Marimba Camp

Marimba Camp

          Marimba Camp will be IN PERSON this summer!!                June 13-16

21Marimba Application

21Marimba Information

21 Marimba Camp Safety Protocols 6.7.21


1:  ONLINE ENROLLMENT-  Click the link below- Select the camp-

2:  Mail in the Enrollment application with tuition payment should  by June 10.

The payment may be paid by check, credit card or cash.

WE CAN ACCEPT camp applications through the start of camp.


Intent of the Marimba Camp:  It is the intent of the camp faculty to offer older middle school and high school percussionists an opportunity to gain an overview of the technical requirements and musical potential of four mallet marimba playing.  As well, it is hoped the student will gain a sense of the instrument’s history and literature.   Our aim is to offer this in a fun, useful and unique camp setting.

Recitals:  The camp faculty will present recitals in the evenings in the Music Department’s recital hall.  The camp participants will have the opportunity to perform solo pieces as well as participate in the marimba ensemble performance.

Marimba Camp Sessions:  The camp sessions will be divided into three broad areas that include the following:

Technique.  Study of the major grips used, common stroke types, shifting, interval change and rolling.

Musicianship.  This will include aspects of phrasing, dynamics, and mallet types and their applications, time, touch, tone, voicing and reading.

History and Literature.  These sessions will provide an overview of the marimba’s history, its major personalities (performers and instrument makers), and an introduction to the literature for the instrument.

Related activities will include participation in marimba ensembles, performance in master-classes and sessions on the keyboard emphasis All-State Etudes.

Camp Policies


David Bessinger has taught at Southwestern Oklahoma State University since 1984.  He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University and the Master of Music in Percussion Performance degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Oklahoma in 2009.  His doctoral research document examined the genre of Marimba Soloist with Percussion Ensemble from 1959 to 2008.  His primary teaching areas at SWOSU include all facets of percussion performance and pedagogy.  In addition he teaches courses in Music Theory and period courses covering Music of the Baroque and Music of the Twentieth-Century.  His primary teachers include Larry Vanlandingham of Baylor University, Thomas Siwe of the University of Illinois and Lance Drege at the University of Oklahoma.  He has also studied with marimbist Leigh Howard Stevens in Asbury Park, New Jersey and Nancy Zeltsman in Boston, Massachusetts.  He has twice performed as marimba soloist with the SWOSU Wind Ensemble.  The first was a performance of Daniel McCarthy’s Chamber Symphony for Marimba and Winds and the second was a consortium commission and performance of David Gillinghams’s Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble.  As director of percussion at SWOSU he has organized seminars, workshops and festivals for performing musicians to appear on campus.  These include marimbists Gordon Stout, Leigh Stevens, Nancy Zeltsman, Michael Varner,  Blake Tyson, Nathan Daughtrey, vibraphonist Jerry Tachoir and electronic percussionist Scott Deal.  Through the sponsorship of the annual SWOSU Jazz Festival, numerous drum set performers have appeared on campus, including Ed Soph, and Steve Houghton.  Dr. Bessinger is a past President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and has hosted the Oklahoma Percussion Festival on three occasions.

INFORMATION:  For additional information please write or call the SWOSU Band Camps, 100 Campus Dr., Weatherford, OK 73096; (580) 774-3708 or (580) 774-3296 after June 6 or email Dr. Bessinger at