The Band Program at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is designed to challenge students of all proficiency levels. Students are grouped by ability through audition on the opening day of the session, with the most advanced given the option of selecting Orchestra winds/percussion or Band. Our band conducting staff selects a challenging repertoire. Students receive five hours of intensive daily rehearsals, sectionals, and technique classes. Students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of interest while at camp. See minors for a complete listing of courses. Students also have the opportunity to hear various performances presented as a part of Blue Lake’s Summer Arts Festival, as well as participate in recreational activities and other camp events.

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 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, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis.

Orchestra Winds and Percussion
The Orchestra Winds and Percussion provide student members the opportunity to participate in full orchestra, performing a range of challenging orchestral repertoire. Student winds and percussion interested in orchestra must initially enroll in “Band” and are selected by audition on Opening Day of the session. Student winds/percussion ranking the highest in their sections may choose Orchestra or Band. Those choosing Orchestra will perform in two orchestra wind sections (Symphony and Concert) and will participate in sectionals, technique classes, and limited chamber music ensembles as scheduling permits.

Masterworks Orchestra Winds and Percussion (Sessions I and II only)
The Masterworks Orchestra challenges advanced high school musicians with original, unedited, performing one major work during the 12-day session. The Session 1 Masterworks Orchestra will perform the Kalinnikov Symphony No. 1 in G minor. The Session 2 Masterworks Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Suite, Op 20a. Student winds and percussion are selected in advance via recorded audition by February 28. Significant scholarship aid toward camp tuition is available to those who qualify. Visit for detailed audition requirements.

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 seaon, each band student will have the opportunity to apply for the International Band, which will tour Europe during the summer of 2021, 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 – Tavia Zerman, Grand Ledge Public Schools, Grand Ledge, MI
Begian Band – Trae Blanco, Murray State University, Murray, KY

Session 2
Wind Ensemble – James Ross, East Kentwood High School, East Kentwood, MI
Symphony Band – Jane Church, retired, East Lansing High School, East Lansing, 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 – Dave Bass, retired, Rockford Public Schools, Rockford, MI
Concert Band – Thomas Clair, retired, Kingsley Area Schools, Kingsley, MI
Vander Linde Band – Russell Branch, Mendham Township Middle School, Mendham, NJ
Begian Band – Roger Weyersberg, retired, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools, Elsie, MI