Three Waycross Middle School 8th grade band students recently joined middle school bandsmen from across the United States, and as far away as Hawaii, to take part in the 76th annual Summer Music Camp for middle school, sponsored by the College of Music at Florida State University. Kate H. (trumpet), Mac S. (French horn), and Jessica M. (flute) attended the prestigious camp in Tallahassee, Florida July 9th through 15th. Each student auditioned on arrival for band and chair assignments in one of three ensembles and spent the week in intensive rehearsals and master classes in subjects including music theory, conducting, brass/woodwind choir, jazz improvisation, and private lessons. The students were exposed to daily life on a major college campus, including dormitory living. The camp culminated with a concert for parents, family, and teachers.
In their second year attending the camp, Kate and Mac were selected to perform in the Seminole Band, the camp's top band composed of an advanced group of musicians performing an especially challenging program of music. In her first trip to the summer camp, Jessica was selected to perform with the Gold Band, the camp’s intermediate ensemble. All three students reported to their parents and teachers that they had a great experience want to return next year. Highlights of the Seminole Band’s program included composer John Williams’ Midway March, while the Gold Band performed Roland Barrett’s composition Arabian Dances.
Each year students interact with the renowned music faculty of FSU’s college of music as well as other distinguished clinicians. The Seminole Band was conducted by Dr. Michael Antmann, Director of Bands at Freedom High School in Orlando, Florida; the Gold Band was conducted by Eddie Steadman, Director of Bands at C.W. Ruckel Middle School in Niceville, Florida. The Garnet Band was under the direction of Travis Henry, Director of Bands at River Ridge Middle School in New Port Richey, Florida. All three clinicians praised the students, their parents, and their local band directors for the students’ exceptional behavior and musicianship.
Brooke Richardson, Director of Bands at Waycross Middle School and former FSU band camper, is very proud of all three of her students for their devotion to the study of music and is looking forward to another fantastic year for the band program at Waycross Middle School. David Hitt is principal at Waycross Middle.
Pictured L-R: Mac S., Jessica M., and Kate H.