Marching band season begins with school, but students put a lot of work in before the first bell of the 2014-15 school year rang.
Dublin's high school marching bands each travel to a week-long band camp each summer after pre-band camp work to learn the lion's share of the shows they will take to competitions throughout the fall.
The Dublin Coffman Marching Band spent a week at Camp Bountiful in southeast Ohio the first week of August.
Both the Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto Marching Bands hold band camp Aug. 10-16; Jerome goes to Camp Swoneky outside of Cincinnati and Scioto goes to Camp Bountiful.
Scioto freshman Taylor Bungard said the camp was in the middle of nowhere and she had no cellular phone reception. But there wasn't much time for phone calls, Bungard said.
"It was an experience," she said. "It was a rough week, but I pulled through."
Bungard's biggest challenge at her first year of band camp came with a sudden switch of instruments from snare drum to pit percussion.
"I had to learn a whole new instrument and all the music," she said.
The switch of instruments didn't make Bungard very happy at first, but she got accustomed to the change, especially after talking to a senior who had done the same thing.
"He said it was a great experience and it'll make you a better musician," she said.
"There are lots of people I met in band in the pit during the week that I've created a strong bond with. I'm happy this happened in a way. I got to meet even more people and like the other kid said, I've become a better musician."
Getting to know new people is one of the major benefits of band camp, said Scioto senior Max Wylie, who got to know people in his trumpet section and even outside it.
"I was surprised with people we didn't know were coming, so it was a nice experience," he said, adding that one band member hadn't made pre-band camp, but did go to band camp.
"We got to know him and it was really nice," Wylie said.
"With the other sections, it's harder to get to know people, but I got to know quite a few freshmen from other sections. It was great to see them grow."
Wylie said helping out band camp newbies is part of the job and Bungard said quite a few upperclassmen checked up with her during the week.
"Every day is a new adventure and you don't know what to expect," she said. "It's terrifying but exciting."
The week had students working on music in sectionals and out on the field learning marching for a competition show.
Wylie said this year's show is his favorite even if it did bring a few added challenges when a new assistant director was brought in to change the band's marching style.
"It put upperclassmen in the same class as the freshmen," he said.
"We were all beginners in a sense ... . In the end it will make what we do with the show a whole lot better."
Being a senior also carried a few extra responsibilities for Wylie.
"I had to go down to camp early and prepare," he said.
"We set things up for when everyone arrived the next day and checked cabins to make sure they had everything," Wylie said.
"Then at the end we stayed behind and packed everything up and then got back and unloaded it. It was tiring, but we got through it in record time."
The week was challenging, but it served as a learning experience, the musicians said.
"There was so much I didn't know going into this," Bungard said. "You'll be amazed by how far you can push yourself.
"I pushed myself past the point I thought I had so many times. You learn the actual you and learn yourself as a person and how strong you physically and mentally are."