Band camp builds unity and eases members’ stress before school year

Rahul Parikh | Staff Writer

A tradition of excellence; this is the honor the Mason marching band works to uphold.

Band camp is an annual boot camp that members attend daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.. This year, the camp ran from July 24 through August 5. Junior Nico Johnson said the band uses this time to prepare for the pregame and halftime shows.

Johnson said working 12 hours a day during the summer eliminates unnecessary stress during the school year.

“Every single day we’re improving; we are always excited to learn something new, and perfect what we have,” Johnson said. “The main purpose of working so long in the summer is that during the school year — when we are stressed about other things — we don’t have to worry much about marching band.”

Team building is another area strengthened by camp. Johnson said team comradery is very important to the band, and camp creates an environment where members can bond as if they were at school.

“Within this camp we have a variety of different groups, such as the ensemble, who are very close together, but then again we are all like a family and help each other out,” Johnson said. “A great thing that we do as upperclassmen is show the freshmen and sophomores what band is really about.”

Camp serves as a glance into the work of the season ahead. Johnson said they need plenty of time and practice to prepare.

“I’m very happy I joined band in the first place,” Johnson said. “It is extremely helpful to have a whole other family — an outlet for whenever I need it — and band camp gives me the perfect opportunity to take full advantage of that every summer.”

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Photos by Felicity Cook.