In 1949, Smith Walbridge pioneered marching band clinics, and has been serving students and directors worldwide, ever since. Each year, one thousand participants across the United States, Canada and Mexico, attend various Smith Walbridge Clinics. Both at the high school and collegiate level, performers, drill designers and directors — of all levels of experience — are encouraged to participate and hone the skills of their craft.
“We assemble a world-class staff, which infuses the clinics with high energy and positivity, while focusing on concepts for our students and directors to take home and apply directly or adapt to their own programs. Our foundation is built upon our philosophy and guiding axiom — system plus spirit equals success,” Barry Houser, CEO and Smith Walbridge Clinics Director, stated.
Smith Walbridge will be hosting a Drill Design Clinic Friday July 9th through Sunday July 11th.
The clinic will focus on the fundamentals of Pyware and effective drill design techniques. This course is composed of different learning tracks — beneficial for both advanced designers, as well as novice drill writers with little to no experience using Pyware. Those participating in the advanced track of the clinic are encouraged to bring portions of their written drill to receive feedback and advice.
“We have had college undergraduate music majors just getting started participate, as well as high school and college directors with over 20 years of experience all participating in this clinic, with separate tracks,” Barry explained.
This layout makes for a fun, interactive environment to exchange stories and experiences. Campers that have attended for consecutive years, participate in a new track each year as they gain knowledge and new skills.
Dr. Corey Spurlin will be the head clinician for the Smith Walbridge Drill Design Clinic.
Spurlin currently serves as the Professor of Music at Auburn University, and the Marching Band Director and Associate Director of Bands for the Sudler-winning Auburn Marching Band. Under his leadership, the band has the largest membership in university history, with 380 students. He is an active conducting and marching band clinician throughout the country and has presented at the Midwest Clinic and the CBDNA Athletic Band Symposiums.
Spurlin is well-versed in the Pyware software from the knowledge he has accumulated throughout his career.
“Pyware has been an asset to me professionally and to my band program. I think Pyware has remained appropriately focused on the actual charting process, which is the key to great drill,” he said. “I appreciate that Pyware offers an advanced real-view option to get a feel for the look of the field, but that the functionality of the charting process has remained as the heart and soul of the product.”
This hands-on clinic is an incredible opportunity for beginners and experienced Pyware users to receive class instruction and individual assistance writing drill from an accomplished professor, director and designer.
“For those that have prior experience charting, we move past the basics and try to offer new ideas and strategies that will improve the aesthetics and functionality of their drill,” Spurlin stated. “New participants may not realize that they can actually complete a substantial portion of their show before the end of the workshop. All can benefit from the assistance of other drill designers which helps generate new ideas, avoid writers block, and learn new strategies and techniques to work faster.”
The Smith Walbridge Drill Design Clinic will take place July 9th-11th at Eastern Illinois University. Click here to register: https://www.swclinics.com/drilldesign.
Those that participate in the clinic will receive a 10% discount on any Pyware purchase made within 60 days!
The long-standing, time-honored tradition of Smith Walbridge clinics has benefitted the marching arts community for roughly 70 years. After an incredibly rough past year, the Smith Walbridge family is thrilled for their in-person clinics to return.
“The fact that we had to basically shut down our clinics in 2020 was very difficult. I am ecstatic that we are able to return in person to share knowledge passion spirit and over positivity with another class of Smith Walbridge graduates,” Barry Houser stated.
Drill design clinician Corey Spurlin agreed,
“It is exciting to return to a live setting for this year’s workshop. I greatly missed having the opportunity to engage with professional colleagues and the Smith-Walbridge family. The return of summer camps and workshops feels like the first step to full recovery for the marching band community.”