While most students at Jesuit and Ursuline are enjoying their last days of summer at pool parties or at the beach, over eighty dedicated students from both schools started their school year on August 3rd for the first day of Band Camp for the Jesuit-Ursuline-Ranger-Band, or JURB.
“Band camp is definitely one of those big mysteries that a lot of people have ideas about, but unless you’ve been to band camp and experienced it, you can’t really know it,” explained one of the band’s directors, Mr. Zane Crownover. “But it’s one of the most fun and rewarding parts of the school year for the band because after the long summer all the returning members get to get back together and catch up with each other but also greet all the new members and bring them into our culture and spend time learning.”
“Band camp is really just preparation for the fall marching season,” added tuba player Noble Allen ‘19. “It serves as a foundation for the band because it gives all of the freshman and new members a chance to learn or re-learn different techniques that are vital to a successful marching season.” He said that while they do focus on skills related to both marching and music, they will also play games here and there, too.
Aidan Stuart, an Ursuline junior, commented, “[Band camp] is honestly the best part of band. This is where you meet everyone new and make friendships and learn what you are going to do for the next few years of high school. It’s the start of a new beginning.”
In fact, band camp has made so many positive memories for so many people that over five alumni have come to help out, and over half of last year’s seniors have visited.
Daniel Ritter ‘17, a four year member of the band remarked, “[Band] was the best experience I had in high school.” This year marked his fifth year of band camp, but now instead of practicing, he helped out the band and the directors by helping the percussionists with this year’s show music, Freedom and Brotherhood.
“This year’s theme, Freedom and Brotherhood celebrates the 75th anniversary of Jesuit Dallas,” explained Crownover. “We’ve actually been thinking about this show for a couple of years. It’s based on the school’s alma mater. The music is a celebration of Jesuit, our town, our state, and our country. We picked a lot of songs that were composed in 1942 or were popular in 1942, but also things that are important to the school, so you’re going to here a little bit of the alma mater in there’s gonna be a couple of songs about Texas. So, it’s going to be great!”
“I’m really looking forward to the crowd’s reaction to the show,” he concluded.
“I’m excited for marching on the field and showing everyone what we can to,” agreed Aidan. “It’s always amazing to perform in front of people.”
In the mere eight days of band camp, the band learned all of the show music and even began marching the opener. “One day at band camp is like a week and a half’s worth of rehearsals during the school year, so for every day of camp we’re getting in over a week of rehearsal time so that’s almost two month’s worth of work we can achieve in just two weeks,” Crownover added.
Band camp concluded August 16 with the band barbecue where the band performed the show music for the first time. If you’re bummed you missed it, don’t worry, the band is debuting its marching show at Postell Stadium on September 1st (I heard there might even be a football game going on around then too), so save the date and be ready for an awesome halftime show!