FHN’s Marching Band Wraps Up their Annual Marching Band Camp


Credit to Salem Cotton

Senior Kaitlyn Le plays the clarinet during the band’s performance at Black and Gold Day on Aug. 20.

The FHN marching band, directed by Dr. Ryan Curtis, have practiced during their annual band camp in preparation for the upcoming marching band season. The camp took place from July 25 to Aug. 19 and each practice ran between three and eight hours. All members of the marching band from incoming freshman to veteran seniors came together to practice the upcoming competitive show, Lost in the Right Direction. 

“The main purpose [of camp] is to get competitive show started and learn what we can on the field,” Curtis said.  

With the construction of the new parking lot, the band field, used to practice the competitive show, was torn up. The addition of the parking lot created challenges for camp this year. With the removal of the band field, camp members practiced on the Henderson Elementary School football field. During camp, half of the practice time is dedicated to learning the drills for the competitive show while the other half is used for learning and rehearsing the music. With the Henderson football field being a distance from the band room at FHN, many percussionists cannot transport their instruments to the field for a full performance.

“The challenges that we face are really facility challenges,” Curtis said. “Once the school year comes, we can’t use Henderson field so just trying to figure out where we’re going to be is a challenge.”

However, even with facility challenges, the marching band has ‘rolled with the punches’ and have worked hard on the upcoming show.

“They have done a great job,” Curtis said. “I mean if you were to look at it, we now have part of a show on a field versus not having any show but they’ve just made incremental progress each day and they keep getting better with their music and definitely improving the amount and the quality of the drill.”

In past years, camp practices have ran up to 12 hours. However, with the leadership of the new band director Dr. Curtis, practices have shortened and productivity has increased. Long time members of the marching band have experienced both the long camp practice hours and the new shortened hours. Amelia Chruma is a senior who has been a part of marching band her whole high school career. Chruma plays the baritone horn and is the section leader of the low brass section of the marching band. 

“I think [the band] has gotten a lot done in a short period of time,” Chruma said. “Everyone seems to be motivated this year and I just think it’s gonna be a great year.”

One of the most important aspects of camp is learning to work together and uniting the group. Many upperclassmen members at camp have taken charge to create a strong bond among the team.  

“A section leader leads the section and is a mentor for the younger students,” Chruma said. “I get to lead sectionals and it’s mostly just about providing a good example for the underclassmen on what a good bandsman should be.”

As camp wrapped for the start of the school year, the future looks bright for the competition season ahead. 

“The students are great workers and they really have poured their heart and soul into practice and the show,” Curtis said. “The students make or break it and, and they’ve been really great so far.”