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  • RHSEU

Learning the Ropes of Leadership

The RHSEU always strives for excellence. When dealing with a large group of students it’s always helpful to have the student leaders on the same page. Before summer break, band director Scott Miller hand selects students from the upcoming Fall Season to attend the prestigious California Leadership Academy, a program that has been the pacesetter for training student leaders of bands in Southern California since 1989. Held at Chapman University, its philosophy is “leadership by example”. Through lectures and activities students are empowered with the knowledge and skills to help them work well with others and to think like a leader.

On the steps to Leadership at Chapman University

Two beautiful campuses make up Chapman University, the Main Campus in Orange and the Health Science Campus in Irvine. The California Leadership Academy takes place on the Main Campus in Orange. As the program is three days long the students are provided with dorm rooms on site; two students to a room. Though they are allowed to bunk with a fellow band mate from their own school during the program, they are encouraged to mingle and work with students from other locations. Most attendees are local coming from about 1 to 2 hours away from the site. The RHSEU is the furthest traveling team to attend the camp.

Greg A. Solomon in his 22nd year of teaching leadership at the academy

The RHSEU students selected to attend the camp are new or seasoned drum majors and section leaders. Of the 23 students selected this year, 22 attended. The journey began Friday at 4:30 am. at the REU band room. Piling into two passenger vans and a truck with three chaperones, they were on the road before 5:00 am. One stop for donuts, a bathroom break, and a quick lunch at the base of the Grapevine later, they arrived at Chapman University around 2:00 pm. Activities began that very evening just before dinner time.

Learning to work with others

I’ve been asked not to leak any details of the exact goings on from camp. As with many programs that teach personal growth techniques secrecy helps to provide impact to the lessons especially for the newbies, but here are some thoughts from a few students who attended this year.


Neiliza Lomboy, the REU 2019 Fall Season Head Drum Major, had this to say about her time first time at the California Leadership Academy:

  • “Leadership camp was very eye opening. I never knew that I could learn so much in just a span of 2 ½ days, and I never knew the things I learned in camp were going to be helpful throughout everyday life. I felt like after leadership camp, I knew that I could change more about who I am and how I can affect other people. And I also never knew how many new people I could meet as well.”

Jace Sears, the REU 2019 Fall Season Battery Captain, attended this year for his second time:

  • “I think it was beneficial for me to go back. I experienced some of the same concepts but viewed them differently already having past experiences as a Captain, as well as reinforced ideas and thought processes I either slacked off on or needed a refresher on.”

Taylor Slight, the REU 2019 Fall Season Pit Captain, has attended Leadership Camp for three years and has this to say about her whole experience:

  • “It’s life changing no matter how many times you go.”

The RHSEU academy attendees received high praise from the program instructors this year; complimented for their leadership and overall teamwork shown during the session. We are so proud of our student leadership!

There's always time for pizza!

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