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Camp Kirkland is a graduate of Florida State University where he received the degrees of Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education. During his career as a music educator he taught at the junior high, high school, and collegiate levels. His teaching experience included band, both marching and concert, symphonic orchestra, jazz band, music theory, and applied low brass.
Mr. Kirkland's principal instruments are euphonium and trombone. He is an outstanding instrumentalist and has performed with such diverse groups as the Jacksonville Symphony and the River City Brass Band, as well as numerous touring bands and orchestras. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha and Kappa Kappa Psi music fraternities.
Over the past five decades, Camp Kirkland has emerged as one of the premier church musicians in the nation. He is recognized as the pioneer in establishing instrumental music as a viable medium in the life of the church music program. In 1971, he began the instrumental music program at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida. In 1976 he joined the staff full time as Instrumental Director, the first position of its kind in the nation. During his tenure, the program flourished to include four graded orchestras and a number of small ensembles involving over 200 instrumentalists. He also created the church's acclaimed School of Music which assists over 100 students each semester in the study of a variety of orchestral instruments, voice, and piano. This program is still a model of excellence in music and effectiveness in ministry. Many of the great church orchestras around the country are led by students and associates of Mr. Kirkland.
In addition to being a highly skilled and recognized educator, clinician, and spokesman, Camp Kirkland has enjoyed a brilliant career as an arranger and orchestrator. He has over 1,000 publications in his catalog and is an important contributor to the leading publishers of church music today. He has the reputation of being a consummate professional both in the creative process, in the recording studio, and in working with church music programs around the country. Camp's love for Christ is evident in every phase of his art. Church musicians around the world have been blessed not only by his music but by his testimony to the faithfulness of God.
All of these great accomplishments, and well-deserved honors, in education, musical performance, and church ministry have culminated in Camp Kirkland committing a significant portion of his time and skill to taking the message of the Gospel beyond our national boundaries. He has taken choirs, orchestras, and jazz bands on mission projects around the world, sharing the universal joy of music, combined with the eternal Truth of Christ. God has opened this door through Global Missions Project, a non-profit designed to take Christian musicians on missions. Camp has served as the Music Director for GMP since its inception. Since its beginning in 2003, GMP has taken over 8,000 musicians on mission projects where God has tremendously blessed through evangelism and encouragement to the body of Christ.
Camp Kirkland continues his dynamic music ministry, assisted by his wife Fran, through Camp Kirkland Productions, located in Nashville, Tennessee.