August 4, 2010 —
By Bill Mullaly
The first week of August means it’s time for football right? Well kind of, but actually this past Monday morning was the start of the annual Hudson High School band camp. A beautiful, sunny morning greeted the band campers under the direction of band leader Crystal Bough. There was a good turn out of local youngsters at the camp wanting to learn more about band, music and just hanging out with their friends. Bough who is in her tenth year of directing the band for the local high school was pleased with the numbers for opening day. “I am happy with the turnout as we will have close to 60 campers when they all get her as there are other things going on this week,” said Bough, who was at Morenci three years before coming to Hudson back in 2000. “It is not required that band students attend the camp to be a part of the band during the school year but it is strongly encouraged. We try to get as many out here as we can. It is good for them and helps us all when we get started this fall.”
For a small fee of just $40 a camper gets plenty of instruction, a T-shirt and a cleaning fee is taken care of for the student’s instrument. “We try to keep the price reasonable and the students do get quite a bit for their money,” said Bough, who has been running this camp for several years now. The band camp goes Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 3:00 and it includes lunch provided by the school. The students spend the morning outside working on drills, routines, fundamentals, techniques and formations for the upcoming Friday nights in the fall when they will be on display at halftime of the varsity football games. In the afternoon the campers will spend most of the time indoors but will also venture back outside if needed and if the weather cooperates.
What the campers think
Arin Stiverson was back for a good reason this summer. “My mom made me come to this,” said Stiverson, who will be a tenth grader. “It is fun though, as I can hang with my friends and learn some new stuff.”
He has been in band for four years and plays the tuba. “I think I am okay playing the tuba and I am excited about being here,” said Stiverson. Sabrina Hall will be a sophomore and has also been with the band for around four years. She plays the trombone and enjoys the camp. “I am here to have fun and learn some things and gain more experience,” said Hall, who will also run cross country this fall. “I really like being a part of the marching band.” Erin Luma is pretty good at the flute, as she has been with the band for six years now as she gets set for her junior year of high school. “At the camp we will learn new formations and I like being with my friends and I am looking forward to the upcoming fall performances,” said Luma, who will also spend the autumn playing volleyball.
A senior who has been around the band program and who knows all about band camp is Kayla Berkshire. “Yea, this is fun being here and I have been here before,” said Berkshire, who has been in the band program seven years. “You can learn new things at camp and get to spend time with friends.” She plays the saxaphone and is very good at it.
Kaitlin Janik will be a sophomore and is happy to be at camp. “I love this and I am excited to be here,” said Janik, who plays the flute. This is my second year at band camp and we are learning some new things. I am excited about the upcoming football season so we can perform on Friday nights.”
Logan VanWieren will be a sophomore and he plays the tenor saxaphone. He has been with the band four years and is pleased with the camp. “It is going to be fun and I am going to try and have a good time,” said VanWieren, grandson of former city many manager Bruce VanWieren.
For sophomore Jesse Burciaga, who runs cross country in the fall, he is happy to be at camp. “I know everyone and we are having fun and everyone is having a good time,” said Burciaga, who plays the trombone.
A veteran band camper and band performer is senior Eric Clark who plays the trombone and he is in his eighth year with the band and this is his fourth year at camp. “This is fun here and we are learning some awesome things,” said Clark. “I am pleased with what I have seen from the incoming freshmen. Everyone out here is having a good time and is doing well. We all can still learn some new things,” said Clark.
Another band performer is best known for her exploits on the courts and fields but she takes band seriously also. Junior Samantha Merillat has been playing in the band since sixth grade and this is her third year at band camp. “I think I am pretty good at playing the drums,” said the modest Merillat. “I like the drums and I am decent at it. I always try to work to get better. Camp is fun as is band because I get to hang out with good friends like Hannah Schoonover and Elizabeth Johnston.”
Bough’s staff of helpers
The band camp is successful because of good help and Bough has plenty of it. Amber Hoag, a 2009 Madison graduate who plays in the band at Adrian College, is an instructor. “I was at the Jonesville camp last week and I heard about the Hudson camp and I am pleased to be here as it is a lot of fun,” said Hoag, who will teach the clarinet players. “I think I can help them and teach them some new things.”
Will Deyoung is from the Petoskey area and was also at Jonesville last week and is now in Hudson for this week. “I will teach the saxaphone and baritone players and I have done a couple of other camps so this is always fun,” said Deyoung also an Adrian College band student. “I am looking forward to working with the campers and teaching them what I can.”
Julie Wheeler is there also working with the color guard. She is the band boosters president and has a son, Christian, in eighth grade who is in the band. “I like working with the color guard as I did that in high school and I am excited to be helping out with the band in any way I can,” said Wheeler. Vice President is Donna Perry, while the secretary of the boosters is Lora Murray and Melanie. Gerig is the treasurer. Also, helping at the camp is art teacher Ben Mitchell, Kyle Yarger of Tecumseh, graduates Megan Cottrill and Nate Nastase along with Jacob and Jessica Adams.
Bough is really looking forward to the camp and then the upcoming football season. “We are working on Motown theme songs and we will be performing those at the games this football season on Friday nights,’ said Bough, who has the songs I Want You Back and Respect as the possible opening nights songs on August 27th. “The season is coming up very quickly and we have a lot of work to do. The camp really helps the band members get ready for the season-opening performances. We will have our first game ten days before school even starts,” said Bough, who is looking forward to the fall season. “We hope to do well and we hope the football team goes as far as last season because that was a lot of fun for the band also. The better the football team does the more we get to perform as well.”
After watching the band campers in action it is evident that if the football team is as dedicated and committed as the band campers it could be a fun fall for both school activities.