Education Feature — Director: Band camp helps build camaraderie

By Emily Crowe

CNJ STAFF WRITER

ecrowe@cnjonline.com

The sounds of brass and percussion permeate through the parking lot behind Clovis High School as the school’s marching band prepares for the upcoming year.

Band camp is in session, and 250 musicians are busy keeping time with the beat and learning about good old-fashioned teamwork.

CNJ staff photo: Emily Crowe Members of the Clovis High School band practice during this year’s band camp. The camp runs through next week.

CNJ staff photo: Emily Crowe
Members of the Clovis High School band practice during this year’s band camp. The camp runs through next week.

According to senior Alexandra Kwaku, a rookie camp was held earlier in the summer, and those incoming members came back for more learning last Wednesday.

Returning members reported for camp earlier this week, and all members will begin playing together next week with a three-a-day practice schedule.

Kwaku and three other returning band members will serve as this year’s drum majors. Their main responsibilities include conducting the band, running rehearsals and making sure band members have everything they need for performances.

“There’s a lot of behind the scenes kind of stuff,” said junior Elizabeth Clark. “We make sure everybody has music and we give coordinates. We set up and run rehearsals.”

Kwaku said the drum majors had two days of leadership camp to learn how to handle situations and how to be an effective leader.

All of the drum majors agreed that camp, as well as being a part of the band, is a lot more work than people would think.

“We’re role models to everybody, so that’s a great feeling,” said second-time drum major Robyn Howe.

Bill Allred, in his 13th year as head director for the band, said the camp is as much about learning to work as a unit as it is about practicing for the upcoming season.

“I think camaraderie is the biggest part,” he said. “The teamwork, working together, coming together as a cohesive team, being there for one another, that’s the most important thing.”

The three-week camp will culminate with a parent performance 7 p.m. Aug. 9 at Leon Williams Stadium.

“It’s going to be another good year,” Allred said. “We’ve got a bunch of great kids.”