On Friday, May 29, the eve of our first marching band rehearsal for the 2015-16 school year, drum major auditions were held. We watched seven very strong candidates conduct, march, call commands, salute, and answer questions as we tried to select the best leaders for ou band. After some difficult deliberations, Senior Ally Kick was selected as the Gateway Band's new Drum Major while Juniors Cassie Kokal and Mollie Serbin were selected as the band's Assistant Drum Majors. We are all very excited about what these three wonderful young ladies will bring to their new positions! Congratulations to all who auditioned! Our band is in very good hands with all of you leading the way!
The weeks of August 3 and August 10 were the Gateway Band's 2015-2016 season band camp. The band learned all four movements with music. Special congratulations to all the gift card winners!
Each day started with our drum majors and guard captains leading stretching accompanied by uniquely-themed music. Our stretching lead into basics, in which the new members have truly shown their improvement. Throughout the coarse of band camp, the new members have learned forward and backward marching along with flanks and slides at a rapid pace. Also, a little something new was added for everyone… oblique marching! It was plain to see the entire band’s improvement across the days as members marched in all directions!
After the band members showed off their marching skills in basics, the next segment of the day begun: drill! The band learned more drill this year than ever before! Veterans and staff did a wonderful job at helping the younger members learn to read coordinates and memorize their sets. The rehearsal etiquette was significantly better than in previous years, which allowed us to learn our entire show! The energy coming from the band was amazing; members were constantly running back to sets and doing everything they could to improve. There was barely even any complaining! The general attitude of the band was extremely positive and refreshing throughout the entire rehearsal.
After lunch, the band split into sectionals, in which specific areas in the music were improved upon and memorized until it was time for full ensemble, where we practiced the music as a band before we added it to drill.
This year we had several drill downs. Surprisingly, the rookies in the band made it extremely far in the drill downs! As an extra incentive for members to do their best, many gift cards were awarded to the winners and the rookies that lasted the longest. The kids really have a lot of fun with the drill downs (especially the seniors) and it is a great way to end rehearsals.
Another thing that the kids have a lot of fun with is Spirit Week during the second week of band camp. Monday was ‘Murica Monday, Tuesday was Twin Tuesday, Wednesday was Section Day, Thursday was Rent-A-Senior Day, and Friday was Senior Prank/DCI Apparel Day. On ‘Murica Monday, the members decorated themselves with their favorite red, white, and blue articles. On Twin Tuesday, a member wore the same outfit as another member (or in some cases several other members). On Section Day, the sections would all wear their matching section shirts that were created at their section parties. On Rent-A-Senior Day, Seniors were bought by other members and had to do, say, and wear whatever their purchaser told them to. Finally, on Senior Prank Day/DCI Apparel Day, everyone wears their favorite DCI items, and the seniors prank the band room, Mr. Read’s house, and Mr. Hoeltje’s house. This year the seniors coated Mr. Read’s house in sticky notes and scattered bananas across Mr. Hoeltje’s lawn in the middle of the night. They also turned the band room into a Egyptian tomb to match the show theme. Although they were pretty tired the next day, the seniors had a lot of the fun with their prank (but not so much fun cleaning it all up).