FHSU University Relations and Marketing
by Rachel Rayner
The sound of snare drums and brass instruments began ricocheting off the buildings on the Fort Hays State University campus as the Department of Music and Theatre opened its annual marching band camp on Aug. 10.
The camp, which ends Aug. 15, allows the FHSU marching band to prepare for the upcoming season by reviewing marching fundamentals and learning music. Dr. Lane Weaver, assistant professor of music, directs the band and Dr. Jeff Jordan, assistant professor of music, assists.
“We don’t have many rehearsals once school starts, so this allows us to polish things before we are able to go to Lewis Field,” said Jordan.
The band practices in the field behind the President’s House every morning to learn the drills and play with the color guard and Tiger Debs. The players hold their drills — maps of every member’s different places on the field — and sing their parts while marching from one position to another.
Weaver writes the drills and composes all of the arrangements. The band will learn three half-time shows and perform each one at two games.
“Dr. Weaver has such a good vision,” said Jordan. “He’s the reason behind the huge success of the band and why they look and sound so good.”
He said the band also relies heavily on student leadership. Upperclassmen lead their sections, ensuring that everyone knows the music. During camp, they coordinate evening social activities, such as an ice cream-eating-contest, barbeque and pool party.
Low brass section leader Cole Harrison, a Leawood junior majoring in music technology, said that the most difficult part of camp is staying focused and keeping everyone on task, but he likes working with all of the new students.
“Marching band is an important way of integrating students into the department and the university,” said Harrison.
Jordan said that the camp is an important bonding time, preparing students for an entire semester of playing with one another.
“I’m amazed at how quickly everyone is learning. It’s been two days and we’ve already learned pre-game and the first song for the half-time show. I’m excited for how good we will look and sound by the end of the season,” said Harrison.