RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande is hosting its’ annual band camp for high school marching bands, including Point Pleasant High School. Gary Stewart, a former band director at PPHS is the coordinator for the camps, drawing in schools from across the region and beyond.
This year three other schools were present – Belpre, Reynoldsburg, and Zane Trace and Wahama will be present next week. Each school works independently of each other, coordinating their marches for the upcoming season.
“It’s time we can get away from all the stress and distractions from normal life and focus on our combined goal of competition shows and marching season,” PPHS Band Director Benjamin Loudin said, explaining the benefits of spending a week dedicated to drilling practicing.
The week also provides a bonding experience for the band members, who endure physical and mental exhaustion as they work together to deal with those struggles.
“The kids bond together to become one band instead of a group of individuals,” Loudin said.
The PPHS Black Knight Marching Band will practice until 9 p.m. every night in order to learn the show as best as they can.
This years’ drum major is Nick Newell, and he is ready for the work.
“My main job is on the podium trying to keep everyone together,” said Newell. ” It’s a lot of paper work, actually. It’s a lot of paper work and organization.”
He explained he’s glad for the week of band camp, enjoying the break from distractions in life to focus on the routine.
This year the band is performing a Star Wars theme at football games and as their competition show. They have 94 members in the Black Knight Band this year.
The University of Rio Grande has hosted band camps in some form for several years, allowing students to stay in dorms, eat in the cafeteria, and make us of the campus facilities. This year’s band camp is no different, taking full advantage of the opportunity.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.