“The purpose of band camp is to get everybody together to work long days to prepare, because when school starts they only have afternoon rehearsals,” said Lydell Self, director of bands for Rome City Schools.
“They can practice their music at home by themselves but getting together before school starts is a great way for them to bond,” he said. “Like any other team, there is a lot of teamwork that takes place, including leadership and organizational skills. They come together as a group.”
At Pepperell High School’s band camp, it isn’t all fun in the sun. It’s a chance for students to work hard and perfect their technique.
“You have to be in the band room by nine,” said P.J. Wagner, a junior. “If you’re late, you are running laps until they tell you to quit.”
While at attention during the practice, Alexis Warren, a junior, explained that she was stung by a bee multiple times but didn’t move.
“You have to stay at attention, even if you get stung by a bee,” she said.
Band camp attendees not only see this time as a serious time to practice, most see it as a key to their future.
“It definitely helps me with my music,” said Daniel Mojica, a senior. “I want to major in music.”
At Model’s two week band camp, students worked hard and improved.
“This year, we’ve made the best progress. ... I believe we’ll have some of the best shows this year,” said Tyler Autry, senior.
“We’ve gotten a lot further than we have in the past few years,” said Alex Thomas, senior. “It’s hot, but we’re having a lot of fun.”
The rigourous 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. schedule wasn’t a problem for most band campers.
“It really gets us ahead in the season, and we have a lot of fun, too,” Emily Shepherd, a junior. “It is hot, but we get a lot of stuff accomplished.”
Members participating in Armuchee’s band camp found it to be a chance to be in company with other artistic individuals.
“Band camp has helped me become closer to other people (band members) and to the community. It’s good to be with other talented people,” said Breanna Miller.
Rome High School’s band camp allows band members a chance to work together and unite into a team.
“It’s a sort of a family. You mesh in band camp, and it makes it a lot easier to play our music together,” said Hunter Selman, a senior.
Rome students also see the camp as a great way to initiate the newest members.
“The freshmen get to know the band and what we’re like. We’re better prepared and band camp unites the band. When school starts, we’ve bonded already,” said Courtney Holcombe, a senior.
The basic fundamentals and extra practice for the future of the band is the focus for Coosa students.
“In band camp, you learn the fundamentals and get to know the band people, especially new people who are nervous,” said Kaitlyn Smith, a freshman.
“We’re practicing, so we can be successful,” said junior Sara Hardin, “and be better than everyone in the county.”
Photographer Ken Caruthers contributed to this report.