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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Band camp teaches leadership skills
Two FCHS members participated in training earlier this month
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Courtesy Photo: During one of their morning practice sessions, Tyler Wunderlich and Sally Davis, front row, demonstrate marching techniques as an example to other campers.

Monday, July 29, 2013

By BRANDON OSGOOD - Special to the News-Post

Two members of the Franklin County High School marching band developed their leadership skills at a training camp last week at Sweet Briar College.

Drum majors Tyler Wunderlich and Sally Davis participated in Band Front Camp, a marching band summer program by Mid Atlantic Camps to teach band students the skills needed to conduct a band.

"It helps us to be leaders for our band. They teach many skills to help better ourselves and the band," Wunderlich said. "They help us to conduct in a way that the band can understand clearly. Also, they teach us how to instruct students to march in the correct form for competitions."

During their time at camp, Wunderlich and Davis were involved in specific activities designed to help improve their roles of drum majors. They spent hours learning marching technique and commands, and learning how to properly conduct in front of a band.

Although the camp was tough, Wunderlich, a second year camper, said the passion the staff brings to the students is one of many reasons he enjoys being there.

"The experience and dedication of the instructors was a major reason for my return," Wunderlich said.

Unlike her peer, Davis had not participated in Band Front Camp before this summer.

"My first experience was really tough. I worked hard every day," Davis said. "We marched to and from our practice field every day. Every day just got hotter and I sweated more each day."

"Overall it was a great experience for a drum major," she added.

During camp, students in the drum major program are separated into different "squads" of six to seven members. These groups then go head-to-head with one another each night in competitions that test their marching technique and calling commands.

Wunderlich and Davis, who were in Squad 7, did not fare well at the beginning of the week. They finished last in their first competition.

However, their team continued to improve and tied for second place overall at the end of the week. Their performance won them the 'Most Improved Squad' award.

"It was an awesome feeling and it felt great to finally have our hard work and early morning practices pay off," Davis said.

The Franklin County High School's marching band began band camp at the school on July 24 and will continue through Aug. 8.

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