The Delaware Hayes Grand Pacer Marching Band concluded its annual weeklong Band Camp Friday.
New Director Bill Fowles said Friday that Band Camp, which ran 8 am to 8 pm all week, had “gone really well,” and he’s proud of the band’s performance as members learned the show, a Beatles medley titled “Mystery Tour.”
“I’ve been really impressed with how well the kids have been picking things up,” Fowles said. “We’re learning and progressing through our show.”
Fowles said the learning experience has gone both ways at Band Camp, adding he’s learned from the members of the band.
“Working with these kids and the staff here has been really awesome,” Fowles said. “(I’ve enjoyed) seeing how they’ve embraced some of the things I’ve brought as well as learning the traditions that have been set in place. Getting to know these students better and having fun … It’s been good.”
Fowles said the members of the band lived up to their reputation, and he’s looking forward to leading them this fall.
“Coming into this, I knew the high standard of excellence that has been set in place,” Fowles said. “Anytime there’s a transition you don’t know how receptive they’ll be. I’m very impressed and very pleased. I’m looking forward to competitions.”
Olivia Connar, a freshman clarinet player, said she enjoyed Band Camp despite her initial nerves about the 12-hour days.
“Making friends has been fun, especially when you don’t know anyone,” Connar said. “I definitely thought it was going to be worse. It’s not. You get a lot of breaks, and (Fowles) makes it fun. I didn’t know any marching and when we got into it, it was fun. It’s a different experience that you have to try.”
Fellow freshman, Eugene Toth, plays trumpet in the band and said he was worried about the week when he learned that each day was 8 am to 8 pm because he is “very impatient,” but he came to love Band Camp’s busy energy.
“It’s very chaotic, and I love it,” Toth said. “It’s a bunch of fun people. You play instruments and march with fun people. Your feet hurt but you’re doing chaotic stuff with fun people. It’s 12-hour days but we’re doing stuff the entire time.”
Emily Ward, a junior in the color guard, said she enjoyed Band Camp and thought Fowles had done a good job with the band.
“It’s been pretty fun,” Ward said. “We’ve been working hard on our drill and choreography. We’ve had a lot of fun. I had no idea how (having a new director) was going to go but we’re moving along pretty quickly, and we look and sound good. I’m really looking forward to competitions.”
Snare drummer Austin Fathbruckner, a junior, said he is looking forward to performing the show this year.
“I think it’s going to be really cool this year,” Fathbruckner said. “It’s different from last year. It’s a lot jazzier. It’s a different experience … A really fun part is getting on the field and seeing it all come together.”
The Delaware Hayes Grand Pacer Marching Band practices its show Friday afternoon during the final day of Band Camp.
New Hayes Band Director Bill Fowles gives the band directions Friday afternoon while students practice the band’s pregame show for upcoming performances before and during football games.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.