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Band Camp - The Best Way to End Your Summer

Article Contributor: Adriana Vree

Summer – going on exotic vacations, sleeping 12 hours straight, spending time with friends – is probably every teenager’s favorite time of year. For the average student at Rodriguez High School, the last two weeks of summer is spent going on last minute trips, trying to finish all their summer homework, and groaning about the start of school. But what does the last two weeks of summer mean to a student in the REU marching band? Band camp!

These two weeks of 8 and 10 hour days are crucial to our fall season. From basics to the most complicated parts of marching, band camp sets us up for a productive and successful season. So after we all came to terms with the end of our summer, we prepared ourselves for a challenging and incredibly worthwhile 10 days of band camp.

On July 30th, the 2018 leadership team and the newcomers met, ready to start the first day and make this season our season. After a hectic hour of introductions and registration, the new members were sent down to the football field for the first time. The day was spent learning the basics of marching from the instructors and drum majors with examples from the other leaders, little did they know what the rest of band camp had in store.

The first week went by quickly. Every day we all arrived, ready to run another mile, do some crazy workouts and get to work. We marched, played games, met new people at lunch, and spent hours sweating in the sun, and for what? For an amazing season, that’s what. We finished the first week so sore most of us couldn’t even walk up the stairs in our homes, but we knew we had accomplished a great deal.

On August 6th, we all met back down on the field ready for week two. This week would be tougher than the last as we added another factor: drill. Marching forward and backward seems like a breeze compared to drill. Having to move across the field, jumping around, doing the splits, and walking on our hands, all while playing an instrument/spinning a flag wasn’t going to be easy. Well the acrobatics part might be a slight exaggeration, but it would take a new level of skill and maturity to complete our show.

Thankfully, to take our minds off the stress of learning drill, choreography, and music, was Spirit Week. Each day of the second week was a different themed day, ranging from Twin Day to Superhero Day to Disney Day. Students dressed in tutus, crazy socks, and fun accessories to go full out and show their REU spirit.

The final step of band camp was our BBQ potluck parent night. Performing for the first time was scary for some, but we put on an impressive show for our parents and alumni. We performed basics as well as a fun competitive drill down with the alumni. To end the night we marched a portion and played the entire first movement of our show “Shifting Perspective” twice.

With that, and our last day on Friday, we ended the 2018 REU Band Camp. It was a hard two weeks, as surely most of the kids would tell you, but what they’d also say is that in those two weeks we made amazing memories and achieved more than we could imagine.

Adriana Vree is REU's 2018 Head Drum Major. She also plays tennis and swims for RHS. In summers when she's not at band camp she works as a lifeguard. Adriana has 5 siblings and loves spending time with them. Stephen King is her favorite novelist and she enjoys listening to Hispanic genre music and 50s tunes. Her favorite school subject is math.

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