Claire Bogdan gained her first experience with the Summer Symposium at the Drum Major Academy division for both her junior and senior years in high school. In 2013, Drum Major Academy turned into what is now the Bands of America Drum Major Institute. During that same year, Claire served her first year as a DMI SWAG. Now, she is in her third year as a DMI faculty member.

Claire describes her time as a DMI participant as an experience that reminds her of Disney World. Her experiences as a camper  made her want to be part of the DMI staff in the future. She enjoys how each of her experiences have been different every year. Currently, Claire teaches Mace. “With all of my experience, it was useful to bring that trade here for students that do have mace since it can be a little bit different. I am glad I am able to give back to those kids to show them that it is not weird to have this big object that most other campers don’t have,” Claire says.

Now, she is co-workers with many people who were her camp leaders when she was a camper. The feeling is strange for her, but she is still thankful to be surrounded by people that love encouraging students just as much as she does. Although, she no longer experiences the “Disney World” experience, she is ecstatic to be able to provide that experience for campers.

As a middle school band director, Claire looks to her time at the Summer Symposium to “re-fill her cup.” She gives her all when she is teaching during the school year. Coming to camp and learning from her peers recharges her, and gives her new experiences.

To Claire, teaching a new skill to a student is always rewarding for both the student and her. One huge accomplishment for her is when she sees a change in the campers and their personalities rather than them learning a new skill. Watching them grow as students is just as rewarding.

The Music for All Summer Symposium is not just a learning experience for students, but is also an opportunity for faculty and staff to learn as well. There is great joy in having a hand in changing a life. Claire’s bright spirit has been brightening other’s lives for many years and will continue to do so for years to come.