A ‘Borg and a Baritone #5: “Camp #3”

Monday, 12/17, 8:30 AM

Camp 3 is in the books! We got our first taste of the show music, got a very big visit, and I even saved a few pennies!

I made the trip to Cincinnati via Greyhound Bus again. The bus was nearly 2 hours late, but made the drive in about 70 minutes, maybe 20 minutes quicker than normal. I managed to catch a Cincinnati Metro bus in time, getting me to the hotel around 8:00 (without having to pay for an Uber).  The rest of the night was spent in a wonderful, non-schoolwork, exhausted haze.

Sunday began with warm-ups/stretches. The abs were not the victims – er, TARGETS – this week; instead, we got the blood flowing, with various squats, lunges, and jumps, followed by some lower body stretches. They definitely got the blood flowing!

Andrew (our Brass Caption Head) had to miss this camp, so the morning (and part of the afternoon) rehearsal was run by the trio of Jake (Low Brass Tech; ran the majority of the rehearsals), Garrett (Low Brass; focused on the Baritones/Euphs), and Tony (Tubas; will be a marcher-instructor). We continued the trends from previous camps of stretching, working on breathing, timing, and sound. We also added chord work, such as having the lower Mellophone parts listen to where their note fits into the overall chord.

Before lunch, we met a visitor: Allen Buell, the President of Drum Corps Associates (DCA) was in town and stopped by our rehearsal to check us out! He seemed really excited about our corps and potential for the summer. A cool moment!


Nothing really special about my lunch, except that a salad that I had bought at Kroger smelled spoiled when I opened it. Thankfully, a couple of sandwiches and an orange saved the day. Actually, the cookies and candy canes that the Guard gave everyone saved the day!


The afternoon started with a warm-up, followed by our first split into Sectionals: the Trumpets and Mellos stayed with Jake in the cafeteria, the Tubas went with Tony (where, I have no idea), and the Baris and Euphoniums went with Garrett. We worked on the first piece of show music, the ballad (I can’t/won’t release tune names until CT makes it public; all I’ll say is that you will enjoy the show!), focusing on balance, tone, and (for the majority of the time) dynamic contrasts and movements. It took a minute for all 3 parts to gel with Garrett on what “mezzo-piano (mp)” and mezzo-forte (mf)” are but we did eventually get it.


The final hour and a half was with Nick, the Program Coordinator. Nick ran the ballad a couple of times, top to bottom, but really hammered home tone, making note speaks, and dynamics. I like the fact that he will keep the rehearsal moving and relatively ‘light’ but will not hesitate to get on someone (or someones) if they aren’t paying attention when he’s explaining something. It keeps him (and/or Jordan, our Drum Major, and/or the rest of the Staff) from repeating things unnecessarily. Anyway, we (the Brass) made some significant improvements on the ballad.

 … but none of us expected the kind of improvements that came out of our horns for Show ‘N Tell II.


Show ‘N Tell II was just about 3/4 of the Battery, plus the Brass. Battery performed a warm-up/strength-building exercise, while the Brass played through the ballad, twice. Nick was thrilled by what he heard from us, and I noticed quite a few “shocked” expressions from the Guard and Battery. It was a nice end to an intense but good camp!


It was nice to not have to deal with Finals or homework on this trip. The Brass sounded awesome on Sunday. The shoulders didn’t bother me as much again, although other areas are singing this morning lol. I had to wear a combination thumb/wrist brace for the last 45 minutes or so, and am currently wearing it. I have 3 weeks until the first of the 2019 camps happen, including the first visual block, and a meeting with a long-time friend that lives in the area. I can’t wait! Until then, have a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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