The Band Program at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is designed to challenge students of all proficiency levels. Students will be grouped by ability after submitting a placement video prior to arrival. Our band conducting staff selects a challenging repertoire for each level of ensemble. Students receive five hours of intensive daily rehearsals, sectionals, and technique classes. Band students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of interest while at camp. (For more information, visit Minors). Students also have the opportunity to participate in recreation, camp activities, and attend arts-focused educational events in the evening.

During sessions I and II (High School level), the band program will include a wind ensemble, as well as a symphony band and two concert bands. Consisting of the most advanced winds and percussion, the Wind Ensemble will study and perform a variety of musically demanding literature designed to challenge even the most experienced high school player. Past Wind Ensemble repertoire has included selections such as: Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy, Holst’s Suites in E♭ and F, Ives’ Variations on America, Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Bernstein’s Candide, Reed’s American Dances, Williams’ Symphonic Dance No. 3, Mackey’s Under the Scars, Biedenbender’s Luminescense, Ticheli’s Sun Dance, and Milhaud’s Suite Francaise, Op. 248.

As part of our response to summer camp operational guidelines relating to COVID-19, Blue Lake is currently unable to offer the Orchestra Winds and Percussion program, including Masterworks Winds and Percussion. If restrictions ease prior to the start of camp, orchestra winds and percussion may be added as an option. For more information on Blue Lake’s 2021 adjustments relating to COVID-19 health and safety precautions, visit COVID-Careful Planning.

Junior Band Program
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp also offers a band program for younger students with less musical experience at Camp Bernstein. For more details go to Junior Camp.

Blue Lake International
During the summer season, each band student will have the opportunity to apply for the International Band, which will tour Europe during the summer of 2022 as part of Blue Lake's International Exchange Program. For additional information on this exciting opportunity visit

Band Conductors 2021

Session 1
Wind Ensemble – Brian Balch, Big Rapids High School, Big Rapids, MI
Symphony Band – Mark Veenstra, retired, Cy-Fair High School, Cypress, TX
Vander Linde Band – Keith Dodson, Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS
Begian Band – Trae Blanco, Murray State University, Murray, KY

Session 2
Wind Ensemble – James Ross, East Kentwood High School, East Kentwood, MI
Symphony Band – Brian Olian, Reeths-Puffer High School, Muskegon, MI
Vander Linde Band – Margaret Babcock, Farmington Public Schools, Farmington Hills, MI
Begian Band – John Heath, retired, Batavia High School, Batavia, IL

Session 3
Symphony Band – Joseph Dobos, retired, Lapeer Community Schools, Lapeer, MI
Concert Band – Kathleen McGrady, retired, Springfield Local Schools, Holland, OH
Vander Linde Band – Erin Lilliefors, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ann Arbor, MI
Begian Band – Kevin Czarnik, Croswell-Lexington Schools, Croswell, MI

Session 4
Symphony Band – Allman Todd, Big Rapids Middle School, Big Rapids, MI
Concert Band – Thomas Clair, retired, Kingsley Area Schools, Kingsley, MI
Vander Linde Band – Russell Branch, Mendham Township Middle School, Mendham, NJ
Begian Band – Whitney Brainard, Sparta Area Schools, Sparta, MI