Recently, our Hemlock Marching Huskies gathered for their annual band camp. The band is led by Director Charles Bicigo, and Drum Majors Kaitlyn Marshall and Emma Olinger.
While marching techniques and playing styles haven’t changed, the marching band is not immune to the effects of COVID-19 protocols. From socially distanced formations to masked outdoor rehearsals, the students adapted well to the new format.
Hemlock High School Principal Keith Green noted how pleased he was to hear music return to the campus of the Huskies.
This year, with football being moved to the spring, the marching band season will move, as well. The spring concert will be replaced with marching band, fall will be used to learn new music for pep band and build back fundamentals that have been lost with the five-month break, and winter will bring a holiday concert as per usual, with accommodations being made based on current guidelines.
With the transition to a new director, as well as a global pandemic happening, you would expect numbers to be down. Despite everything happening, including blistering heat and highly limited access to the buildings, the band fielded 50-60 members a day.
Band Director Charles Bicigo said “These were close to the worst conditions you could ask for in a band camp; masks on in the blazing sun, temps in the high 80’s-mid 90’s, and no sanitary way to access the air conditioning with such large groups of students. The kids pushed through that regardless, mastering the fundamentals of marching, getting all of the drills on the field, and re-learning the fine muscle memory of playing an instrument after not playing seriously for five months. I couldn’t be more proud of the work the kids did, and cannot wait to see how that work ethic translates to the rest of the year.”
Huge thanks go out to the band parents that helped out with camp, Erika Morgan, who donated 50 cases of water bottles; Lisa Kenny, who donated lunch on Thursday, and all of the parents that let the band use their EZ-Up tents to provide shade during the hottest parts of the day. Also, thanks goes out to the Richland Township Fire Department, who came to the final day with a tanker truck to provide much-needed relief from the heat and hard work.
If you would like more information about this or other positive happenings with the band, you can contact Charles Bicigo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out our Instagram page at the link below, for more pictures and posts from the band’s point of view. Hemlock Band Instagram