Band camps for each of Hilliard's three high schools began Monday, July 29, and extend through Aug. 15.

Band camps for each of Hilliard's three high schools began Monday, July 29, and extend through Aug. 15.

"Home camp" for students at Darby High School began July 29 and ends Aug. 2.

"Away camp" is Aug. 4-9 at the Heartland Conference Retreat Center in Marengo, about 50 miles north of Columbus.

About 165 students will attend, said Darby director Jeremy Kozman.

"Camp provides the opportunity to work on putting together our program for football games and our competitions and other shows," Kozman said.

The camp also provides an opportunity for bonding, camaraderie and a chance to become better acquainted.

"We hope camp provides a way for the kids to get to know each other and make connections," Kozman said. "It can be a challenge for 165 kids to get to know each other. We think camp provides them with a sense of becoming a team."

A nine-day band camp began July 30 for students at Davidson High School.

About 178 students are scheduled to attend the Davidson camp, said director Dave Handshue.

Handshue said students will learn pregame shows as well as practice contest shows.

Davidson students will perform Latin jazz numbers as competition pieces.

"The camp provides students not only the opportunity (to practice), but also to develop leadership skills," Handshue said.

At various times during the camp, squad leaders work with other students within their specific section.

Meanwhile, Bradley's marching band students will attend three camps.

A precamp began July 29 and extends through Aug. 2.

Bradley students then will attend a five-day band camp from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 5-9, and a postcamp from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12-15.

About 180 students will attend the Bradley marching band camp, director Mark Oppenheimer said.

In between the camps are intense "three-a-day" sessions in which students practice on-field drills in the morning, afternoon and evening, Oppenheimer said.

"We work on our pregame routines as well as music memorization and practice for our competitions," he said.

In addition to performances at football games and other school functions, the camps serve as practice and preparation for the 12th annual Hilliard Marching Band Invitational.

Bradley High School, 2800 Walker Road, will host the invitational at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

The Hilliard Music Boosters and the Ohio Music Education Association present the competition, which also serves as the largest fundraiser for the music departments of the school district, as well as orchestras, choirs and bands at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.