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Marching band camp sounds off in August

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The music department at Colorado State University-Pueblo will hold its ThunderWolves Marching Band Camp starting in August.

The camp is designed to train band members for the fall marching season by teaching students to learn and memorize music, and “stands tunes” which they will perform during football games to energize the team and crowd. The camp also develops the stamina necessary for both playing music and marching at the same time.

Camp will be conducted each day in the Capps Capozzolo Academic Center for the Arts (Hoag Hall), and in the  marching band practice facility located on the east side of campus, just due north of the football stadium.

“Without camp, the band would simply not be ready to perform in time for the home opening football game,” said Alan Mills, director of bands and assistant professor music at CSU-Pueblo.

“Camp is a refresher course for returning members and an opportunity for new members to learn how the marching band is organized,” Mills said. “We want to get a jump on the school year because our first performance is only after the end of the second week of classes.”

Marching band camps are standard for marching bands (including high schools, colleges and Drum Corp International groups) that perform field shows, Mills said.

“Most people who have never marched do not understand just how aerobic the activity is,” Mills said. “When you start breathing hard because of the movement, it makes it that much harder to produce a quality sound on a wind instrument. Part of the training that goes on throughout the semester is simple endurance.”

Mills said anyone with at least one year of high school experience on a wind or percussion instrument is welcome to participate in the marching band. Community college students also are encouraged to participate, he said.

“This year we are beginning a new addition to our Senior to Sophomore program,” Mills said. “Several students from Centennial High School will be joining us this fall and will receive a college credit for doing so.”

Also, students who do not have experience on a wind or percussion instrument are encouraged to try out for the color guard, the students who spin flags on the field to give the show a strong visual element. Non-music majors also are encouraged to participate.

“Nationally, marching bands are made up of more non-music majors than music majors,” Mills said. “We rely on non-music majors to function.”

“CSU-Pueblo is offering financial Service Awards for students who would like to participate in marching band,” Mills said, “and these awards are open to all students, regardless of their declared major.” The awards are also offered to qualifying high school and community college students.

“The awards are a just a small way that (CSU-Pueblo) says ‘Thank you’ for your service to the university,” Mills said.

Interested students should send Mills a brief note explaining their background on the instrument that they wish to play, a mailing address and a phone number to alan.mills@colostate-pueblo.edu.

Students interested in trying out for the high energy Drumline or colorguard are to report on Aug. 9, and all other wind players report on Aug. 12. Students who have a contract set up with residence life or Walking Stick Apartments can move in between 9 to 11 a.m. on their respective report date.

You can also download marching band information and materials as they become available at: http://chass.colostate-pueblo.edu/twmb/.

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