ensemble. The two afternoon electives will be reserved for the Drum Major Track. If you elect to participate in the program, you must attend both 4th and 5th period classes. You will then be free to participate in 6th period ensembles if desired.
NOTE: Due to the current schedule, you will be unable to participate in the Drum Major Track as well as the Symphony Orchestra, Select Chorus, Women’s Chorus, or Jazz Choir. You WILL be able to participate in the Concert Bands, String Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, Jazz Bands, Musical Theater, and/or Jazz Singing Class as applicable. Please keep this in mind.
What areas will be covered?
- General technique will be covered in a group setting, including various patterns, styles, dynamics, cues, and releases. Emphasis on musicality will be stressed and independence of hands will be developed.
- Individualized feedback will be given and students will be able to view themselves on video
- Each student will have the opportunity to sign up for a private or small group (if multiple DMs from one school attend) lesson to work on individual technique and show music
- Students will have the opportunity to develop confidence calling commands
- Basic marching technique will be developed (based on students’ home styles)
- Teaching and cleaning techniques will be covered and students will have the opportunity to practice this
- Leadership skills will be taught and developed utilizing materials from various experts in the field
- An emphasis will be placed on the concept of Servant Leadership: leadership is about how you can help your band be the best it can be not about you being the center of attention
- Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills will be refined
- Retreat procedures
General marching knowledge
- You will get an introduction to various styles of marching organizations, basic history and evolution of the activity, and exposure to various important names and organizations.
Why should I participate in the SYMS Drum Major Track?
Because most students are unable to attend both a music performance camp and a drum major camp, this will give you the best of both worlds. We believe in developing the whole musician, so students may find themselves applying something discussed in the morning master class to the afternoon conducting session. We move beyond technique and encourage you to make music. Also, while it may seem that only two hours a day of the Drum Major Track can’t compare to a traditional drum major camp, the fact that this takes place over the course of ten days means the amount of instruction time devoted to the Drum Major Track is nearly equal to that of other drum major camps. The added benefit is more time for daily reflection and practice, which may allow for more progress over the two weeks at SYMS.
What is the 50 Yard Line Award?
The 50 Yard Line Award is given to the Drum Major Track student who best exemplifies the qualities taught throughout the camp. Voted on by your peers, this prestigious Outstanding Drum Major award is presented during one of the full-camp events at the end of the session.
Casey Goodwin, Director
Casey Goodwin is the Director of Athletic Bands at the University of New Hampshire, where she is responsible for directing the Wildcat Marching Band, UNH Concert Band, and Beast of the East Pep Band, and teaches undergraduate courses in Conducting and Marching Band Methods. Additionally, she is a faculty member and assistant coordinator of the Summer Youth Music School (SYMS) and a former conductor of the New Hampshire Youth Band. Prior to her appointment at UNH, Goodwin was the Director of Instrumental Music at Marshwood High School in South Berwick, ME.
Goodwin earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Arts in Music with an emphasis in music education and wind conducting from UNH in 2001 and 2006, respectively. As an undergraduate, she held the positions of drum major of the Wildcat Marching Band and student conductor of the Pep Band. As a graduate student, Goodwin worked extensively with the UNH bands and held an assistantship in the department.
Goodwin served as drum major of the Daniel Hand High School Tiger Marching Band and the University of New Hampshire Wildcat Marching Band. She attended the Fred J. Miller Summer Clinics Drum Major Program as a student and observed the Smith-Walbridge Drum Major Camp as a director, worked as a counselor and student instructor at the UNH Marching Band Clinics and was an instructor at the Indiana State University Sycamore Drum Major Camp.
Goodwin is a member of the College Band Directors' National Association, College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, New Hampshire Band Directors Association, and serves as the state Collegiate Coordinator for the New Hampshire Music Educators' Association and the Northeast District Governor of Kappa Kappa Psi, national honorary fraternity for college band members.
In addition to her work at UNH, she is also an active guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician throughout the northeast and has written drill and arranged music for several area marching bands.
Jeff Smith, Director
Jeffrey Smith graduated from Norwalk (CT) High School, Western Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Western Connecticut State University with a Master of Science in Music Education, and numerous additional graduate credits from University of Bridgeport, Massachusetts College, New England College, and Fitchburg State University.
Mr. Smith recently retired from the Norwalk Public Schools for thirty–four years where he taught instrumental music at Ponus Ridge Middle School (1975–1977), Brien McMahon High School (1977–1982), and Norwalk High School (1982–2010). He served as Music Department Chairperson at Norwalk High School from 1986 until his retirement. Mr. Smith was a lecturer at Western Connecticut State University from 2005 until 2011. Currently, he works as a staff member and visual designer for the University of New Hampshire Wildcat Marching Band.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Connecticut Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference, National Band Association, American School Band Directors Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, American Federation of Teachers, Norwalk Federation of Teachers, Musical Arts Conference, and Phi Beta MU. He has served as Western Region Director, Student Affairs Commission Chairperson, and President of the Connecticut Music Educators Association. He has regularly guest conducted on the middle school and high school levels in concert band and jazz ensemble in the Eastern, Northern, and Southern Regions of CMEA and NYSSMA in Westchester County. In addition, he is one of the founding members and past president of the Musical Arts Conference.
The Norwalk High School Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Wind Symphony, Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Open Guard, Scholastic A Guard, Winter Percussion, and Marching Band have consistently received superior ratings on the competitive level. The ensembles annually perform an average of seventy concerts per academic year. They have traveled to the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Sports Champs Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Cherry Blossom Festival, Mardi Gras, World’s Fair, IAJE National Conference, CMEA Conference, Eastern MENC Conference, Bands of America Regional/Grand National Championships, Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival, Villanova University Jazz Festival, Winter Guard International Regional/National Championships, Winter Guard International Regional Championships, Percussive Arts Society, Musical Arts Conference championships for Marching Band, Winter Guard, and Winter Percussion, among others.