Band Leaders Improve Their Skills at Music Camps
Rat-a-tat-tat! Pa rum pum pum pum! Drum major and percussion camps are taking place at Alma College as students from across Michigan prepare for the fall marching season.
Nine students who are band leaders in their high school marching bands are participating in Alma’s first-ever Drum Major Camp.
“This is something we hoped to do for a long time,” says Justin Rito ’08, camp instructor. “It is a very practical experience, with students learning to conduct, lead and command.”
High school and middle school students attend percussion camp.
Students have the opportunity to put their skills to use through integrated learning and real interaction.
“They are put in situations where they can give commands,” says Rito. “We hope the experience will help them improve their skills. We also hope to impart the specifics of our marching style to them because most of the students are from schools who use that style.”
The camp runs during the same time as the percussion ensemble camp, which also stresses hands-on experience.
“A typical day at camp involves a full group rehearsal in the morning, and in the afternoon, the students are placed in ensembles,” says Robert Grossman, a student instructor. “There also are a few opportunities for them to play for their parents at the end of the week.”
Thirty-nine middle and high school students participated during the percussion ensemble camp’s first week, which was concert week. The second week is marching week, with 35 high school students expected to attend.
Grossman, a Texas senior, attended the camp as a student four years ago, when he was entering his freshman year at Alma.
Now in his third year as an instructor, he says he understands how much work and dedication goes into making the camps a success.
“Being at camp and being an instructor are a lot different, but throughout my experience, I’ve been able to appreciate that students get to experience a variety of instruction,” he says. “At home, you’re typically learning from just one instructor, but here, you have the opportunity to learn from a staff of percussionists.”
Posted: Mon, June 28th, 2010 at 9:23AM