Band camp

The Marion Junior High Band has 74 members attending Dixie Band Camp this week at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. This is the largest contingency that Marion has had attend the camp.

“With this camp, students currently in grades 7 and 8 spend a week rehearsing and enjoying social activities while living in a dorm room on the UCA campus,” said Marion Director of Bands Monty Hill. “For most of these students, it is their first time away from home for an extended period without their parents.”

“As with most things, the cost of band camp has risen to $385 for the week which includes room and board,” Hill added. “Our parents are committed to having an outstanding band program in Marion. This is just another example of our outstanding parent involvement and why the Marion School District is thriving.”

Dixie Band Camp, the oldest camp in the South and the second oldest in the nation, is in its 82nd year and 30th year on the UCA campus. The overriding philosophy of Dixie is to give the participating students a meaningful and enriching musical experience. In addition to the musical activities, Dixie includes a full activity calendar, with multiple afternoon and evening social activities planned for the students. Night activities such as concerts, movies, dances, swimming, and karaoke, plus an optional off-campus evening water theme park excursion makes for a well-rounded social experience for all campers.

Dixie Band Camp was founded in 1937 by Lee Wallick, the band director at Arkansas A&M College in Monticello, and R.B. (Scrubby) Watson, former director at Pine Bluff High School. The camp moved to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro in 1965 and was held on that campus through 1988. The camp consists of six high school bands and 10 junior high bands. Students participate in band rehearsals, sectionals, master classes, theory classes, conducting classes, college prep class, sight-reading classes, leadership class, ensembles, jazz improv class, jazz band, auxiliary/color guard instruction, and many recreational activities. All bands are featured in concert on the final day of camp.

The Marion School District is an innovative and growing district committed to helping every student find their unique path to success in school and in life. With more than 150 years of experience serving families in Crittenden County, the district offers a high school, a junior high, a seventh grade school, and three award-winning magnet schools. For enrollment information, including information on school choice, visit or call 870-739-5100.