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Drum Major conducting

Drum Major Clinic



The 6-day program with a staff of over 28 instructors enables us to not only train great teachers, conductors, and leaders but also drum majors capable of serving as assistant band directors. The power of positive attitudes, high energy, and natural enthusiasm is integrated into the Smith Walbridge “System,” often imitated, but never matched. 

Overview DM
Staff celebrating

Live the legacy

SWC is the nation’s first drum major camp, founded in 1952. There is a consistent teaching philosophy which is preserved year after year.

Build your foundation

Based strongly in fundamentals, we guide students to develop their own unique style compatible within their bands. The result is individual creativity, identity, and diversity.

Drum majors conducting


Curriculum DM
Drum Major conducting


New and returning students will learn conducting concepts with three levels of curriculum from beginner to advance. Score study is incorporated into conducting session taught by collegiate professors in music education.

Teacher giving feedback


Through every portion of our clinic, students learn the process of teaching. They have hands on experience teaching in small group settings, receive individual feedback, review videos of their own teaching moments after executing it, and grasp how to better communicate with their peers.

Drum majors marching


With three styles of marching - Traditional Chair Step, Corps Glide Step, and Mace Glide Step - students will be taught the fundamentals of drill design and execution. Cleaning drill in large and small settings with a full band and break-out squads.

Drum majors calling instructions


All students are encouraged to bring their individual style and personality to their performances with salutes and showmanship opportunities. Squads will also collaborate to write drill and compete in squad comps.

Clinic Schedule

Below is an example of an average day schedule. For a more exact layout, go to our Information Documents page and download the PDF

6:45 AM
8:00 AM
Band Lab Field Rehearsal
10:00 AM
Squad Practice
11:00 AM
Conducting Class
12:00 PM
1:30 PM
Conducting Class
2:45 PM
Break-Out Classes
3:45 PM
Squad Competition
5:00 PM
6:30 PM
Full Group Activities
8:30 PM
Recreation Time
11:00 PM
Lights Out
Dates DM


2 Session Offerings

JULY 14-19

JULY 21-26


Barry Houser

Barry Houser

Barry L. Houser is Associate Director of Bands, Director of the Marching Illini, Director of the Fighting Illini Athletic Bands, and Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Music at the University of Illinois. His responsibilities include conducting a variety of concert ensembles, the overall administration of the Athletic Bands consisting of the Volleyball Band, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Bands, and serving as the director of the 375-member Marching Illini. He teaches undergraduate courses in instrumental .....

Clinician DM
Macy's Great American Marching Band

The World Stage

Drum Majors! The Macy's Great American Marching Band is looking for an SWC Drum Major to lead their band this Thanksgiving in New York! Each year, because of your stellar look, prideful spirit, and habit of excellence, Macy's has asked Smith Walbridge Clinics to select a Drum Major for their feature band in the Thanksgiving Day Parade! It is truly an honor to participate, and the SWC Drum Majors have always delivered!
CONTACT us for details!

Macy's Great American Marching Band

For Your Information

If you are in need or more information, please download our information PDF's for more details. If you have a question, you may want to see if there is already an answer on our FAQ page. If you are looking for transportation information, please go to our Transportation page.

Curriculum Performance

At the end of the week, our student demonstrate their skills for family and friends. This gives you a brief glimpse into our curriculum and skills described above.

2023 Drum Major Clinic Closing Ceremonies

2023 Drum Major Clinic Closing Ceremonies

2023 Drum Major Clinic Closing Ceremonies
2023 Closing Ceremonies: Drum Major Clinic Session I | Conducting I

2023 Closing Ceremonies: Drum Major Clinic Session I | Conducting I

Play Video
2022 Closing Ceremonies: Drum Major Clinic Session I | Conducting II

2022 Closing Ceremonies: Drum Major Clinic Session I | Conducting II

Play Video
2023 Closing Ceremonies: Drum Major Clinic Session I | Conducting III

2023 Closing Ceremonies: Drum Major Clinic Session I | Conducting III

Play Video
Prices DM


Eastern Illinois University - Charleston IL
July 14th-19th  or  July 21st-26th, 2024


Includes all instruction,

housing, and meals

(Staying with us on campus.  Most common selection.)



Includes all instruction, and lunch and dinner each day


  • What if I arrive late?
    No problem! If you arrive a little later than the check-in window for your clinic, you'll report to the front desk of Taylor Hall. They will alert a member of our administrative staff, who will assist you with checking in, moving in, and getting you to your starting location for your camp!
  • Where do I park?
    For clinic check-in and check-out (drop off and pick-up) park for free at Taylor Hall, OR across the street at the large parking lot. Signs will indicate lots at check-in and staff members will be outside for assistance. A detailed map is in our Information Packet. If the participant has driven him/herself, staff members will show you where to park after check-in (in the lot across the street from Taylor Hall). Those who will keep their cars at the camp will get a parking pass during check-in to display in their car after they have unloaded and parked for the clinic duration. Students 18 and under turn in their keys to a locked safe for the duration of the clinic, which is held by our administrative staff. Keys are returned at check-out. Smith Walbridge will not be responsible for those who get tickets when parking in area not approved for our staff and participants.
  • Can I stay one or multiple extra nights?
    Early arrival or late departure situations (usually to get cheaper air fares, or to arrive in time for class) are available for $30.00 per night. This cost does not include any meals, however, meals can be purchased in the cafeteria until the meals for your camp begin. Even as an early arrival, you are "with" the clinics. Those 18 and under may not leave the dorm grounds. As a general rule, extra nights are reserved for those traveling from out of state or by public transportation. You may stay up to one night early and/or one additional night late. Extra nights are not available on or after July 21, as the dorms will be closed. Call us to make arrangements at least one week in advance.
  • What public transportation options are available?
    These options are included in the Information Packet and on the Transportation page. Be sure to provide your information at least 5 days in advance of travel so we can schedule arrangements to pick you up and return you to your to your stations and terminals.


For parents, friends, and directors, closing ceremonies will be held at O’Brien Field on the Eastern Illinois campus. Come and enjoy the performance and celebration of awards! Our in-house photography team will capture the moments and release all photos, free of charge, to remember the special day!

Drum Major Session 1

July 19, 2024 at 9:00 AM

Drum Major Session 2

July 26, 2024 at 9:00 AM

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