Marching On Picture this situation: It’s HOT! You have one week left of your vacation. You can do anything you want with the time before you have to go back to work. What do you choose to do? Why, volunteer to do physical labor in the hot sun all week, of course! If that sounds crazy to you, it makes perfect sense to the 35 band members, 5 color guard kids, the band director Mrs. Krystle Boyd, and her two dedicated adult volunteers! That’s the 2012 Marching Band Camp, which was held at Woodland the week of July 30th through August 3rd this year. Mrs. Boyd is very proud of these kids and their dedication. She says, “Marching Band Camp is crucial for the success of our marching season. The students essentially learn about 6 weeks of fundamentals and marching drill within one week. They meet from 8AM to noon, Monday through Friday. Their “chops” are worn out, their bodies are worn out, but because of the motivation and determination to be the best we can be, we make it through the week and even have a little fun along the way!” Throwing in their support and tremendous help to the band director, were Ms. Shelby Ratliff, a Music Education Major at SEMO, and Mr. Robb Davis, a Music Composition Major, which Mrs. Boyd really appreciated. Ms. Ratliff very much wants to be a high school band director when she completes her degree and relates that this week’s experience has strengthened that desire. She worked mostly with the drum line, rewriting some of their parts to make it easier for them, but still fun to play. She also was on the lookout for fundamental skills that could be improved upon and keeping the correct positions on the field. “I saw a complete turnaround in their marching in just three days. They congealed from individuals into a marching family!” Mr. Davis came expecting to help with the reeds, but instead took charge of the color guard, choreographing a routine for them, and helping them make the transition from pompoms to flags, whirling and twirling with style. Senior Kim Seabaugh related that the flags were harder, but more fun; you can do so much more with flags. One of their routines even requires them to do waltz steps. Lindsay Shell, twelfth grader, is the Head Drum Major, something she has wanted to be for three years. She most enjoys being the “boss,” and least likes the sweating. “Even though the heat has been grueling, it has been good for all of us. We have learned a lot and progressed much faster than last year. We are already memorizing our music. Camp is really worthwhile – we get the basics out of the way now so that we can concentrate on harder skills when school starts.” Lindsey Dollins is a junior, and the Flute Section Leader. The selections of music for this year, including a Journey tune, are awesome, and her favorite aspect. Marching backwards is the thing she likes least, but dutifully practices at home. “It’s been really hot, but worth it. It takes a lot to get where we are, and that’s because of camp. We have accomplished so much, and learned to be a team. We’re going to be great this year!” Jessie Barker plays the saxophone as a sophomore. The opportunity to be with friends and bond like a family is the best part, she feels. The hardest is standing in the hot sun, and having to “freeze” and be completely motionless when you are called to “attention.” Andy Pryor, a freshman, liked that Mrs. Boyd brought them inside some to practice, a nice break from the heat, because the tough part for him is carrying the ponderous tuba for hours in the sun. He was impressed with the progress they made in just 5 short days. The girls all complimented him on the job he did with his huge burden throughout the camp. A common theme emerged as the band members talked about their camp, and that was the way they bonded together as a “band family,” an important and fun facet of being in a marching band. Mrs. Boyd makes sure that the band members work hard, focus on their jobs, and progress in their skills, but the students relate that she mixes in a good dose of humor along the way. Sometimes when they mess up, they have to drop down and do push-ups, but Mrs. Boyd also will do push-ups when she errs, which the kids really enjoy! Among their performance dates this fall are the Altenburg Fair Parade on September 28th, the Jackson Band Festival Parade and Field Show on October 2nd, and the Charleston Marching Competition on October 13th. If you have an opportunity to watch this hardworking group of young marching musicians perform this fall, take it! As you observe them, imagine them learning their skills in the hot sun when they could have been cooling off on a creek bank instead! Go Marching Cardinals!