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The Pride of Ole Brook band is putting it all together

If you’re early to band camp you’re on time, and if you’re on time you’re late.

The Pride of Ole Brook is gearing up for this year’s football season by working on the halftime show during band camp. Band camp consists of learning music, routine and movements for the halftime show.

“The most difficult part of putting it all together is the putting it all together,” said band director Andrew Bonner.  “The students are all simultaneously responsible for body posture, holding their instrument and performing all at the same time.  The key is simultaneous responsibility.”

The band currently has around 130 members.  The theme for this year’s halftime show is “Wired,” and will include original compositions.  As of now, the drill — a map of how the band should move and make formations on the field — for the show is being designed, so the band has not learned drill yet.

Band camp started July 16 and will end Friday. The first week was for color guard, percussion, freshmen, section leaders and captains.  This week has been training for the entire band. 

Band camp is intense.  Campers spend the entire day — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — practicing, stopping only for a 90-minute lunch break and water breaks throughout the day.

For Semaj Wilson, Devin Pigott and Brianna Furr, band camp improves their leadership skills.

“I get to work and teach others, I really like it.” said Wilson, a junior brass captain.

After a summer of being off from school and band, camp is the opener for the upcoming marching season and school year.

“It’s definitely a great way to get back into the swing of it,” said Pigott, a senior wood wind captain. “Mr. Bonner is good at getting us back up and running.”

Brookhaven’s band is for students grades 9-12, and so there is a mix of students younger and older returning to learn.

“It helps me improve myself and the new ones to be better for the season,” said Furr, a senior color guard captain.

It takes money to run any band program, and Brookhaven’s is no different.  As a 5A band, there are costs that must be taken care of, whether it is for drill, uniforms or equipment. 

There is no clear cost to run a band or put on a halftime show, but as long as a band has the support of parents and a booster club everything will be handled.  The band also receives funding from the school district. 

To donate to the Brookhaven High Band, contact Andrew Bonner at andrew.bonner@brookhavenschools.org.

Story by Gracie Byrne