Band, choir groups attend summer camps

Hailey Eilert, Photo Editor

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With a new year comes new lineups. The Manhattan High Big Blue Marching Band, Varsity Choir and Pops Choir groups attended camps over the summer.

While long days of music practice and attentive focus may seem intimidating to some, it isn’t anything new to the hard working members of both groups. The few summer days when students attend the camps is an anticipated part of summer.

“In my opinion, band camp is pretty crucial in order to be successful in marching band,” JoBeth Rose, sophomore, said. “Even if you’re not a freshmen or new student.”

At band camp, students get down to the knitty-gritty, learning commands, correct footing, music and working successfully as a team.

Nevertheless, band camp isn’t all march and no fun; the camp also gives students a chance to bond with their section members and participate in camp chants.

A favored part of camp is the drill down. The drill down allows for friendly competition between the campers, participants follow marching commands yelled out by band director Joel Gittle. As campers make mistakes they are tapped out of the game. The last camper left marching wins.

“It’s to test your focus as well as what you’ve reviewed throughout the week,” Josh Brandt, junior, said. “So during the drill you have to always stay focused or else you are going to lose, so it’s a test of that.”

Brandt was one of three winners of the drill down activity, proving his elite focus and skill by out-marching his fellow band members.

The marching band isn’t the only group hard at work over the summer. Pops Choir attended a four-day vocal camp. The intensive camp forced choir members to put on their dancing shoes and get to work, learning new choreography, music and techniques. The vocal camp taught by Manhattan High Alumni trained the new and returning Pops Choir members for their upcoming dance show.

“The only major challenge I would say is just some of the choreography is really fast compared to last year,” Parker Wilson, senior, said. “So we just really have to make sure that you are paying attention all the time, because some of the transitions and like some of the times when we have to move, we only have like a single count of eight to get there.”

After days of strenuous practice, the Pops group performed their dance show for immediate family and alumni.

“I would say it was pretty positive, it was a lot of fun,” Wilson said. “We were all really excited, I’d say the last day we were definitely exhausted. But it was just, I would say really fun and upbeat, we’re all happy to be there and get to learn the choreography for the dance show.”


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Band, choir groups attend summer camps