More than 200 students attend a band camp at the Tucson Convention Center

TUCSON (KVOA) – Due to COVID-19, it’s been a while since we’ve heard the sounds of the drumline or seen the color guard coordinating during a halftime performance.

The students are now making up for the lost time in the band camp.

Rincon and University High School students would normally go to their annual week-long summer band camp at Northern Arizona University, but this year things might be a little different.

Fortunately, the students don’t mind, they’re just excited to be together again.

More than 200 students gather at the Tucson Convention Center to do exercises, march, learn how to play their instruments, how to spin paint protection gear, and more.

This is a sight that Rincon University band director Jeff Marchant looks on gratefully.

“When you’re talking about an ensemble, try to tune and phrase together,” said Marchant. “You can’t hear yourself online so last year we shifted our focus to maintaining our culture and work ethic.”

This year’s eight-day camp is training a few students who went a full year without appearing in front of a crowd, including Senior Color Guard member Elizabeth Williams.

“I feel like this year is our year where we’ll be able to just get so good and see everything we learned in the past before COVID and everything we learned during COVID , and just surpassing us here, “said Williams.

Williams says it was a special experience working with her colleagues again.

“We get to know people from every department, the trombones, the clarinets, the trumpets, every one of the people in the Guard, and it’s just amazing to get together,” said Williams.

“All of our ensembles will be able to play together in the same room. The only way to learn music is to play with someone else,” said Marchant. “The same goes for visual performance; Color protection, the throwing of flags and rifles, they have to be able to see the group doing it to see if they are in step with them. Nothing is better than being in the same room together. “

Marchant says the number of students from performing arts programs has decreased at all levels over the past year and it will take a while to get them back.

But a personal band camp will soon let them march in the right direction.

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