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School begins early for FHS band

Farragut High School Band members are already hard at work though there are still two weeks of summer vacation.

FHS 2008 Band Camp began Monday, July 21, and will run through Friday, Aug. 1, at FHS.

Band director Ron Rogers said it is important to give the students a jump start on learning the halftime routine so they are prepared in time for the first home football game Friday, Aug. 22.

“We are in the first week of our two week camp. We go three [rehearsals] a day four days per week and one morning rehearsal on Friday. We go three hours in the morning, three hours in the evening and two hours in the afternoon. So we go eight hours a day for two weeks to put together this show.

“Whenever we have 160 kids and one-fourth or one-fifth of them beginning marchers, it takes that long to get everything put together,” he added.

This year’s halftime show is called “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas.”

Rogers said, “A lot of bands have gone a lot of different directions through the years. We try to stay very educationally sound, yet we try to stay familiar to the crowd.

“For this show we are doing some [Frank] Sinatra, some Elvis [Presley], some Tom Jones and some Liberace.

“It is stuff that we are able to put together that is very soundly educational from a music education standpoint, but still the people in the stands on Friday night are going to understand what we are doing and what we are playing and may be able to recognize and relate to some of the music,” he added.

In order for each student to learn his or her part students are divided up by musical instrument and led through the routine by instructors each day.

Those driving by FHS during Band Camp may recognize some faces from the past in some the instructors.

“Some of the students out working are former students who have graduated from here and were great leaders when they were in school and have moved on. A lot of them are former students of ours who are music education majors who I have come back to help. It serves as good practice for them.

“Also we put a great deal of responsibility on upperclassmen to teach because I am a firm believer that if they are able to teach the show to the students, then, number one, it helps the younger students be more able to relate to the show and number two it makes the older students even that much better of a band member for us,” he said.

Rogers said Band Camp is important because the first day of camp is the first time returning members and incoming freshmen meet and relationships have to be forged between the students.

He also said it is necessary in order to introduce students to the amount of responsibility they will carry throughout the season.

“The work ethic is great with the students. The responsibility that each student has gets greater and greater as the weeks go on, so it is time very well spent,” he added.


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