The athletes are back, but so is the band!
The East Tennessee State University marching band camp returned for its third year last week. The camp, which is mandatory for Marching Buccaneer members, began on Aug. 17 and lasts until Aug. 25. The camp goes from 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. each day.
According to Director of Marching Percussion Logan Ball, who is also the Lecturer of Percussion in the ETSU Department of Music, this is the best start the band has had in its three years. With an involvement of over 200 students, the band has had grown more than 40 individuals from last year.
“The camp is geared towards making sure that the ensemble that we put on the field during pre-game and halftime of the football games is of the highest quality possible,” Ball said. “Our marching band is seen by more people than any of our other musical ensembles, so it is paramount that we represent ourselves well.”
At the camp, members work on marching fundamentals, warm-ups, music exercises, the pre-game show, the halftime show and music to be played in the new stadium’s stands.
The camp is free. Additionally there are no fees for band students whatsoever according to Ball. All that members must have on their own are black marching shoes, most of which are acquired in high school, and low-cost white gloves for some members as well. Equipment like cymbal gloves, sticks and mallets are supplied to the drum line.
Providing some background on the marching band, Ball described that the last band before the university’s current one was back in 2003, and it had a little over 60 members.
To anyone thinking of joining, Ball had some words of encouragement.
“Do it! It’s a wonderful experience,” he said. “You will meet tons of awesome people that will become lifelong friends. I met my wife in the band here at ETSU. You will have excellent teachers that care a lot about you and want to see you succeed. You will be challenged and will learn how to take on responsibility, how to manage your time and become a team player, and obviously, become a better player on your instrument.”
The band rehearses from 3-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week.
If anyone is interested in auditioning to join the Marching Buccaneers they can contact Joe Moore at Moorejd@etsu.edu or Logan Ball at Balllj1@etsu.edu.