Camp prepares RHS Marching Pride for fall
Reynoldsburg senior field commander Chris Hammond and rest of the marching band do some stretching exercises during band camp on Thursday, Aug. 2, at Hannah Ashton Middle School. Buy This Photo
The Reynoldsburg High School Marching Band "focused on the fundamentals" at band camp, learning the moves and the music to The Wiz.
Director Jason Gibson said there are 105 students in the Reynoldsburg Marching Pride this year.
"The students have been working very hard so far and are enthusiastic about this season," he said. "All of the students have been focused and have shown lots of excitement."
Band members attended home band camp at Hannah Ashton Middle School the week of July 30, then headed for the Pilgrim Hills Conference Center, in Brinkhaven, Ohio, for the week of Aug. 6.
"Our goals at Hannah Ashton were to focus on the fundamentals of marching and the proper techniques for marching and maneuvering," Gibson said. "We also worked on strength and conditioning in the mornings.
"Believe it or not, marching band is a workout and our students have to be prepared for a long season."
By the time students traveled to the away camp, they had put together the first number of the show from the musical, The Wiz.
"We wanted to choose music that would be appealing to both our students and our audience," Gibson said. "It contains music in differing styles like soul, jazz and even ragtime. So far, the students have really loved it. Many of them have seen the movie with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, but for those who haven't, we previewed an abridged version of the movie on the first night of camp."
Gibson said the band travels to Pilgrim Hills "to take students away from daily distractions and give them the opportunity to focus only on marching band."
"Many of our students look forward to this, since they have a lot of different things going on at any time," he said. "Also, it gives us time to know them better. As a band director, I am fortunate to get to know my students better than most teachers because of the band camp experience."
Gibson said the away camp also gives students time to get to know one another.
"Many of these students will find friends that will be in their lives for as long as they live," he said. "It is a very special experience.
"We put the bulk of our show together at camp," he said. "We plan this year to have the basic framework of our complete show on the field for our 'family and friends preview' on Friday (the last day of camp). It is an event where parents, sponsors, alumni and administrators are invited to see what progress the band has made during camp."
Gibson said the band's first public performance will be Aug. 17 at the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival's opening ceremony.
The band's staff members include Holly Kincaid, color guard instructor, and Chris McKenzie, percussion instructor.
Gibson said the band will perform in six different Ohio Music Educators Association competitions through October.