Fletcher Ferrara, Liliana Garcia, and Justin Roberts pose with awards from drum major camp.
Over the summer, seniors Justin Roberts and Fletcher Ferrara and sophomore Liliana Garcia attended a three-day Drum Major Camp at UC Santa Cruz. While at the camp, they learned skills required for conducting, peer leadership and mace work, specific spins, and commands with the staff (mace) that the drum major uses to communicate with the band, the refined those skills throughout their time at camp.
The students also competed in skill-based challenges with other drum majors from across the state. In those challenges the Greyhounds won many awards for their skill mastery; now they are contributing their amazing talents to the Greyhound Marching Band. Their newfound confidence in themselves and their leadership results in more effective rehearsals and better group dynamics.
“It meant a lot to me to attend the camp; it taught me basic skills, leadership, and musicianship. Essentially everything it takes to be a good drum major and a good musician,” said Roberts. Garcia also had a positive experience, saying, “It definitely helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to do as a conductor, and that was the part of the job that I was most concerned about going into this season.”
AHS Band Director Mr. Conrad said, “It was a phenomenal experience for all three of our drum majors. I really appreciate the band booster’s decision to sponsor them. Their experience this summer is already having an exponential impact on our fall season, and they represented our school extremely well.” he added, “I’m really impressed with how much the students got out of the camp.”
In addition to the camp, Ferrara was also offered a paid staff position for the summer camps next year. He was also invited to march in the Roman New Year’s Day Parade in Rome, Italy.
“That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!” Conrad said, hoping Ferrara can attend. “I know that it’s not cheap, and students who participate have to fund their own way. I know that Fletcher had a great summer job, and his parents are going to support him as well. I also have seen this community step up time and time again to support students with opportunities like this. It’s one of the special things about living in the community.”