Before they headed into the holiday week, nearly¬†
250 potential members of the 2013 Boston Crusaders made their way to our winter home away from home, Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton, FL for this weekend's Round Two camp.
The halls of the school were buzzing with all sorts of excitement on Friday during registration. Most of the buzz surrounded the upcoming Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC. Others were discussing music they had been working on since the last camp. Most were just excited to finally be there and ready to get to work. Program Coordinator Eric Kitchenman led the weekend's opening meeting where many of the questions surrounding the upcoming events regarding camps and the parade were addressed. The weekend's schedule was quickly reviewed and off into their corners the "small groups" went for sectionals.
The intimidating sound of 27 (yes, that's twenty seven) tubas could be heard from the auditorium where Chad Pence was seen observing the section and looking for growth of the members and the section as a whole from the previous camp. Ellis Hampton took the battery into the band room for their extended warm up and chop building exercises. The front ensemble took to their home in the Media Center and were hitting the keys until after 11. A brisk 52 degree chill met the campers during their snack, and most were off to sleep for the night.
Saturday morning saw the camp really come to life. Outside of the usual horn and drum sectionals, the members were treated to a hefty visual block--one that included preparations for next month's parade. Keeping in the spirit and preparation for the Inaugural Parade, the Uniform Crew started fitting the brass into the various uniform pieces needed for the corps first public appearance of 2013. By dinner, "parade" was by far the most popular word buzzing around camp.
Well over 100 horns assembled in the cafeteria of the high school for Saturday evening's brass ensemble block, where the horn line prepared multiple pieces including Conquest and a custom parade march by corps composer Ryan George. The percussion ensemble was busy toiling away at the same pieces in anticipation of the following day's first full ensemble.
Sunday morning, following everyone's favorite breakfast of cereal and pancakes, the makings of the full ensemble were before us as the entire corps assembled for a visual block that included marching a parade form through the parking lot of Lakewood Ranch HS. After warming up in their sections, the full corps gathered for the first time to ensemble music together. With that many musicians playing Conquest together, it was a memorable moment for these future Boston Crusaders as they then went to work on the show music. Ryan George's first three minutes of the 2013 production were unvieled to camp attendees and onlookers.
By the end of the camp weekend much of the 2013 year had come into focus. The parade logistics were covered with everyone at camp fitted for a uniform, music learned, and a parade block assembled. Pieces of next summer's production were beginning to take shape as well, with the horns succesfully playing through the first few minutes of show multiple times.
"2013 is going to be a remarkable year for the Boston Crusaders and I am very much looking forward to being a part of it!" said Drum Major Stephen Grindel.
Before dismissal on Sunday, Chad Pence spoke of the progress he has seen from camp to camp and hopes that everyone keeps on the RISE as we get better every month. Ellis Hampton reminded everyone to practice hard and always be prepared for their next appearance. Everyone was reminded to keep their eye on their e-mail as the parade details become available. The corps was dismissed at 3:00 on Sunday and everyone began their journey home.
Special thanks to all of our hardworking volunteers. This highly dedicated group of people gives up their weekends to do the grunt work of making sure the kids are well fed and look good in their uniforms for the president next month.
Our next camp is scheduled for January 18-21 which includes the Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC. Stay tuned for future announcements of the details surrounding this exciting experience for the Boston Crusaders.
Happy Holidays and safe travels to all of our members, staff, volunteers, and most importantly our fans. Remember, the holidays are a perfect time to make a donation to help support the Boston Crusaders!
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