How do you take a group of 75students—many experienced musicians but a few newcomers who have never picked up an instrument—and turn them into a marching band that can perform with precision at each week's Red Devils football game and also continue
Well, you practice. And then practice, practice and practice. And, of yes, after a full week of annual summer band camp held from 8:15 each morning until 8:15 p.m. toward the end of August — then you set up additional practice times.
Last week, band members — with the color guard members who will also be part of the show hard at work at the other end of the field — attended the band boot camp to shape up both musically and physically to march and perform this season's show. Band Director Zugale said this year's show will be selections from "Mask of Zorro."
Besides performing at football games, the band and color guard play in competitions, logging many successes in previous years.
All that will take an awful lot of hard work into November, Zugale said, as the band members marched, played, formed a line and then reformed a line during this year's band camp, which ran from Aug. 12-17.
"Really, this is just the beginning," he said. Practices also were scheduled for the following week, and will continue prior to each football game, he said.
If practice makes perfect, the Ridge band already was sounding pretty good mid-way through band camp. While many high school students return to join the marching band every year, and incoming freshman often played with the band at the Zugale said a few are complete beginners on all counts.
However, by the time school starts this fall, those musician-marchers will no longer need to call themselves inexperienced.
There also is a social aspect to band camp. "It's fun because you are always with you friends," said Abigail Lynn Krieck, a junior this fall. Krieck also was getting much exercise carrying and playing a bass drum around on the field.
Lest anyone think the color guard also wasn't required to get moves down just so, instructor George Mattis was watching like a hawk the lines of flag-waving girls. telling them where they had gone wrong, and insisting they repeat all the steps, in reproducing this year's routine.
"It's an attitude," he reminded the group just as some appeared to be getting a bit weary.