Band camp gets underway

Emily Langley (center), head drum major for 2017-2018, explains basic marching commands to the freshmen as Chris Gregg (left) looks on. Staff photo.

By Joey McWilliams

DURANT – With the opening morning of band camp on Monday, the 2017-2018 season for the Pride of Durant Marching Band is officially underway.

And at 71 degrees with cloudy skies, there couldn’t be a much better way to get things going.

“The weather is beautiful,” band director Chris Gregg said. “We normally don’t get this kind of temperature this time of year.”

The freshman class reported at 7:30 a.m. to learn the basics of marching. The rest of the band shows up at noon with playing rehearsals running until 3 p.m. This will be the schedule for the first three days and on Thursday, the upperclassmen will arrive in the mornings for the marching practices as well.

The clarinet section has ‘circle time’ on the first day of band camp.

There were 52 freshmen at the high school’s practice marching pad on Monday morning. When all the members of this year’s class are together, it’s a large group.

“Right now, we have 175 total,” Gregg said. “That’s what’s on paper. We’ll see what happens from there. That’s about 15 larger than last year.”

The competition piece that the Pride is learning this year is “Alcatraz” with three movements – Confinement, Solitary and Escape.

“At this time, we’re just really excited to get started and see what we’re going to end up with and how it’s going to unfold,” Gregg said. “That’s just like every year, but this will be the biggest band we’ve had.

“We’re just really anxious to see how everything takes place and what our show ends up looking like, the attitudes and all that. We’ll see what happens.”

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