For four decades, student leaders and band directors have looked to Bands of America for the latest in marching band performance and leadership training. The Bands of America Drum Major Institute will INFORM and INSPIRE outstanding student leaders, uncovering their innate musical abilities and personal character strengths, while simultaneously providing new skills and perspectives.

CORE Teaching Principles – Character, Content, Communication, and Chemistry – permeate every aspect of our program.

DMI presents a sound and modern curriculum, designed to equip young leaders with advanced leadership techniques for use both in band and in life. Taught by the best educators and leaders in music education, DMI is for veteran drum majors, new drum majors, and any students aspiring to be drum majors. Students will learn musical and visual knowledge possessed by the most effective drum majors. Score study and concise conducting patterns, enhanced visual acuity and showmanship, teaching methods, and instructional insight will inspire and challenge all students regardless of their drum major experience.

Packing List/Final Performance Attire

Packing List

All students, regardless of division, should
bring the following items:

  • Comfortable clothes and closed toed shoes for walking around campus
  • Sweatshirt or light jacket for cooler weather
  • Rain gear for inclement weather (jacket, poncho, or umbrella)
  • Personal toiletries (bath soap, tooth brush, toothpaste, etc.
  • Towels and washcloths. Sheets, pillow, pillowcases, and blanket are provided by Ball State Housing
  • Sunglasses, hat, water bottle, and SUNSCREEN
  • Backpack, a spiral notebook, and pens/pencils

Optional: money or debit card for incidental purchases such
as souvenirs, snacks, etc. $50-$80 recommended.

In addition to these items, drum majors must also bring:

  • Lace-up athletic shoes (two pairs recommended) with proper arch support for all sessions, NO SANDALS ALLOWED
  • Your school’s musical score for current/previous year, if available
  • Appropriate conducting baton, if desired
  • If you wish to have instruction on twirling baton or mace skills, bring a mace or stick equivalent to 44” long
  • Khaki shorts for Final Performance

Final Performance Attire

  • Khaki shorts
  • Athletic shoes
  • Camp t-shirt that will be provided
  • Hats, sunglasses, or jewelry may NOT be worn for the performance.

Drum Major Institute Faculty

Maurice Burgess

Choral Director, Gregg M.S., SC
Former Western Carolina University Drum Major

Jonathan Cao

Director of Bands, Vines H.S., TX
Former Phantom Regiment Conductor

Ellen Chmura

Associate Director of Bands, J.J. Pearce H.S., TX

Samuel Crawford

Director of Bands at Riverwood H.S. (GA), Founder of Silent Command, Former Bluecoats Drum Major

Chris Kaatz

Mace Specialist
Doctoral Conducting Student, Northwestern University, IL

Bobby Lambert

Division Head
Director of Bands, Wando H.S., SC
former Western Carolina DM
Drum Major Institute Coordinator

Koji Mori

Director of Orchestras, Harrison H.S., GA,
former Phantom Regiment Drum Major

Scott Oliver

Director of Bands, Neuqua Valley H.S. (IL)

Ben Pouncey

Former Director of Bands, Ashley Ridge H.S., SC,
Former Cadets Drum Major

Adam Vernon-Young

Assistant Director of Bands at Cario M.S. and Laing M.S. of Science and Technology (SC), Wando H.S. (SC) Marching Band

Taylor Watts

Assistant Director of Bands, Kell H.S., GA, Former University of Georgia Drum Major

Ross Werner

Marketing Director, FJM, Inc.
former Carolina Crown Drum Major

What are students saying about Drum Majors at America’s Camp?

I had no idea what to expect going in, but now I feel excited/prepared for the rapidly approaching season.

DMI has been the best camp I’ve ever been to and has changed my perspective on life!

The atmosphere at camp is amazing! I wish my whole band could go and experience it!

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