The Cole Family Summer Music Festival June 9-14

Southwestern College will host the Cole Family Summer Music Festival June 9-14 on the SC campus.

The festival is for students ages 14-20.  Campers will choose from tracks in band, choir, orchestra, and piano.  The daily schedule will include ensemble rehearsals, technique class, practice time, recreation time, and much more.  

Under the supervision of festival dean Timothy Shook, the tracks are led by award-winning conductors, performers, and teachers.  This year the festival will be highlighted by guest conductor Steven Barnett.  Barnett is in his 11th year as director of bands and professor of music at Marshall University.  He conducts the Marshall University Wind Symphony and the “Marching Thunder” marching band, where he also serves as music arranger and drill designer.  He is an active adjudicator and clinician throughout the Southeast and Midwest and is currently a staff arranger for Jalen Publishing Company of Orlando, Fla., where he has 15 marching band arrangements published. 

Two new faculty clinicians will join the festival this year. Jeremy Kirk, assistant professor of music at Southwestern College; and Matt Berthot, vocal music director at Winfield High School, will join returning faculty clinicians Daniel Stevens, director of strings at Southwestern College, and Shook.

“In addition to fresh emphasis on individual track instruction, we are excited to offer some new electives this summer including African drum and dance, jazz, and theory,” Shook says.

Barnett will lead two free clinics.  All music instructors are invited and encouraged to attend either or both sessions.  The sessions are titled “So What To Do When You Find Out That Your Band is NOT Blue Devils,” and “Band Arranging 101: A Practical Approach” and give instructors the opportunity to earn PDC points. Instructors are also invited to attend rehearsals throughout the week, thus increasing PDC points. 

Through generous support from the Cole family, the all-inclusive cost for the week-long festival is $375 when the application to attend the festival includes a signature of recommendation from a private music instructor or school music teacher.  

For more information about the Cole Family Summer Music Festival at Southwestern College or to register, call Jessica Falk, director of camps at Southwestern at (620) 229-6141 or email, or visit the website at