Band camp prepares members for a new season


On Aug. 14, marching band rehearses at band camp for their first recital. Photo by Rachel Marquardt

Sweat drips from their foreheads as they are called to position. They cannot speak unless instructed to. They cannot drink unless instructed to. They cannot move unless instructed to; and they cannot play unless instructed to. These five days are full of rehearsal, drills, section break-off, the heat of the summer in Rocklin and the final recital that makes it all worth it. These components all make up what the members of the marching band call band camp.

“Our traditional rehearsal times just aren’t enough to get our show on the field and get our music memorised. Band camp is necessary to make sure everyone knows how to play their music, everyone knows their basic techniques so that once we get into rehearsals people know what they are doing,” said band major Herman Dhillon.

With all the tasks that need to be completed and with all the new members to teach, Dhillon finds band camp to sometimes be a little hectic. But he feels as long as he is keeping track of the time and pushing everyone to do their best, he can accomplish the tasks he is given.

“I have to start block on time, I make sure the band is where they need to be on time, I make sure they know what they are doing on time, I make sure they stay in time by conducting… Basically my job is time,” Dhillon said.

Band camp runs the week before school starts and consists of five days, the first three being 12 hour rehearsals, and a friday recital along with the last band practice for the summer. Band members know that much will be covered and it is extremely encouraged if not mandatory to attend all five days.

These rehearsals occur almost always outside in direct sunlight, in 95 degree weather, and sometimes last for hours without a chance for members to sit and rest.

“The heat and the twelve hour days have a huge impact on us. You have to make sure you stay hydrated and physically healthy and in shape,” said Keegan Mclean.

Mclean is the trumpet section leader, and also has a solo in the “Opener” of this years recital lineup; named Signs.

Because of this, members must take precautions. Band members are encouraged to put on loads of sunscreen and drink water frequently. They must also have a good meal in the morning and bring a sustainable lunch and dinner to the 12 hour rehearsals. Since they will be out in direct sunlight most of the day in hot weather, drastic things can happen if they do not stay healthy.

“Monday night we were in visual block, and one of the cologuard members passed out. Luckily another member caught her before she fell, so she wasn’t too injured. She hadn’t hydrated enough and hadn’t eaten a solid dinner.” said Mclean.

However, as the week drags on, students find themselves bonding with their band mates.

“After standing in the sun for 12 hours, some people holding 20+ pound instruments, some people spinning giant flags, we have to like each other at least a little. Plus, [band camp] surrounds you with all these amazing students who continue to push you to do  your best every day,” Jade Mcvay said.

With all the components that band camp possesses, the members of band camp feel that they will be overly prepared for not only a great year but will also have the potential to become a great family as well.

Dhillon said, “You can expect a big sound from the marching band this year.”

Listen to marching band perform their opening number, Crop Circles, below.