So. Here we are, Summer 2017, about 3 weeks before band camp…what have I done?
Panicked. A lot.
I didn’t think about having to pick a show without knowing the kids or their level. I didn’t think about hiring staff for percussion and guard, and I didn’t think about budgets and how to buy a show in general. But I did all these things!
I am lucky to have a very involved music provider in my area, staffed entirely by former band directors. My representative is so helpful, she sent me show ideas and links, contacts, and even came in to help with inventory. This helped a LOT. So if you don’t know where to begin, ask around! More than likely, someone nearby has some idea of what to do, and would be more than happy to help out.
We chose a show based on limited knowledge about the program and level of kids, so we picked something on the easier end (we can always spruce it up with visuals). Better to go too easy than too hard right off the bat. I also managed to get the email of the drill writer they’d used in the past, who was happy to help me set up what needs to be done.
In terms of staff, I lucked out. The choir teacher is taking over guard, which she has experience with, so that saved me some trouble. I also have a wonderful percussion teacher from college who managed to get me in touch with an undergrad from the nearby college who’s able to tech percussion for me!
As summer winds to a close, and band camp looms closer, I feel a sense of dread and excitement. I’m so excited to start this job and meet the kids and really get into the season, but I’m terrified. I’ve never run a band camp before, or been in charge of 50+ kids alone. I am worried my methods won’t work, or my timing will be bad, or we just won’t learn a show. I also know I’ve done enough tech work on my own (not to mention 9 years of marching band) to figure it out. At this point, I’m ready to get started and just jump in, regardless of how messy the splash is!
Moral of the story: get as much done as you can BEFORE July, pick an easy show if you don’t know the kids, and don’t be afraid to ask literally everyone for help!!
Stay tuned for the next post: moving into the office and meeting leadership!