NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo High School Marching Band Band hopes to create some smiles this fall.
Band Camp week took place Aug. 24-28 from 9 a.m. to noon each day at the district’s athletic complex, with a socially-distanced show presented for parents at 11:45 a.m. on Friday.
Band teacher Christina Baumann said band camp week was originally slated for early August, but due to a lot of unknowns related to the coronavirus pandemic it was moved back.
“Now we know that we don’t have football games to perform for in the fall, nor do we have festivals or competitions, so we are putting together two different shows,” she said.
The first, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at the New Buffalo Area Schools athletic complex, will be “Songs to Make You Smile” — featuring “Sweet Caroline” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”
“We all need a little smiling and happiness,” Baumann said.
She said one parent per band student can attend, with the show also being live-streamed on Facebook.
A Halloween-themed show is also being planned for October.
This year’s New Buffalo High School Marching Band Drum Major is senior Bode Davis.
“It’s really different this year,” he said during band camp week.
Davis said the 2020 schedule should give band members a chance to play and improve more for themselves than for judges.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun I think to be able to do the two shows,” he added.
Baumann said there are 35 students in the band, many of them freshman.
At then end of the Aug. 28 show, the band had an “elimination block” competition with senior percussionist Enrique Arana the last person marching without making a mistake.
He was presented with a block used to keep time during band camp signed by members of the band.
Earlier on Friday Baumann said junior piccolo player Olivia Schroeder had finished first in the competition — with the award a zucchini from Baumann’s garden.
Scroeder said band camp is a lot different for her this year between wearing a mask and playing a new instrument.
“It’s so high-pitched that it;s hard to hear it sometimes.”
Baumann said band members accomplished a great deal in a short time going into the Aug. 28 show for parents.
“They’ve all been doing a really good job this week with keeping their masks on and staying apart. I’m really proud with the way that they’ve dealt with all the changes that have needed to be made, and of course there will be more once school starts (Sept. 8 is the first day of classes in New Buffalo).
“I feel really strongly that it’s going to be a great year. It’s going to be a different year, but we’re going to look for some fun things to do.”
Going forward Baumann said the band will be outside as much as they can, adding that seventh and eighth-graders also may do a show in the fall.
At then end of marching practice in the scorching midday heat of Aug. 26, band campers got to enjoy a spray of cool water from a New Buffalo Township Fire Department grass rig truck brought to the edge of the football field by Chief Jamie Flick and Capt. Dan Mandalis.
“We were asked to do it by (band parent) Chris Ransom and though it would be a great day because it’s so warm,” Flick said.