Technically, it was still their summer vacation, but from July 21 to Aug. 1, members of the Genoa High School Band packed up their fans and water bottles and headed off to band camp at Heidelberg College.
After camp, band members continued to put in many long, hot hours of practice – generally at least eight hours a week, and often 10 or more to prepare for Friday-night halftime shows.
The band will perform halftime shows through the end of the season on Oct. 24, and then will put on one more show Oct. 30 at the Indoor Marching Concert, where they play all the songs from each show over the football season. The band will also participate in four parades now through October.
From time to time, some students were not able to attend various rehearsals due to vacations etc., according to Michelle Swisher, who serves as co-president of the Music Boosters, along with her husband Mike. “Their absence left a gap in the formation being practiced,” Swisher noted
“The gap can make it difficult for the student who is at band camp to ‘see’ where he or she needs to be,” she said, adding that occasionally an adult chaperone will step into the spot of the missing student to help fill the space so that the routines can look like they will look out on the field for the show.
Throughout summer practices at the school, Principal Ted Keller would stop by to visit, asking how the show is coming and offering his moral support.
“The kids loved it,” Swisher said. “We can not remember a time when an administrator has cared so much and demonstrated support in such wonderful ways.
“We (as parents) have been very pleasantly surprised to see him and his wife following the bus caravan on the way to band competitions, where they show up to give their support, even thought the competitions are far from Genoa,” she said.
Swisher also credits the support and motivation offered by band director Briann Edwards and assistant director Doug Asher.
“They make band fun for the kids, but also keep a level of mutual respect,” Swisher said. “These men put the kids first, which makes the kids want to work hard to please them.
“You couldn't ask for two better role models to have our children around,” she added.